Dogwood Alliance, Inc.

Our Forests. Our Strength.

aka Dogwood Alliance   |   Asheville, NC   |


For over 20 years, Dogwood Alliance has worked with diverse communities, partner organizations and decision-makers to protect Southern forests across 14 states. We do this through community and grassroots organizing, holding corporations and governments accountable and working to conserve millions of acres of Southern forests.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Ms. Danna Smith

Main address

PO Box 7645

Asheville, NC 28802 USA

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NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Forest Conservation (C36)

IRS filing requirement

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Paper production currently is the single largest threat to Southern forests. When forests are destroyed or converted to monoculture (pine plantations) for large-scale, short-term paper production, all of the forest benefits disappear, and both the forest and the surrounding communities are greatly harmed. The same is true when forests are harvested to burn for bioenergy, another serious threat. As a result of activities like these, many areas of the South are now home to endangered forests.

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?

Forests & Climate Program

The Paris Climate Agreement gave the world a charge: decarbonize all energy sectors and simultaneously remove carbon dioxide from the air. The best and most cost-effective technology we have to remove carbon from our atmosphere right now lies in the power of forests. Standing forests are the natural life support that we need to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change and protect those most profoundly impacted, often low income communities and people of color. Logging in the US releases large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere while simultaneously degrading the nation's forests ability to provide critical climate benefits.

Despite these facts, forest protection continues to remain on the sidelines of the national climate agenda and renewable energy policy in the US. Dogwood Alliance's new forest and climate program is designed to shift this dynamic, by elevating the current climate justice threats posed by biomass and building support for forest protection as a national climate justice priority.

In 2019 Dogwood Alliance rose to become the go-to leader working at the intersection of forests, climate and justice. Our focus on deepening partnerships created opportunities to influence policy and policy makers at the state and national level--both to protect standing forests and oppose industrial biomass as a renewable energy pathway.

The drafters of the Green New Deal reached out to Dogwood Alliance for input on forest protection language in the resolution introduced in the House and Senate.

Early in 2019, Georgia Senator Lester Jackson introduced #Stand4Forests Resolution SR108, calling on forest protection and against industrial biomass in the state. After gaining traction and a half-dozen co-sponsors, Rep. Carl Gilliard (D) agreed to introduce a companion resolution in the Georgia House. At the end of the year, the resolution has bipartisan support and the backing of the entire Economic and Development Committee. Both resolutions will go to committee in Q1 2020.

Furthermore, Dogwood Alliance partnered with the Center for Sustainable Economy to release "Climate Impacts of Industrial Forest Practices in North Carolina." The report was sent to over 100 elected official targets in the US and overseas and generated significant industry response. Garnering significant media attention, the report was featured in an article in The New Scientist.

The report itself reveals that logging in North Carolina is the third highest carbon emitting sector, just behind electricity and transportation for the state.

Other notable leadership opportunities and actions included speaking at several youth-led Climate rallies, helping organize Al Gore's Climate Reality Project in Georgia which highlighted the importance of forests for the first time, and hosting two regional gatherings for frontline community members at the intersection of forests and climate in the Southern US to network and explore economic solutions (FOREST Circle).

Executive Director, Danna Smith, was the keynote speaker at Rachel's Network conference--a women's philanthropy group inspired by Rachel Carson and later in December was awarded a justice partnership award from the NAACP Chapter in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Population(s) Served

Wetland forests in the US South span nearly 35 million acres across 14 states and are critical for community health and safety. They have some of the highest rates of biodiversity and carbon sequestration of any forest type in the US. In 2016, Dogwood Alliance, Inc. launched the Wetland Forests Initiative WFI) to engage partners, citizens, political leaders, landowners and many others in a legacy landscape conservation initiative to protect millions of acres throughout the Southeast.

Dogwood's leadership in protecting critical wetland forests in the South from industrial logging, including biomass, gained momentum in 2019. Our leadership was critical in securing the endorsement of over 50 organizations on a strategic plan to protect wetland forests across the South. This plan focuses on measuring success on the ground, building a movement in priority watersheds and identifying key strategies that can be implemented at all levels.

In addition to the strategic plan, our leadership aligned organizations across the region in identifying key priority watersheds for initial conservation efforts. Maps released highlight 14 watersheds across the South, including: The Lower Pee Dee Watershed in South Carolina and North Carolina, The Apalachicola Watershed in Florida and Georgia, and The Atchafalaya Watershed in Louisiana. Now, Dogwood is on the ground in affected communities building a model of inclusive, rural organizing with voices typically not included in the decision-making process regarding land use.

In 2019, we began to explore opportunities for community-led economic solutions with partners in the Pee Dee watershed that will both protect standing wetland forests and provide economic sustainability for a community outside of traditional industrial logging.

