National Wildlife Federation

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Founded in 1936 by editorial cartoonist Jay Norwood Darling a.k.a. “Ding” Darling, the National Wildlife Federation has emerged as the nation’s premiere grass-roots conservation organization, with over 4 million members and supporters and 46 state affiliate organizations.

NWF was founded when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt convened the first North American Wildlife Conference to stimulate public interest in the management and development of America’s natural resources. Even then, America’s land, water and wildlife were threatened. Recognizing the link between the people’s health, the environment, and our quality of life, conference participants set out to protect them all. They understood that it would take millions of informed, motivated people to do the job. So the General Wildlife Federation (later changed to National Wildlife Federation) was founded, with a central mission of educating and empowering people to make a difference.

Nearly 60 years later, NWF’s primary focus remains education. Books, magazines and hands-on nature programs seek to provide information and inspiration linking children and families back to nature and showing them how to protect it.

“The National Wildlife Federation is the largest environmental group on the planet, with nearly 5 million members. It represents the old guard of the conservative establishment, including many hunting, fishing and gun clubs sustained by a history of racism. For decades, the group was largely funded through the sale of wildlife stamps. Through the ’80s and early ’90s, the federation was dominated by its CEO, Jay Hair, who had a passion for limousines, expensive travel budgets, swank office furnishings and deal-making. The group has invited corporate chieftains, including Dean Buntrock of Waste Management Inc., to join its board of directors. It’s the favorite charity of John Denver and big oil companies, including Arco, Chevron and Mobil.

Budget: $80 million Staff: 600Members: 5 million CEO salary: More than $180,000 including benefits.” [1]

Funding (Fiscal 2005)

“In fiscal 2005, National Wildlife Federation revenues totaled $122 million, with 84 percent coming from supporters through memberships, publications and sales of nature education materials. Nearly $38 million in donations, grants and bequests came from generous individual supporters including members, Guardians of the Wild, Leaders Club, Heralds of Nature, Regents of Nature donors and members of our estate planning program, Rara Avis Society. â??

â??Foundations and corporations provided support for National Wildlife Federationâ??s conservation and education programs totaling $5 million. Major foundation grants were awarded by The McKnight Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The Wege Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.â?

Revenues generated by National Wildlife Federation’s publications and films totaled $21 million, and sales of nature education materials produced $45 million. Realized investment gains totaled $8 million and royalties and other income yielded the remaining $6 million.â? [2]

In 2008 there biggest and only funder giving them over $1 million was the Walton Family Foundation. [3]

Affiliated organisations



Presidents Advisory Council


John and Anne Rainey]]

Contact details

National Wildlife Federation
11100 Wildlife Center Drive
Reston, VA 20190-5362

SourceWatch Resources

External links