Celebrating 30 years of helping you give wisely
America's most independent,
assertive charity watchdog
Top Rated

American Forests

CharityWatch report issued
March 2024

Top-Rated Charity
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

American Forests
1220 L Street, NW
Suite 750
Washington, DC 20005

Other Names


Tax Status


Stated Mission

Creates healthy and resilient forests, from cities to wilderness, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife.

View similar charities
African Wildlife Foundation  
Alaska Conservation Foundation  
Amazon Conservation Team  
American Bird Conservancy  
American Farmland Trust  
American Rivers  
Appalachian Mountain Club  
Arbor Day Foundation  
Center for Biological Diversity  
Chesapeake Bay Foundation  
Conservation Fund  
Conservation International Foundation  
Cousteau Society  
Defenders of Wildlife  
Ducks Unlimited  
Earth Island Institute  
Environmental Defense Action Fund  
Environmental Defense Fund  
Environmental Working Group  
Friends of the Earth  
Gaia-Movement Living Earth Green World Action USA  
Global Green USA  
Green America  
Greenpeace Fund  
Izaak Walton League of America (National Office)  
Keep America Beautiful (National Office)  
League of Conservation Voters  
League of Conservation Voters Education Fund  
National Audubon Society  
National Forest Foundation  
National Park Foundation (NPF)  
National Park Trust  
National Parks Conservation Association  
National Wildlife Federation  
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)  
Nature Conservancy  
NRDC Action Fund  
Ocean Conservancy  
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy  
Rainforest Action Network  
Rainforest Alliance  
Resources for the Future  
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation  
Save the Redwoods League  
Sierra Club  
Sierra Club Foundation  
Solar Cookers International (SCI)  
Southern Environmental Law Center  
Student Conservation Association  
The Wilderness Society  
Trout Unlimited (National Office)  
Trust for Public Land  
Union of Concerned Scientists  
Waterkeeper Alliance  
World Resources Institute  
World Wildlife Fund  
Yosemite Conservancy  
Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 09/30/2023

Program Percentage: 87%

The percentage of American Forests's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $14

How many dollars American Forests spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
American Forests Audited Financial Statements 53-0196544
American Forests IRS Form 990 53-0196544
Entity: American Forests
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 53-0196544
Entity: American Forests
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 53-0196544

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
This charity is Top-Rated
What does it mean to be Top-Rated?
American Forests
meets governance benchmarks.
American Forests
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy Opt-Out Policy  

  Name Title Compensation
1 James Daley President / CEO $430,290
2 Peter Hutchins Chief Operating Officer $265,778
3 Rebecca Turner Chief Strategy Officer $263,344
Name: James Daley
Title: President / CEO
Compensation: $430,290
Name: Peter Hutchins
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Compensation: $265,778
Name: Rebecca Turner
Title: Chief Strategy Officer
Compensation: $263,344

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.

According to the American Forests (AF) audit of September 30, 2023 (Note 15, Results of Operations):

"During the year ended September 30, 2023, AF experienced a net operating loss of $1,197,901, reducing the net assets balance to $13,037,363 at September 30, 2023. AF's total net assets remains positive; however, the loss is mainly recognized in the net assets without donor restrictions, resulting in a net deficit in net assets without donor restrictions of $1,509,948 at September 30, 2023. AF's net assets with donor restrictions at September 30, 2023 retain a positive balance, and management continues to adhere to proper spending on the restricted funds. As AF continues to grow and expand its sources of revenue, it is expected to rebuild all of its reserves in future years to positive levels of reserves and net asset balances. The financial statements do not include any adjustments that may be necessary if AF is unable to continue as a going concern."

According to the American Forests tax filing for the fiscal year-ended September 30, 2023, American Forests reports re: Compensation, Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, and Highest Compensated Employees (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part II):

American Forests reports providing "bonus and incentive compensation" to one individual in the fiscal year-ended September 30, 2023:

Rekha Patricio, VP, Marketing & Communications, received $10,000 with total reported compensation of $252,131.

According to the American Forests (AF) audit of September 30, 2023 (Note 2 re: Revenue Recognition, Revenue Accounted for in Accordance with Contribution Accounting):

"...Contributed services principally consist of legal, web hosting, membership, and restoration planning services, and totaled $0 and $68,780 for the years ended September 30, 2023, and 2022, respectively.

In addition, AF was awarded a grant for free online advertising services. These services are valued at fair market value and are recognized in contributions revenue and advertising expenses. The total value of donated advertising services was $166,767 and $156,015 for the years ended September 30, 2023, and 2022, respectively."

[Note: CharityWatch generally excludes the value of in-kind (non-cash) donations of goods and services from its calculations of Program % and Cost to Raise $100. More information on how grades are calculated and the treatment of in-kind donations can be found on the Our Process page.]

According to the American Forests (AF) audit of September 30, 2023 (Note 13, Commitments and Contingencies, Employment Agreement):

"AF has a signed employment agreement with the President and Chief Executive Officer that contains terms that require a severance payment upon the occurrence of certain contractual events."

According to the American Forests (AF) audit of September 30, 2023 (Note 4, Concentrations of Risk, Revenue Risk):

"AF received a substantial portion of its revenue and support from two sources during the year ended September 30, 2023, which represented 29% of AF's total revenue and support. There was no revenue concentration in sources for the year ended September 30, 2022."

Related External Articles