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National Audubon Society

CharityWatch report issued
October 2018

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

National Audubon Society
225 Varick St.
7th Floor
New York, NY 10014

Other Names


Tax Status




Stated Mission

Saves birds and their habitats throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, community engagement, and on-the-ground conservation.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 06/30/2017

Program Percentage: 76%

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


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $24

How many dollars National Audubon Society spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Joint Costs

National Audubon Society's rating was adjusted for Joint Costs. If you are a donor who considers direct mail, telemarketing, and other Joint Cost solicitations to be true charitable programs, the below efficiency ratios, which were not adjusted for joint costs, may better reflect your goals.

Program % Cost to Raise $100
82% $17
Accounting rules allow charities to report some telemarketing, direct mail, and other solicitation costs as Program expenses. CharityWatch believes that most donors do not consider a charity's solicitation activities to be the Programs they are intending to support with their donations. We therefore adjust such expenses out of a charity's reported Program expense and add it to Fundraising expense prior to calculating its rating.

Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
National Audubon Society IRS Form 990 13-1624102
National Audubon Society Audited Consolidated Financial Statements Multiple
Entity: National Audubon Society
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 13-1624102
Entity: National Audubon Society
Document Type: Audited Consolidated Financial Statements
Tax ID: Multiple

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?
National Audubon Society
meets governance benchmarks.
National Audubon Society
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-In Policy  

  Name Title Compensation
1 David Yarnold President/CEO $617,905
2 David O'Neill Chief Conservation Officer $321,002
3 Jose M. Carbonell Chief Marketing Officer $320,333
Name: David Yarnold
Title: President/CEO
Compensation: $617,905
Name: David O'Neill
Title: Chief Conservation Officer
Compensation: $321,002
Name: Jose M. Carbonell
Title: Chief Marketing Officer
Compensation: $320,333

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 National Audubon Society consolidated audit of June 30, 2017 (Note 1, Organization and Nature of Activities):

"Audubon is a powerful distributed network of 23 state and regional offices, 41 nature centers, 23 sanctuaries, 454 independent chapters, and international partners throughout the hemisphere, with the knowledge and authenticity to care for birds, and the places they need, in communities across the country..."

Audubon's 454 independent chapters throughout the United States are not included in its audited consolidated financial statements "since such chapters are independent organizations," according to Note 2 of Audubon's fiscal 2017 audit. As such, these 454 independent chapters are not included in CharityWatch's rating of National Audubon Society.

Also according to Note 1 of the Audubon fiscal 2017 consolidated audit:

"The [audited] consolidated financial statements of Audubon include the accounts of Audubon's wholly owned subsidiaries, National Audubon Society of Coastal Connecticut, Inc., National Audubon Society of Sharon, Inc., Lincoln Audubon Society, and The National Audubon Society of Greenwich, Inc. (collectively, the 'Subsidiaries'). The Subsidiaries hold land for the benefit and use of Audubon, and conduct no other business. The Subsidiaries had no income or expense for the fiscal years ended 2017 and 2016."
According to the National Audubon Society consolidated audit of June 30, 2017 (Note 9, Commitments and Contingencies):

"Audubon is in the process of developing and improving several nature centers, which are in various stages of completion. As of June 30, 2017 and 2016, Audubon had remaining commitments on construction and related agreements amounting to approximately $890,000 and $0, respectively."

"Audubon is invested in several limited partnerships under which Audubon is committed to make capital contributions in future periods totaling approximately $9,282,000 and $1,384,000 as of June 30, 2017 and 2016, respectively."
According to the National Audubon Society tax filing for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, Audubon reports re: Lobbying Activities (IRS Form 990, Schedule C, Part IV):

"Audubon's lobbying activities include meeting with government officials, distributing material through various media including e-mail to the general public on environmental issues and working with outside consultants to develop strategies to influence legislation. Audubon's lobbying activities substantially increased from the prior year due to its lobbying efforts in support of Initiative 732 in the state of Washington. Audubon spent $1.1 million to encourage voters to support Initiative 732, a state ballot measure that sought to reduce carbon pollution by imposing a carbon tax on fossil fuels."
According to the National Audubon Society tax filing for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2017, Audubon reports re: Compensation, Supplemental Information (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part III):

Regarding severance payments to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees (Schedule J, Part I, Line 4A):

"Anne Lieberman...received severance payments totaling $58,234 in 2016. This amount is reported on Schedule J, Part II, Column (B)(iii) [as 'Other reportable compensation']."

Anne Lieberman is reported as "Chief Development Officer," with total compensation of $279,305 in calendar year 2016 (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part II).

Regarding nonfixed payments to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees (Schedule J, Part I, Line 7):

"Annually, Audubon budgets a bonus pool for all employees (not just those individuals reported on the 990). Bonuses are awarded based on merit and can range from $500 to $100,000 depending on the discretion of Human Resources and senior management. No individual that receives a bonus has any input into the decision-making process on awarding bonuses.

"The President/CEO's bonus is determined by the Board of Directors and memorialized in Board minutes."

Audubon reports "Bonus & incentive compensation" payments in the following amounts to six individuals in calendar year 2016 (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part II):

(1) David Yarnold, President and CEO: $63,000, with reported total compensation of $617,905;
(2) David O'Neill, Chief Conservation Officer: $25,000, with reported total compensation of $321,002;
(3) Jose M. Carbonell, Chief Marketing Officer: $20,000, with reported total compensation of $320,333;
(4) Margaret Olsen, VP/Atlantic Flyway & Int'l Programs: $1,000, with reported total compensation of $239,033;
(5) David Ringer, Chief Network Officer: $10,000, with reported total compensation of $204,062;
(6) Gary M. Langham, VP and Chief Scientist: $2,500, with reported total compensation of $251,401.

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