Who We Are
2021 Annual Report
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is the nation’s largest private conservation grant-maker and one of its most trusted, dependable and effective conservation leaders.
NFWF is a private, independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to sustaining, restoring and enhancing the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats for current and future generations. The Foundation was created by Congress in 1984 — and reauthorized in 2020 by a unanimous vote of the Senate and the House — to build public-private partnerships that increase the resources available for conservation in order to advance the science and practice of conservation throughout the United States.
NFWF is governed by a 30-member Board of Directors approved by the Secretary of the Interior. The Foundation uses public funding as a springboard to build new partnerships with major corporations, philanthropic foundations and individual donors to fund landscape-scale conservation projects based on sound science and designed to produce measurable results. NFWF supports projects that draw voluntary participation by landowners, community leaders and natural resource managers across the nation.
NFWF’s staff provides unrivaled expertise in the implementation of competitive grant programs, maximization of conservation returns on philanthropic investments, and analysis of results on the ground. The Foundation bridges the gap between corporate and federal leaders focused on resilience and sustainability and the conservation professionals working every day to develop nature-based solutions that sequester carbon and mitigate the negative effects of climate change.
The Foundation does not fund advocacy or litigation, and does not conduct membership campaigns. Instead, NFWF remains sharply focused on building public-private partnerships that support highly vetted, on-the-ground conservation projects. In fiscal year 2021, NFWF invested more than 97 percent of its revenue into conservation programs, and less than 3 percent on management and fundraising.
Over the past 37 years, NFWF has funded more than 20,400 projects and supported more than 6,000 grantee organizations. The Foundation’s investments since its founding have leveraged matching contributions from grantees and other partners to generate a total conservation impact of $7.4 billion.