World Wildlife Fund, Inc.

aka WWF-US   |   Washington, DC   |


The world's leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and millions globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. WWF works to conserve the world's most important forests to sustain nature's diversity, benefit our climate, and support human well-being Safeguard healthy oceans and marine livelihoods Secure water for people and nature Protect the worlds most important species Drive sustainable food systems to conserve nature and feed humanity Create a climate-resilient and zero-carbon world, powered by renewable energy

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Mr. Carter Roberts

Main address

1250 24th St NW

Washington, DC 20037 USA

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NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

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

We live in an age of rapid and unprecedented planetary change. Many scientists believe our consumption of the planet’s resources is driving a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. The products we consume and the supply chains behind them have myriad impacts on the world around us. Biodiversity continues to decline due in large part to factors like agriculture, land conversion, and overexploitation of species. A recent assessment found that only a quarter of the land on Earth is substantively free of the impacts of human activities. Marine and freshwater ecosystems are the source of life for all humans, yet they face huge pressures including habitat modification, fragmentation, and destruction; invasive species; overfishing; pollution; disease; and climate change. Without a dramatic move beyond a “business as usual” approach, the stark decline of natural systems that support our planet’s biodiversity and modern societies will continue, and impacts on people and nature could be severe

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 Programs

WWF works to conserve 19 of the world's most important ecosystems for the benefit of both the species and people who live there. We protect wildlife, preserve habitats and empower people to conserve resources while improving their livelihoods. We do this by partnering with governments, scientists and local communities to establish and manage protected areas, reduce threats such as poaching and habitat conversion, and influence national and local policies to improve biodiversity on the ground.

Population(s) Served

WWF partners with corporations, government agencies, NGOs, universities and research institutes to reduce the impact of the production and trade of commodities that most affect our conservation priorities. Our goal is to measurably reduce the most significant impacts of individual actors as well as entire industries.

Population(s) Served

WWF educates the American public through our Marketing and Public Relations Departments. We create and implement public relations programs, including events and earned media activities, to support WWF's mission and programs. Our Public Service announcements educate the mass market about our mission through print and broadcast media and we design and distribute communication materials to educate our supporters on overall mission, core programs, and results.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2019)

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Percent of spending directed to worldwide conservation

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In FY 2020, 83% of WWF spending was directed to worldwide conservation.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

WWF’s vision is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature. Our mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

We focus on six major goals in the areas of Climate, Freshwater, Forests, Oceans, Wildlife, and Food. We also seek to address three key drivers of environmental degradation: markets, finance, and poor governance. Together, these efforts propel coordinated approaches toward meeting our goals:

1. Climate: Ensure a climate-resilient and zero carbon world, powered by renewable energy.
2. Freshwater: Ensure the health of the world’s major basins is improving or maintained.
3. Forests: Conserve the world’s more important forests to sustain nature’s diversity, benefit our climate, and support human well-being.
4. Oceans: Ensure a resilient ocean sustains marine life and functioning ecosystems that support rich biodiversity, food security, and sustainable livelihoods.
5. Wildlife: Ensure the world’s most iconic species—including tigers, rhinos, and elephants—
are secured and recovering in the wild.
6. Food: Drive sustainable food systems to conserve nature and feed humanity.

By compounding the efforts in all six goal areas and working in partnership with foundations, governments, businesses, communities, individuals, and our more than six million supporters, WWF can conserve many of the world’s most ecologically important regions. To accomplish this, WWF aims to
• protect and restore species and their habitats
• strengthen local communities' ability to conserve the natural resources they depend upon
• transform markets and policies to reduce the impact of the production and consumption of commodities
• ensure that the value of nature is reflected in decisions made by individuals, communities, governments, and businesses
• mobilize hundreds of millions of people to support conservation

Current international commitments to protect nature do not match the scale of the threats our planet is facing. In 2021, world leaders will come together to set new goals for the Paris Climate Accord and to discuss a new framework for protecting nature within the UN Convention of Biological Diversity. We are asking them to set the necessary targets in 2021 to put us on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050 and stop the planet’s sixth mass extinction.

WWF is a global network of 60 closely aligned national organizations dedicated to protecting biodiversity, promoting sustainability, and reconciling the needs of people and nature. We work in more than 120 countries. As partners in a multinational network, WWF offices work with a local-to-global scope, combining field-based work and community engagement with cutting-edge science and policy interventions at the national and international levels. This allows us to address the complex challenges of conservation in the 21st century.

