National Geographic Society

aka National Geographic   |   Washington, DC   |  http://www.nationalgeographic.org

Mission

The National Geographic Society uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.

Ruling year info

1938

CEO

Dr. Jill Tiefenthaler

Main address

1145 17th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20036 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

53-0193519

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (B12)

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

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

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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?

Explorer Programs

The National Geographic Explorers Program's groundbreaking discoveries fuel the kind of critical information, conservation initiatives, and compelling stories that are the trademark of the Society. NG’s Explorers Program encompasses Explorers-in-Residence, Emerging Explorers, and National Geographic Visiting Fellows, who span a range of interests and expertise from archeology and art to biology, mountaineering, and music.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Education Programs division works to help kids in K-12 classrooms explore the planet by improving geographic literacy through public policy, public engagement, grant-making, outreach programs, teacher training, and geography competitions.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Explorer Programs

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Society has chosen eight global changemakers as the latest class of Emerging Explorers who will transform their fields and further our understanding of our world and all that’s in it.

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.

The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. We support educators to ensure that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. We aspire to create a community of change, advancing key insights about our planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time. Our goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good.

National Geographic Society invests in the work of scientists, storytellers, conservationists, photographers, technologists, and educators at every stage of their career. The Society makes hundreds of small-scale grants each year in a variety of scientific disciplines, with particular focus on oceans, land, wildlife, human history and cultures, and human ingenuity. Our grantees are making breakthroughs on seven continents, across the ocean, and even in space. NGS also takes on multi-year, worldwide, explorer-led major initiatives. For instance, the Pristine Seas project, led by National Geographic explorer Enric Sala, has contributed to the protection of more than 6 million square kilometers of ocean. The Big Cats Initiative, founded by National Geographic explorers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, has invested in dozens of fieldwork projects that bring scientists together with communities to save lions, cheetahs, leopards, and other big cat species. NGS also supports a nationwide network of geography education alliances that train teachers to deliver world-class instruction in geography education.

The National Geographic Society has been seeking out and funding the most innovative and impactful scientific fieldwork since the organization made its first grant in 1890. Since that time NGS has supported more than 14,000 projects led by scientists, explorers, and conservationists around the world. Explorers like primatologist Jane Goodall, underwater archeologist Bob Ballard, oceanographer Sylvia Earle, and three generations of the Leakey family of paleoanthropologists have all received decades of funding from NGS for their important work. Through National Geographic's award-winning media, the organization tells the stories of these remarkable explorers to inspire people everywhere. National Geographic Partners, the Society's sister organization and a commercial and multiplatform media entity, reaches a global audience of 750 million through National Geographic magazine, the National Geographic Channels, books, documentary films, a website, radio programming, and more. The dynamic combination of direct funding to world-leading scientists and explorers coupled with global media reach makes the Society uniquely positioned to take on many of our planet's most pressing challenges.

Our world is an amazing and diverse place that continues to surprise us. Humans have explored less than ten percent of the ocean. We do not know how many species there are on our planet. Exploration will always be valuable and will never truly be over. For example, the Pristine Seas project has contributed to the protection of more than 6 million square kilometers of ocean. Also, explorer and paleoanthropologist Lee Berger's discovery of Homo naledi adds a new human ancestor to our family tree, inspiring people around the world to consider what it means to be human. But this discovery came from fossils in just one square yard of a vast cave system that has yet to be excavated. Additionally, explorer Steve Boyes completed a nearly 2,500-kilometer, 120-day journey through Africa's Okavango River system. Now he must use the trove of scientific data and stunning images his team collected to demonstrate the area's importance to the health of the people and wildlife that call it home and work to establish the protected areas that will safeguard this critical wilderness for the long-term.

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

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

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

    To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff,

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

National Geographic Society
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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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.

National Geographic Society

Board of directors
as of 7/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Jean Case

National Geographic Society

Term: 2016 -

Alexandra Grosvenor Eller

M.D.

George Munoz

Munoz Investment Banking Group, LLC

Edward Roski

Majestic Realty

Tracy Wolstencroft

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Jean Case

The Case Foundation

Katherine Bradley

Brendan Bechtel

Afsaneh Beschloss

Angel Cabrera

Elizabeth Comstock

Jack Dangermond

Joseph DeSimone

Jane Lubchenco

Kevin Maroni

Strive Masiyiwa

Mark Moore

Nancy Pfund

Lyndon Rive

Frederick Ryan, Jr.

Rajiv Shah

Ellen Stofan

Anthony Williams

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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/26/2021

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
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/12/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • 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 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 help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • 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.