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Top Rated

Nature Conservancy

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

Nature Conservancy
4245 N. Fairfax Drive
Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203-1606

Other Names


Tax Status




Stated Mission

To conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 06/30/2018

Program Percentage: 75%

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


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $15

How many dollars Nature Conservancy 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
The Nature Conservancy Audited Consolidated Financial Statements Multiple
The Nature Conservancy IRS Form 990 53-0242652
Entity: The Nature Conservancy
Document Type: Audited Consolidated Financial Statements
Tax ID: Multiple
Entity: The Nature Conservancy
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 53-0242652

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?
Nature Conservancy
meets governance benchmarks.
Nature Conservancy
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 Mark R. Tercek President/CEO $818,838
2 Stephen C. Howell Past Chief Financial & Administrative Officer $785,410
3 Jim Asp Chief Development Officer $697,759
Name: Mark R. Tercek
Title: President/CEO
Compensation: $818,838
Name: Stephen C. Howell
Title: Past Chief Financial & Administrative Officer
Compensation: $785,410
Name: Jim Asp
Title: Chief Development Officer
Compensation: $697,759

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.
CharityWatch's rating of The Nature Conservancy includes the consolidated financial accounts of The Conservancy's national office in Arlington, VA, as well as its "chapters and affiliates, both domestic and international, including those which are separately incorporated, receive gifts, and perform conservation activities in the name of The Conservancy," as described in Note 2 of The Nature Conservancy consolidated audit of June 30, 2018. All significant intercompany transactions have been eliminated in the audit consolidation.

"The Conservancy conducts its activities throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific," according to Note 1 of the consolidated audit.
According to The Nature Conservancy consolidated audit of June 30, 2018 (Note 4, Contributions), The Conservancy received contributed goods and services in fiscal 2018 on which it placed a total value of approximately $31,628,000.

[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 Nature Conservancy consolidated audit of June 30, 2018 (Note 9, Related Party Transactions):

"...The Conservancy has an unsecured $10,000,000 zero-interest loan agreement payable in full in 2026 to a current Board member reflected in notes payable in the accompanying [audited] consolidated statement of financial position..."

According to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) tax filing for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018 (IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Part IV):

TNC reports for Business Transactions Involving Interested Persons, a transaction in the amount of $1,049,000 paid to Conata Ranch LLC, with which Board member, Vincent Ryan has a relationship. The transaction description includes: "TNC sold 1,660 acres of land..."
According to The Nature Conservancy consolidated audit of June 30, 2018 (Note 5, Commitments and Contingencies, Land acquisitions and other commitments):

"The Conservancy has entered into contracts for the purchase of land and other purchase commitments that have not closed as of June 30, 2018, in the amount of $116,385,000."
According to The Nature Conservancy tax filing for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, The Conservancy 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):

"Former Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Stephen C Howell, received a severance payment in the amount of $193,800."

The reported total compensation for Stephen C. Howell in calendar year 2017 is $785,409 (IRS Form 990, Part VII).

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