Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth strives for a more healthy and just world.

Washington, DC   |  http://www.foe.org

Mission

Friends of the Earth works to defend the environment and champion a more healthy and just world. Through our history, we have provided crucial leadership in campaigns resulting in landmark environmental laws, precedent-setting legal victories and groundbreaking reforms of domestic and international regulatory, corporate and financial institution policies. To accomplish our mission, we work at the nexus of environmental protection, economic policy and social justice to fundamentally transform the way our country and the world value people and the environment. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, ensuring the food we eat and products we use are sustainable and safe, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.

Ruling year info

1974

President

Mr. Erich Pica

Main address

1101 15th Street NW 11th Floor

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-7420660

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (Q01)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Friends of the Earth works to defend the environment and champion a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, ensuring the food we eat and products we use are sustainable and safe for our health and the environment, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them. Friends of the Earth envisions a world where we live within the ability of the planet to sustain life, and in which all people live with dignity, health, and equity.

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?

Climate & Energy

Our Climate & Energy program works to keep fossil fuels in the ground on federal lands and waters; to phase out our use of dangerous nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon and Indian Point, and to completely replace them with renewable energy, energy efficiency and storage and to end federal incentives for the production of fossil fuels.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Our Economic Policy program works to create a more environmentally sustainable and socially just world by transforming financial and economic systems, redirecting tax policies and public spending to make polluters pay for the costs of their pollution, and driving the transition to a cleaner, low-carbon economy. We advocate for policies that minimize environmental and social harm and fund a brighter future.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Our Food & Technology program works to ensure our food system sustainable and just, and convince corporations and governments to embrace the safe and precautionary management of chemicals and emerging technologies—including nanotechnology and synthetic biology, which are appearing in more consumer products such as food, cosmetics and sunscreens each year. We are saving the bees through market intervention and working to change the way we practice animal agriculture.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Our Oceans & Vessels program works to protect coastal communities and marine life from harmful vessel air pollution, greenhouse gases, and the sewage, oil, and other water pollutants discharged from cruise ships, cargo ships, oil tankers, and ferries. In the Arctic, we are working to create a protective zone in the Arctic to help preserve the Arctic Ocean from vessel pollution and other vessel impacts.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

We believe that environmental crisis, as well as widespread social injustice, are both intertwined symptoms of flawed ideological, economic and political systems that are violating peoples' rights, perpetuating oppression, failing to meet the needs of people and destroying the planet. So it is not enough to only campaign to end environmental harms without addressing what is causing those harms, nor is it enough to win small victories while we lose our planet, or large swaths of humanity, in the process.

To achieve deeper and lasting change, we must work on a systemic level to transform the rules, incentives, and practices of the economic and financial system so that resources are directed and wealth is created in ways that promote well-being and are ecologically restorative, equitable and socially just. At the same time, we must advance forms of political and economic decision-making that are fair, democratic and uphold peoples' rights.

Our Climate & Energy program works to stop the extraction of fossil fuels on public lands and waters, to phase out our use of dangerous nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon and Indian Point and replace them with renewable energy, and to end federal incentives for the production of fossil fuels. We promote conservation and clean energy — including wind, solar and geothermal power — and fight to end our unhealthy dependence on dirty sources including coal, oil, nuclear and biofuels.

Our Economic Policy program works to create a more environmentally sustainable and socially just world by transforming financial systems, redirecting tax policies and public spending to make polluters pay for the costs of their pollution, and driving the transition to a cleaner, low-carbon economy. When they put their money to good use, investors (both private and public) have tremendous power to push toward a renewable and equitable future. But when they invest in coal, palm oil, or other destructive industries, they drive environmental and social harm.

Our Food & Technology program works to ensure that our food system is sustainable and just, and to convince corporations and governments to embrace the safe and precautionary management of chemicals and emerging technologies—including nanotechnology and synthetic biology. We are saving bees and other pollinators through market intervention to stop the use of bee-killing neonic pesticides and we are working to make the animal agriculture industry more sustainable.

