National Wildlife Federation

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Recognized as a top National Climate Change nonprofit in the following years:
Medal-big-2009
Medal-big-2012
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"Up" is the number of experts who agree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field. "Down" is the number of experts who disagree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in field.
National-wildlife-federation
Headquarters Location: Reston, VA 
Founded: 1936 


Mission: National Wildlife Federation® -- Inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.
Wildlife's ability to survive the challenges of the 21st century is becoming outpaced by the events that are transforming our world. Global warming, the loss of habitat, and people becoming more disconnected from nature than past generations are converging on a dangerous path for our planet. The work of NWF and our affiliates across the country provides answers to these challenges and will help ensure America's wildlife legacy continues for future generations.


Tags: 2012, national, climate change, habitat, oil, alternative energy, policy


National-wildlife-federation
Story: Development in floodplains puts people, wildlife and communities at risk. In the end, we all pay for it. Since 1990, the costs of flooding in Western Washington have been severe.

In 2003, National Wildlife Federation filed a lawsuit against FEMA… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) works to mitigate climate change impact on wildlife, wild places, and humans. They do this through research, technical assistance, advocacy, and civic engagement. Their technical assistance work has included developing guidance documents and training for nonprofits, and producing widely used assessment tools. NWF’s citizen-organizing work has included less formal activities like making their research accessible, and working to engage non-traditional allies such as sportsmen. They also have more formal activities like those done through their Campus Ecology program, which engages college students. NWF’s advocacy strategy is comprehensive. They engage various levels of government, the business community, and decision makers in 47 states. They also take a stand on issues affecting climate change outside of regulating greenhouse gas emissions, such as transportation and the BP oil spill.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
National-wildlife-federation Larry  Schweiger . Larry Schweiger is President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Wildlife Federation. He returned to the National Wildlife Federation in March 2004 with a commitment to confront the climate crisis and to protect wildlife for our children’s future. National Wildlife Federation is America’s most effective conservation organization, with 48 affiliates and more than four million members and supporters.

Previously,… See full bio.


Financial Data
Charity Navigator Rating: 3stars (profile)
Total Revenue:
$95,440,062


From the Nonprofit
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Contact Info
E-Mail:
Phone:
1-800-822-9919
Facebook:
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Address:
11100 Wildlife Center Drive
 
Reston, VA  20190 , USA
Twitter:
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National-wildlife-federation Story: Development in floodplains puts people, wildlife and communities at risk. In the end, we all pay for it. Since 1990, the costs of flooding in Western Washington have been severe.

In 2003, National Wildlife Federation filed a lawsuit against FEMA arguing that the National Flood Insurance Program is contributing to the extinction of salmon and orca in Puget Sound and therefore in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

Our legal victory led to the National Marine Fisheries Service issuing a "Biological Opinion" (also known as a BiOp) forcing FEMA to strengthen NFIP standards to prevent harm to critical habitat.

National Marine Fisheries Service scientists found that, "Development within the floodplain results in stream channelization, habitat instability, vegetation removal, and point and nonpoint source pollution all of which contribute to degraded salmon habitat."

By approving flood insurance for structures in floodplain areas, the National Marine Fisheries Service determined that the program is jeopardizing the survival of Puget Sound Chinook and steelhead, as well as Hood Canal summer-run chum salmon.

Because Chinook salmon are the primary food source for Puget Sound orca, the NFIP also jeopardizes their survival.

On September 22, 2011, the deadline for BiOp implementation passed, and it became clear that FEMA had failed to take the steps necessary to prevent harm to critical floodplain habitat.

Consequently, NWF sent FEMA notice of our intent to initiate legal action to compel the agency to obey the law and correct deficiencies in its National Flood Insurance Program.

In December 2011, National Wildlife Federation filled an official motion with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, to have a judge prevent FEMA from issuing federally-backed flood insurance policies for new development in risky flood-prone areas around Puget Sound.