Population(s) Served

-Policy makers in Europe and the United States are promoting the burning of wood as a "renewable" climate friendly alternative coal for electricity generation under the guise of "renewable energy" even though the science documents that burning wood releases more carbon than goal per unit of electricity generated and further degrades forests.

Over the past several years, the forests of the Southern US have been the target of this growing global
market. In response, in 2013 Dogwood Alliance, launched the Our Forests Aren't Fuel campaign educating and activating citizens, policymakers and industry on both sides of the Atlantic to stop the further expansion of this industry. This campaign continued to be a major focus of work in 2019 leveraging significant results. State, national and international concern about industrial biomass grew significantly in 2019, as communities and government officials publicly challenged the industry's "renewable" and "sustainable" claims.

In a major campaign victory, North Carolina's final Clean Energy Plan, released in October, rejected the burning of forests as clean, renewable energy and challenged the industry's claim of carbon neutrality. Thousands of citizens and dozens of organizations took action in 2019 during Dogwood's campaign, which targeted climate-conscious Governor Roy Cooper to stop Enviva. Multiple public hearings, rallies and press conferences combined with targeted communications, advertising and online actions created the leverage needed to influence the Governor to take a stand.

Dogwood's organizing work to elevate the needs and concerns of the frontline communities facing three pellet facility expansions in North Carolina has worked to create a united defense against the industry--one that local and state legislators and leaders, including the Governor, cannot ignore.

Finally, Dogwood Alliance campaigning significantly impacted the overseas market for biomass. Our investigation with TV2 Denmark turned into a national debate on biomass, causing the Danish Climate and Energy Minister to publicly question the country's reliance on wood pellets. In Ireland, as a biomass facility there was shut down after public opposition organized by Dogwood Alliance. The plant would have sourced its pellets from North Carolina. Two Netherlands-based companies who source from Enviva announced they will not open two planned facilities, one due to public protest.

Finally, high-ranking EU officials made statements at the Council of Parliament (COP) calling into question the future sustainability of logging forests for fuel and current EU policies.

Together, these actions are indicators that biomass may be losing its popular spin as a green, renewable energy in Europe.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Living Wage Employer with Just Economics 2019

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 media articles reflecting preferred issue framing

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served


Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success


Context Notes

This metric reports on media stories about any of our programs or our work in general rather than one program in particular. These are part of our larger goal of educating the public and policy makers

Number of national media pieces on the topic

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

This metric reports on national and/or international media stories about any of our programs or our work in general rather than one program in particular, to educate the public about forest protection

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 Dogwood Alliance is committed to protecting Southern forests from becoming another unsustainable energy resource. Dogwood Alliance has launched a major new campaign, Our Forests Aren"t Fuel, supporting alternative and competitive energy sources like solar and wind while pressuring companies who stand to gain from this practice to put a stop to it. We're educating and activating citizens, policy makers and industry on both sides of the Atlantic to the dangers of this false energy solution.

Dogwood Alliance mobilizes diverse voices to protect the unique forests and communities of the Southern US from destructive industrial logging through grassroots action, holding corporate and government decision-makers accountable, catalyzing large-scale conservation and advancing a 21st century vision that fully values forests for the myriad ways in which they sustain life. Having transformed the practices of some of the largest corporations in the world, Dogwood is on the leading edge of international, national and regional efforts to advance environmental and social justice through forest protection in the US South.

We have a dedicated and talented staff with a wide range of skills, all focused on our mission. Protect Southern Forests. We all play different roles, have different strengths, support and encourage each other. We also have an excellent board and many community partners committed to our mission.

We have transformed the practices of some of the largest consumers of paper in the world including Staples, Office Depot, OfficeMax, FedEx Office, United Stationers, Unisource, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Universal Music Group, Sony Home Entertainment, and, most recently, McDonald"s and KFC/YUM!Brands. We have convinced three of the top five paper producers (Domtar, Georgia-Pacific and Resolute) in the world"s largest paper producing region to change the way they do business in the woods, increasing protection for over 90 million acres of Southern forests. In 2007, working in partnership with Staples, we initiated the Carbon Canopy Project, an innovative collaborative of large consumers and producers of paper, forest landowners and conservation organizations working to expand forest conservation and FSC certification on private forestlands in the Southern US. In 2009, our work began to expand beyond addressing the impacts of paper production to address a new potential major threat — the burning of wood to produce energy as a replacement to fossil fuels.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

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

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

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, 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?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,


Dogwood Alliance, Inc.

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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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

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Dogwood Alliance, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 09/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Ulla Reeves

Board co-chair

Mr. Joseph Jackson

Morgan Rowden

Ulla Reeves

Elise Nabors

Lynne Young

Judy Kinney

Thomas Easley

Sami Grover

Leo Woodberry

New Alpha Development Corp.

Olufemi Lewis

Sierra Club

Joe Jackson

Florence Anoruo

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 9/16/2021

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/22/2020

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 analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • 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 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 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.