Our Oceans & Vessels program works to protect coastal communities and marine life from harmful vessel air pollution, greenhouse gases, and the sewage, oil, and other water pollutants discharged from cruise ships, cargo ships, oil tankers and ferries. In the Arctic, we are working to create a protective zone to help preserve the Arctic Ocean from vessel pollution and other vessel impacts.

Friends of the Earth's organizational strategies are as follows:

1. Organize to build long term political power

• In order to achieve deeper system change, Friends of the Earth will broaden and deepen our base, and collaborate with broader movements to build long-term political power. This will require a massive increase in people power – and far more than just the environmental movement – to overcome the dominant interests which established, entrench and benefit from the economic and political status quo.

• We will seek to cultivate, engage and grow our activist base from the bottom up; be more strategic in where we build power, and how we transfer power from one fight to another.

• We will run campaigns that work in partnership with organizations engaged in diverse struggles for justice, with an eye towards building progressive power.

• We will design campaigns that, even if we lose in short-term, build the political strength needed to win in the long term.

2. Be a bold and fearless voice

• The severity of our environmental and social crises demands that we be bold in what we stand and fight against and what we stand and fight for. Building political power isn't enough. Without broadly shared political analysis of what's not working, what needs to be fixed, and how, we won't get the progressive systemic change we need.

• We will be a moral voice, standing up for what is right, not just what is easy or politically possible. We will continue to say what needs to be said and advocate for what needs to be done, to challenge our peers and decision makers.

3. Design and win campaigns that build towards larger systemic transformation

• In order to fundamentally transform our economic and political systems, we need to win smaller, strategic reforms that feed into systemic, radical changes. Our intertwined social and environmental crises may eventually force our political and economic systems to a breaking point. As a campaigning organization, our role is to find the sweet spot between winning short- and medium-term victories and laying the foundation for the broader systemic reforms we need.

• We will campaign directly to change the “rules of the game" (e.g. trade, campaign finance, tax policy) that institutionalize oppression, and/or privilege corporations at the expense of ordinary people and harm the environment.

• We will design issue campaigns to win concrete environmental and social gains, while weakening and displacing – not just talking about -- some of the most egregious, corporate-privileging elements of our political and economic system.

• We will mount inspiring campaigns designed to point the way towards alternatives, and that model some of the new political-economic structures and systems needed in order to bring about deeper transformation.

Friends of the Earth, founded by David Brower in 1969, is the U.S. voice of the world's largest federation of grassroots environmental groups, with a presence in 75 countries. Friends of the Earth works to defend the environment and champion a more healthy and just world. To accomplish our mission, Friends of the Earth works at the nexus of environmental protection, economic policy and social justice to fundamentally transform the way our country and the world value people and the environment. This work is carried out by our staff in our Berkeley, California and Washington, D.C. offices. We are supported in this work by more than one million members, online supporters and activists.

Throughout our nearly 50-year history, Friends of the Earth has often been a pioneer among environmental groups, tackling issues before they become mainstream. Whether it is the presence of nanoparticles in our food, poorly regulated pollution from cruise ships, or bringing about and winning the nation's first climate lawsuit at the Supreme Court, Friends of the Earth stands out in our willingness to be the first to act, and then to recruit others to act alongside us.

Friends of the Earth has worked to address both the symptoms and the root causes of social and environmental problems. Our founder, David Brower, sought to create an environmental organization that stood its ground against all odds. We have provided crucial leadership in campaigns resulting in landmark environmental laws, precedent-setting legal victories and groundbreaking reforms of domestic and international regulatory, corporate and financial institution policies.

At Friends of the Earth, we have reoriented our strategy to meet each new decade of environmental challenges. For example, in recent years we've incorporated a greater focus on social justice, as the fight to safeguard the planet is intrinsically connected to the global struggle for social and economic justice. We are building our political power through grassroots organizing in diverse communities and intersectional alliances with leaders in other movements to diversify our membership and engage other environmental organizations.

1971: we led and won the fight to stop federal funding for the highly polluting Super Sonic Transport commercial airliner.

1981: we played a crucial role in the successful campaign to impose a moratorium on leases for offshore oil drilling in pristine areas.

1990: we took the lead in passing the Oil Spill Pollution Act, requiring double hulls on oil tankers in the wake of the Exxon Valdez spill.