Expert Reviews of National Wildlife Federation

Evidence of Impact Summary:

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) works to mitigate climate change impact on wildlife, wild places, and humans. They do this through research, technical assistance, advocacy, and civic engagement. Their technical assistance work has included developing guidance documents and training for nonprofits, and producing widely used assessment tools. NWF’s citizen-organizing work has included less formal activities like making their research accessible, and working to engage non-traditional allies such as sportsmen. They also have more formal activities like those done through their Campus Ecology program, which engages college students. NWF’s advocacy strategy is comprehensive. They engage various levels of government, the business community, and decision makers in 47 states. They also take a stand on issues affecting climate change outside of regulating greenhouse gas emissions, such as transportation and the BP oil spill.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has a strong understanding of how to collaborate with other organizations and of the importance of collaboration as a strategy for achieving long-term goals. Another strength that experts point out, is the fact that they engage so many tools for achieving the climate change. They are focused on the best way to achieve results, and have a clear understanding that many approaches will be necessary in that work. Experts also noted their strong programming, like their work on the vulnerability assessment process and the Campus Ecology program. NWF has led by example in terms of building staff teams, supporting coalition work, and keeping their focus on climate change.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

Because the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is a large organization, they face the challenge of remaining nimble and creating opportunities for meaningful engagement. NWF has done some great work connecting with the hunting and fishing community; they could expand and innovate their efforts in that area. In terms of strategy, experts would like to see the organization become more disciplined, integrate and leverage their separate areas of work, and shift attention to the state-level. They may want to also increase the prominence of their Campus Ecology program.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

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Show:
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Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
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Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
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Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Engaging Unlikely Allies

N
They help create progress on conservation issues with unusual allies, including hunters, environmentalists, and Republican legislators. They have helped facilitate progress on insurance reform, working with the insurance industry on climate issues; such as, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
N
Among the major national environmental NGOs, NWF has had some of the most extraordinary successes in mobilizing new partners outside the environmental community.

Energizing the Public

F
Campus Ecology, a project of the National Wildlife Federation, provides precise and focused support to college students who are addressing climate change on their campuses. Through fellowships, competitions, learning opportunities, and regional gatherings, Campus Ecology has woven a robust cadre of young leaders who are making a difference in their communities.
N
NWF has made a concerted effort in the past several years to bring its "hook and bullet" membership into the climate change discourse and advocacy. Also, in that time they have built a strong sustentative and political team on the issue that are respected on Capitol Hill and in the field. The have worked very hard to broaden the coalition or "tent" of folks, groups, and perspectives in support of action on climate change. Lastly, they have demonstrated leadership on advancing our collective efforts in a variety of ways.
F
Their impact is their effort to educate the public on climate change, and their policy outreach targeting expanded oil and gas infrastructure.

Comprehensive Advocacy Strategy

F
NWF has both state-based and national offices. They are one of the few D.C.-based organizations taking a particular advocacy stand on transportation issues. They are also active in the Midwest where coal is king. NWF has also measured outcomes by impact on factors affecting humans and wildlife. NWF's campus organizing is strong, with it being able to be specific about how many young people are engaged in its organizing efforts.
O
NWF worked very hard to pass climate legislation and utilized a variety of strategies to do so; including, their strong in-house science team, their presence on Capitol Hill, and their program staff. In addition, they were one of the few groups to highlight the BP oil spill in the Gulf.
N
NWF has worked at the policy, legislative, and grassroots level on climate change and its effects on wildlife and wild places. They have a robust Washington, D.C. policy staff coupled with 47 state grassroots affiliates that work at the state and national levels to bring about state and national policy changes.
N
They work widely on climate change mitigation and adaptation policy at the state and national level, and with a variety of decision makers to affect change.
N
Their impact is their work in policy, education, and debunking skeptics.

Technical Assistance

N
Their impact is in the process that they lead and the end result. They offer guidance on vulnerability assessments, which has been a widely used product by many organizations.
N
They are involved in leading adaptation activities all around the country. They were lead authors of an award-winning guidance document, Scanning the Conservation Horizon, and a key partner in the associated training that is helping get resource managers moving an effort around climate preparedness. They made climate change a core issue for a conservation organization, while others use the topic as window dressing.
N
They have credibility with agricultural issues, terrestrial carbon, advanced vehicle issues, and biomass emissions. They also have credibility with setting biofuel parameters so that they are actually low carbon fuels. Another piece of their impact is their work in establishing the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

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X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Strong Collaboration

N
The leadership is pleasant to work with and collaborative both with other nonprofits and external constituencies, such as private sector, insurance, and the religious community. They are viewed as a leader on natural resources adaptation issues.
N
They are a great collaborator with other adaptation experts. They help to ensure a great breadth of national coverage. NWF links from adaptation to mitigation well. The organization has done a great job of engaging federal agencies and partner organizations to develop conservation and climate friendly solutions.

