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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

River Network

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Pollution Abatement & Control

Mission: River Network empowers and unites people and communities to protect and restore rivers and other waters that sustain all life.

Results: In the past year - Coordinated and funded 14 events in 12 states utilizing over 1,000 volunteers who removed more than eight tons of trash from waterways, planted hundreds of trees and shrubs for restoration projects, removed tons of invasive plant species, built new public access docks and trails, and implemented stormwater infiltration gardens to reduce polluted runoff. Campaign to Sustain Water and Energy’s Peer Learning Network provided dozens of communities across the country with individual mentoring and messaging assistance that helped advance their energy, water and climate change efforts locally. Tangible results included upgraded standards in Massachusetts for stream crossings (based on the potential for climate change induced flooding), climate change vulnerability assessment for the Kickapoo tribe in Oklahoma, and major media coverage of a water-energy report in Idaho.

Programs: Our unique niche in the national conservation community is that we are the only organization that exists primarily to help regional, state and local grassroots river and watershed protection groups be more effective in their work. We fill this niche with a combination of capacity building (fundraising training, strategic planning assistance, re-grants, etc.), technical/policy assistance (e.g., on habitat restoration and the Clean Water Act), and leadership on cutting-edge issues such as climate change and the water-energy nexus.

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 5

The organization I work for is a River Network partner and in our experience the benefits of this relationship have helped us network (imagine that, River Network!) with other groups like us across the country and world! By connecting multitudes of small conservation groups, we maximize our capacity and knowledge base. We also benefit from their insurance discounts and have found River Network-recommended providers to suit our needs perfectly! I have participated in several River Network webinars and attended their annual conference--River Rally. River Rally was hands-down the best conference/training experience of my career. I wish I could go every year! The staff are easy to access, knowledgeable, and they sincerely care about the work each and every partner group does. In 2010, River Network honored our late Executive Director--also my father-in-law--as a "River Hero". My mother-in-law's experience of traveling to River Rally to receive this award and meeting all of the wonderful River Network people and partners provided a unique healing experience that she will never forget. In the mind of this non-profit manager, River Network is a 5-star organization!

Lower Susquehanna R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

River Network has provided tremendous service to two different watershed protection and conservation organizations I have led over the last 12 years. I was introduced to River Network through their annual National River Rally in 2003. That event was somewhat life-changing. As a relatively new water protection advocate I was introduced to hundreds of supportive individuals and provided multiple materials produced by River Network that would end up helping me protect my local watershed in Southcentral Pennsylvania, and later in my organization's work on the east coats's largest river, the Susquehanna. The work sessions at River Rally provided every aspect of guidance, from organizational functions and fundraising, to complex pollution science, to in depth discussion of what environmental protection laws really mean and how are they used. The continued support offered through emails and newsletters has been a constant support line. River Network is one of the most helpful and useful organizations I have ever worked with.


Client Served

Rating: 5

River Network was very willing to help my organization with a project that we are currently working on. Within an hour, a representative engaged me in conversation regarding our project and was quick to lend a hand. I am very impressed with River Network and their efforts. I look forward to continue to work with them in the future.