1992: our work with the Lower Elwha tribe in Washington State led to a federal law authorizing the removal of two dams that blocked historic salmon runs.

1999: We persuaded President Clinton to issue an executive order that requires the government to conduct environmental assessments of all future trade deals.

2002: we launched a campaign that has now led more than 1,000 companies to pledge to remove chemicals that harm human health from personal care products.

2003: we helped draft and pass California's Clean Cars Law – the first law regulating the emission of greenhouse gas pollutants from passenger vehicles.

2009: our lawsuit successfully pressured the federal Export-Import Bank to consider — for the first time — climate impacts before making its decisions.

2012: we achieved a ban on cruise ships dumping wastewater while docked at the Port of Seattle.

2013: thanks to our campaign against the GMO apple, McDonald's and Gerber have confirmed that they have no plans to sell or use it.

2013: we succeeded in our fight to stop Iowa from charging ratepayers in advance for the costs of building new nuclear reactors. MidAmerican, the company previously planning on building a reactor, instead announced a $1.9 billion investment in wind power.

2016: 80 major grocery store chains, including Safeway, Kroger and Whole Foods, have made commitments not to sell genetically engineered salmon.

2020: more than 156,000 Friends of the Earth activists succeeded in pressuring Dominion and Duke Energy to cancel the dirty Atlantic Coast Pipeline that would have polluted communities across four states.
December 2020: a years-long battle over the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska ended when a coalition that included Friends of the Earth successfully pushed the US Army Corps of Engineers to deny a permit for the project.

2021: after over a decade of grassroots opposition and legal battles by Friends of the Earth and others, the Keystone XL pipeline finally met its demise. Collectively, nearly 50,000 Friends of the Earth members sent comments to the State Department demanding it block the pipeline from moving forward.

2021: decades of science has clearly linked chlorpyrifos to brain damage in children, and it poses a threat to farmworkers and more than 1,200 endangered species. After tens of thousands of Friends of the Earth members wrote to the EPA demanding it ban this dangerous insecticide, the EPA finally acted and banned its use in food.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    As an advocacy organization working to reverse the climate crisis, address the health of our food system, and protect our oceans and forests, our work serves all the people of the world. The climate crisis in particular is already negatively impacting 85% of the world’s population and in the coming years no one will be immune from its impacts. We also have over 100,000 members. We work as advocates on their behalf through advocacy to local and federal decision-makers and through the court filings to enforce environmental laws.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Our members have demonstrated to us their concern about the impact of plastics on our oceans and marine life. In addition, coalition partners from underserved communities have raised alarms about the pollution that proposed expansions of plastic factories will have on communities of color located near proposed plants. In response we have begun a new campaign to push back on new plastic factories and the coalition has already had a major success with one plant in Louisiana being forced to do a full environmental impact assessment before being permitted.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Listening to partners in underserved communities, communities of colors and to our members has influenced how we allocate resources both internally and in assistance to partner groups. It also informs which new projects and policy changes we undertake and most importantly it changes how we work with communities and community members themselves centering community voices and experiences in the struggle. In this way their voices are affecting some of the most important decisions we make as an institution.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Friends of the Earth
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Friends of the Earth

Board of directors
as of 10/18/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Jayni Chase


Board co-chair

Mr. Jeffrey Glueck

Stealth Startup

Term: 2020 - 2023

Whitey Bluestein

Bluestein & Associates, LLC

David Zwick

Clean Water Action

Jayni Chase

Center for Environmental Education

Harriett Crosby

Institute for Soviet-American Relations

Arlie Schardt

Environmental Media Services

Doria Steedman

YELLOWBRICKROAD Communications

Michael Herz

San Francisco Baykeeper

Jeff Glueck

SkyFire

Dan Gabel

Hagedorn & Co.

Soroush Shehabi

Washington Life

Stephen Nemeth

Rhino Films

Cecil Corbin-Mark

WE ACT

Chris Pabon

Project On Government Oversight

Marc Zionts

No Affiliation

Chris Paine

Papercut Films

Judith Browne Dianis

Advancement Project

Chloe Maxmin

Divest Harvard

Arturo Garcia-Costas

New York Community Trust

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? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/18/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.