The ability to develop and sustain smart, creative partnerships—with local communities, national governments, other NGOs, corporations, universities, or multilateral institutions—is one of our hallmarks. As an international union of national organizations that are integral parts of their societies, WWF is able to see things from many different perspectives, to engage at multiple levels, and to work with varied interests toward solutions beyond the reach of any one group, one interest, or one sector alone. The strength of our globally known brand empowers this work as well.

Examples include our partnerships with the American Red Cross on green reconstruction in the wake of disasters; with CARE on sustainable development, poverty alleviation, and climate change adaptation in coastal East Africa; with The Coca-Cola Company on global freshwater conservation; with three nations in the Amazon on securing long-term funding to create new protected areas and keep existing protected areas intact; and with the World Bank and the tiger range states of Asia on tiger conservation.

WWF employs over 6,000 people and has more than 6 million supporters globally. Headquartered in Washington, DC, WWF-US is the largest partner in this network, with over 1 million members in the US and a global presence in its own right; we directly manage conservation program offices from the Arctic to the Amazon, and from the Northern Great Plains to Nepal.

WWF was founded in 1961 with a primary focus on species conservation. That remains central to our mission, but more than 50 years of field experience has taught us that conservation is as much or more about humans as it is about other species. If we want people to work for conservation, we must first make conservation work for them. That is the principle that guides our efforts across the globe.

WWF-US is working in partnership with others to conserve the world’s most important ecosystems by protecting species and their habitats; strengthening local communities’ ability to conserve natural resources; transforming markets and policies; and mobilizing millions to support conservation. Recent accomplishments include:

Mobilizing the Public to Prevent Future Pandemics: To help prevent the next pandemic, WWF launched a public-facing report which explained the key drivers for the emergence of zoonotic diseases; called on governments from across the globe to address high-risk wildlife trade to reduce the chance of another outbreak; brought together US Senators from both parties to call for US government action; and mobilized nearly 33,000 advocates.

Implementing New Social and Environmental Safeguards to Deliver Lasting Conservation Gains: Throughout FY2020 the global WWF Network began implementing an enhanced Environmental and Social Safeguards Framework, which provides an institutional mechanism to manage the environmental and social risks of WWF’s work, helps deliver better conservation outcomes, and enhances the social well-being of local communities in the places where WWF operates.

Finding Bison a New Home with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe: WWF partnered with REDCO, the economic arm of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe; and Rosebud Tribal Land Enterprise; to secure nearly 28,000 acres for what will become North America’s largest Native-owned and managed bison herd.

Engaging Companies on the Plastic Waste crisis: WWF is partnering with the world’s largest companies to redesign how we source, use and dispose of plastic through our recently launched ReSource: Plastic program that aims to prevent 50 million tons of plastic waste by 2030.

Advancing New Standards for Global Seafood Traceability: In 2020, WWF released the first-ever global standards for tracking seafood products from source to sale. So far more than 40 brands have committed to begin implementing these standards.

Supporting Community Conservancies in Namibia: In Namibia, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted community livelihoods and wildlife conservation efforts. WWF-Namibia, which is managed by WWF-US, collaborated with the Namibian government to develop a fund to provide immediate financial relief to Namibian conservancies affected by COVID-19.

Supporting Communities and Wildlife in Response to Climate-Driven Wildfires: In response to wildfires in the Amazon rainforest and Australia, WWF-US raised nearly $9 million USD to support frontline efforts aimed at helping people and wildlife recover from the fires and preventing future fire outbreaks.

Driving Subnational Climate Action: WWF-US works with businesses, states, universities and others to accelerate climate action. In 2019, we helped bring 70 business leaders, governors, and others to the to the COP25 conference as part of the "We Are Still In" initiative focused on demonstrating that the US remains committed to climate action.


World Wildlife Fund, Inc.

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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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World Wildlife Fund, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 5/3/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Pamela Matson

Goldman Professor in Environmental Studies and Senior Fellow at Woods Institute, Stanford University

Robert Litterman

Kepos Capital

Tammy Crown

Former Vice President of Strategy, Charles Schwab and Company

John Sall

Executive Vice President and co-founder, SAS Institute

Roger Sant

Co-Founder, The AES Corporation

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? Not applicable
  • 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 04/29/2020

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


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/29/2020

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

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.