Great Programs

F
The Campus Ecology staff is creative, dedicated, and very focused on impact. Julian Keniry, the Program Director, has years of experience working with campus administrators, faculty, and students, and uses it to bring out the best in everyone.
N
The process they led around the vulnerability assessment was broad and inclusive, and had excellent leadership from the climate change community, such as Patty Glick, Naomi Edelson, and Bruce Stein.

Exemplary Work

N
They have really led by example in the areas of building a staff, supporting and encouraging coalition efforts, and keeping the focus on climate change.

Multi-Dimensional Strategy

F
They have a strong presence in D.C., a good regional policy network, and the ability to engage sportsmen and sportswomen, especially in "red" states.
F
They are strong all around. They have a large membership and mobilization base. They also have good leadership that is responsive to long-term conservation goals.
N
They use a very strong combination of "inside game", direct access to policy makers, and "outside game", broad capacity to mobilize diverse communities. NWF has top-notch staff leadership, with first-rate skills and a strong moral compass.
N
NWF is unique in that it has 47 state affiliates who together work on climate issues. They have a strong presence in Washington, D.C. and a lot of their constituents are both Democrats and Republicans. They engage the hunting and fishing communities at the local, state, and national level. They have a CEO, Larry Schweigert, who is passionate and committed to climate change work.
N
Their staff appears to get out of Washington, D.C. more than other national organizations. They have a multi-level understanding of the challenges of moving the needle.

Strong Staff & Leadership

O
NWF is one of the only groups to still focus on environmental education at all age groups (Ranger Rick, etc). Research demonstrates that this is crucial if we are to educate the next generation of environmental leaders. Their CEO is a particularly strong leader and turned the organization around financially. He has one of the strongest management teams in the NGO world. NWF also has a strong state and regional presence, as well as a national office in the D.C. area.
N
They have strong staff and political outreach.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Better Leverage Collaborations

N
They could work more on realizing the full potential from the collaborations they engage in.

Highlight Campus Ecology

F
The Campus Ecology program could benefit from a higher profile within the National Wildlife Federation.

Improve Outreach

N
They should find new and more impactful ways to leverage the impact of their "hook and bullet" membership. Their approaches feel a bit stale at times. They should also leverage their educational programs and expertise in their advocacy work.
F
NWF needs to further strengthen engagement with hunting and fishing communities.

Manage Organizational Size

F
They operate large, complex programs and need to be sure to engage local partners in a meaningful way.
O
To point out an organizational challenge, NWF, because of its size, works hard not to be nimble.

Refine Strategy

N
They should expand their willingness to innovate and take risks, as well as step into a stronger leadership role within Green Group.
N
They could improve by working harder at the state level. Right now, Washington, D.C. is broke, and the ability to move national legislation is weak.
N
They may do better by being more disciplined in their work.


Leadership

National-wildlife-federation
Larry  Schweiger 
President and Chief Executive Officer
Larry Schweiger is President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Wildlife Federation. He returned to the National Wildlife Federation in March 2004 with a commitment to confront the climate crisis and to protect wildlife for our children’s future. National Wildlife Federation is America’s most effective conservation organization, with 48 affiliates and more than four million members and supporters.

Previously, Larry served for eight years as President and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, where he pioneered watershed restoration and promoted ecological research, land conservation and community outreach. Prior to that, Larry was the Executive Secretary of the Joint House/Senate Conservation Committee for the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs at National Wildlife Federation, and 1st Vice President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

In 2011 Larry was awarded the Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future Visionary Award for his leadership in raising awareness about the critical impacts of climate change throughout the world and commitment to employing clean energy solutions. He was selected as Pennsylvania’s Environmental Professional of the Year in 2002, Pittsburgher of the Year in 2000, and he received a Conservation Service Award from the Christian Environmental Association in September 1995.

Larry is married to Clara Schweiger and has three adult daughters, three sons-in-law, and three grandsons. Larry’s book on global warming and wildlife, released by Fulcrum Publishing in September 2009, Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth, was awarded First Prize for Non-Fiction by the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in 2011.

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