Arts, Culture, and Humanities


Saving the world's most treasured places

aka WMF   |   New York, NY   |


To preserve the world's architectural heritage of significant monuments, buildings and sites.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Bénédicte de Montlaur

Main address

350 Fifth Avenue Suite 2412

New York, NY 10118 USA

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Cause area (NTEE code) info

Other Art, Culture, Humanities Organizations/Services N.E.C. (A99)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Today, sites of cultural heritage face a multitude of threats—from human conflict, natural disaster, and climate change to economic and social forces that deprive them of the resources they need to endure and thrive. To respond to these challenges, which are only increasing and will remain for generations to come, World Monuments Fund aims to empower global communities to safeguard, conserve, and steward their cultural heritage.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Field Projects

Conservation Projects

Population(s) Served


Population(s) Served

Where we work


Charity Navigator 2012

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2011

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

World Monuments Fund uses heritage conservation to drive positive social change in communities around the world. By maximizing the social and economic benefits of conservation, we help develop sustainable communities to ensure their long-term success. Specifically, our goals are to: 1) build community resiliency; 2) create economic opportunity; 3) strengthen social bonds and cultural memory; and 4) promote mutual understanding across boundaries and borders. This framework helps us identify projects with the greatest need and potential, ensuring that we can meaningfully contribute to the communities where we work.

World Monuments Fund uses a range of interventions at cultural heritage sites, from research and advocacy campaigns to training and on-site conservation treatments. We collaborate with local partners—including community groups, government agencies, and charitable organizations—to provide financial and technical support using innovative and proven techniques in preservation, helping to build capacity for long-term stewardship.<br/><br/>Our priority initiatives reflect the breadth of conservation needs and opportunities worldwide. World Monuments Watch is our signature, biennial program that lifts grassroots preservation initiatives to a global stage. Since its launch in 1996, the Watch has highlighted the critical conservation needs of 814 cultural heritage sites in 130 countries and territories, and has mobilized $350 million in investment for protection and conservation. The program, which was launched as a call-to-action for imperiled places, has repeatedly demonstrated the power of heritage conservation to catalyze social change. The Watch has led to the majority of our long-term conservation efforts around the world, with two-thirds of our projects developing from the program.<br/><br/>Some of these renowned, large-scale conservation projects include our ongoing work at Ishtar Gate in Babylon, Iraq and at Chankillo Archaeological Site in Casma, Peru. These are multi-year projects that invest in building local capacity to ensure the long-term sustainability of communities and their cultural heritage. To this end, many of our projects include conservation training for local residents. Of note are our current programs in Jordan, Ethiopia, China, and New York City that teach preservation skills and crafts—generating a skilled workforce to address current and future conservation needs.

The breadth of our activities—including research, advocacy, conservation planning, training, site interpretation, on-site conservation interventions, and more—help create transformative economic, educational, and cultural resources for their communities. These activities have a high return on investment because they build community interest and grassroots advocacy, spur public and private investment, promote resiliency, and develop local capacity for sustainable stewardship. Outcomes at previous World Monuments Fund sites include: new government regulation for increased site protection, environmental sustainability, leveraged funds and resources, workforce training and job creation, improved tourism management, and increased community engagement.<br/><br/>Headquartered in New York City, World Monuments Fund employs 30 professionals and has offices and affiliates in Britain, India, Peru, Portugal, and Spain. Our team has been recognized as some of the brightest and most capable minds in heritage conservation, and we work with up to 200 consulting conservators worldwide. Nearly all of these individuals are locally-based to build in-country capacity and local workforce management.

At World Monuments Fund, our work is designed to be responsive to the places and communities where we work. Success will be measured by the following metrics: 1) continued progress at long-term conservation projects against our projected timelines and benchmarks; 2) number of Watch sites—from the 2018 program as well as earlier cohorts—where we are able to make meaningful investments and deliver significant outcomes; and 3) the number of participants who successfully complete our conservation training programs in NYC, Jordan, Iraq, Ethiopia, and China, their skills gained, and job placements and career outcomes.<br/><br/>One of our institutional priorities for 2018 and beyond is to develop robust tools and methods for program evaluation at all Watch sites. This process is underway and will continue to develop. Presently, our metrics for measuring positive change for Watch sites are: 1) improved site management; 2) leveraged funds raised; 3) improved visitor interpretation and experience; and 4) increased legal protections.

Since our founding in 1965, World Monuments Fund has worked on over 600 projects in more than 120 countries and territories, spanning the monumental temples of Angkor in Cambodia to the historic neighborhoods of New Orleans damaged in Hurricane Katrina. In addition to investing $250 million in heritage conservation, our work has helped leverage $400 million in additional investment from other agencies. In a typical year, WMF's work employs more than 500 people worldwide.<br/><br/>Launched in 1996, World Monuments Watch is our central programmatic approach to delivering social and economic impacts through heritage conservation. To accomplish this at all Watch sites in each two-year program cycle, we will make key investments in the program in the coming years. This includes extending our reach through enhanced network development for Watch nominations, which will enable us select sites that are geographically diverse and align with our social impact goals. We will invest in our digital communications to support grassroots advocacy work. We will also conduct program evaluation to better understand and measure our impact. At the same time, we are expanding our public programming in New York City to build our audience and engage the public with heritage conservation issues.<br/><br/>In the coming years, we will continue to advance our long-term legacy projects across the world. At Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap, Cambodia, we will continue to train local conservators and conduct documentation at major temples in this complex. At Chankillo Archaeological Site in Casma, Peru, we will develop a site management plan and stabilize the 13 earthen towers of this ancient solar observatory. We also have ongoing projects in China, Thailand, India, Egypt, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Spain, France, and more than a dozen additional countries.<br/><br/>To continue building local capacity for heritage conservation worldwide, World Monuments Fund will run training programs—both at our long-term conservation projects and select other locations. In response to the ongoing war in Syria—which has created innumerable threats to communities and their heritage sites--we are running an 18-month conservation training program in Jordan for Syrian refugees and Jordanian citizens. The program teaches stonemasonry skills, which will be essential to restoring Syria's damaged cultural sites. We are also expanding World Monuments Fund's Bridge to Crafts Careers program in 2018, which is our in-depth preservation program for low-income New York City youth that teaches stonemasonry skills and has resulted in job placements for nearly all participants.



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Board of directors
as of 11/4/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lorna Goodman

No Affiliation

Peter Kimmeiman

Brook Berlind

Mica Ertegun

Amyn Khan

Bernard Selz

Marliyn Perry

Nancy Negley

Roberto Ramirez

Mark Fletcher

Vijay Amand

Linn Fiedelson

Fernand Kellogg

Deborah Lehr

Heather Lenkin

Monika Mclennan

Juan Molyneux

Jacqueline Sackler

Annabelle Selldorf

Melissa Stewart

Marchesa Theodoli

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable