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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

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

River Network links river and watershed groups from across the country into a movement. It provides individual groups with the tools they need to be stronger and more effective. The annual River Rally they've hosted for 20 years allows river folks to get together - to learn and to share.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became more deeply involved with River Network (as a board member and donor) because of the life-saving support it gave to the watershed group I previously led. Our watershed organization was teetering on the brink of solvency, getting tangled up in our own organizational issues at the expense of the rivers we needed to serve. With scholarship support from River Network we were able to send our one staff person to River Rally, and she returned with the basic tools we needed to get ourselves organized and bringing in small but important support. We returned each year (and that organization still returns each year) to learn the latest, network with the leaders in water protection and restoration, and strategize about work ahead. That organization is now 15 years old, well-staffed, and is a solid, respected, and needed part of its region. Without River Network's help I'm certain it would have disappeared or remained a kitchen table organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

River Network is the heart & soul of the river movement nationwide. It helps river & watershed groups - large & small - with technical information & support.

Paul P.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Having worked with many non-profits both domestic and international, it is my opinion that River Network is the most effective and dedicated NGO around. Not only that but River Network is addressing one of the most critical issues facing humanity, water and water resources.

Board Member

Rating: 5

River Network is an amazing organization doing very important work. It's an overarching group whose goal is to work to better river organizations throughout the US and the world. Every year the River Rally is a highlight for those who work in the industry as it brings together hundreds of people with the same passion to work on the same goal.