Atlanta, GA   |


Protecting Georgia through ecological and economic solutions for stewardship, conservation and sustainable use of the land and its resources.

Ruling year info



Katherine Moore

Main address

230 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 2275

Atlanta, GA 30303 USA

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NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

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

From the mountains to the coast, Georgia is blessed with plentiful natural resources and spectacular landscapes that bring both environmental and economic benefits. However, these natural resources face mounting environmental pressures thanks to rapid population growth. Based on past land conversion rates identified by GC, Georgia’s developed land has increased 2.5 million acres since 1974, more than the area of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. With Georgia projected to gain an additional 3.5M people by 2050, land use decisions for every remaining acre are critical.

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?

Sustainable Growth

A growing population often means a decline in green space, air quality, and natural land. The Georgia Conservancy is working with communities to change that. We bring together planners, architects, home builders, transportation engineers, and community advocates to envision, plan and design better and more sustainable communities.

Our Sustainable Growth Program focuses its work in five areas:

BLUEPRINTS FOR SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITIES: Since 1995, Blueprints has helped dozens of Georgia communities continue to grow while protecting their natural resources. The Conservancy brings varying stakeholders, interdisciplinary specialists and members of the community together to envision communities that can sustain population growth and a natural environment. We have collaborated with cities and counties, Atlanta in-town neighborhoods, and in environmentally, culturally, and historically sensitive areas. Blueprints also includes a focus on regional issues such as sea-level rise, watershed sustainability, and transportation corridors.

GOOD URBANISM: Our popular smart growth planning seminar, Good Urbanism teaches government officials, neighborhood residents, urban planners and design professionals about the importance of creating sustainable communities. The courses are taught by dynamic lecturers, including faculty members from Georgia Tech's College of Architecture, and are geared towards the communities in which they are held.

THE HOUSING DIVERSITY INITIATIVE frames how we work with communities and government decision-makers to examine and recommend diverse housing options within a neighborhood, town, or city. The initiative includes public education on the importance of housing choice within a community as well as technical services identifying zoning and subdivision regulations that hinder housing variety. We also assist in identifying locations within a community appropriate for a mix of housing types through thoughtful infill and incremental development.

SCHOOL SITING: Because national trends have encouraged larger school sites to accommodate more students, Georgia’s children, teachers, and parents must travel farther each day, expending time and straining our natural resources. The Georgia Conservancy's school siting workshops bring together diverse stakeholders to learn how communities can work towards better and more collaborative siting of schools.

SMALL TOWN SUSTAINABILITY & RURAL RESILIENCY INITIATIVE: The Small Towns and Rural Resiliency project amplifies the Conservancy's understanding of the importance that private land conservation, sustainable growth planning, recreation, and eco-tourism play in small communities. Through our work, we identify what revitalization efforts have been successful in small towns, why they have been successful and how they can be applied more broadly to aid other communities.

Population(s) Served

The Georgia Conservancy’s Land Conservation Program works across the state on a varied portfolio of land conservation priorities. Our Land Conservation Program meets in tandem with our advocacy team, public officials, and their staff at all levels of government to secure their support, or to thank them for their support of land conservation funding and legislation. Our focus is related to the pressures on the environment seeing continued intense development affecting greenspace availability and access, watershed quality, tree canopy, and priority habitat and species protection.

In addition, we work to enable outdoor recreation opportunities in the state through our work with local governments in greenspace and recreation planning, training of best practices for conservation land acquisition, and lowering the barrier to entry for underserved populations interested in outdoor recreation participation. Since the inception of the Land Conservation Initiative in 2011, Georgia Conservancy's team has worked in a variety of advisory roles to help permanently protect or restore over 66,500 acres of Georgia's bio-diverse land.

Georgia Conservancy also originated and leads the Association of Georgia Land Trusts, a peer-exchange organization allowing the most active land trusts in Atlanta and the state to share success stories and align impact while building advocacy for conservation funding and other land protection tools. The land trusts secure 70% of all Georgia land conservation transactions annually, therefore, the Georgia Conservancy determined that administrative, policy and communication support among these land trusts was a critical leadership role for our organization, particularly as land conservation trusts and easements are generally underutilized.

Population(s) Served

Since 1967, the Georgia Conservancy has been guiding trips across the state, leading individuals into Georgia's natural areas for both recreation and service, and showcasing Georgia’s imperiled natural resources and providing the public with the opportunity to advocate for their protection. We use our network of partners and peers to provide access to barrier islands, river systems, and nature preserves that are often inaccessible or off-limits to the public.

Our Stewardship Trips and Service Program serves as our primary hands-on education platform, helping to broaden the public's understanding of the importance of protecting our rivers, streams, lakes, and forests while giving them unique opportunities to assist in their protection. Thanks to the involvement of individual and foundation supporters, our program has dramatically increased during the last five years. During the past year, we hosted nearly 3000 participants on our paddle, camping, hiking, biking, snorkeling, and service work events with a special emphasis on lowering barriers to entry for groups not historically active in the outdoors.

Our Stewardship Trips and Service Programs have a straightforward goal: to create a connection between some of Georgia’s stunning natural places and the people who can protect them. We believe that experiencing Georgia’s outdoor spaces and places set the foundation for people to become conservationists, mindful of the need to maintain and protect natural resources for the good of the environment and people alike. It is imperative to Georgia’s future that residents understand the ecological importance of the habitats they are visiting and leave with ideas for stewardship and sustainability activities they can undertake after the Georgia Conservancy event is over.

Georgia Conservancy currently seeks to deepen the long-term value of our educational offerings tied to the places we are visiting. For each site, we seek to develop materials focusing on site-specific environmental education, such as the most pressing issues facing conservation and preservation of flora and fauna, as well as the historical and cultural significance of the place.

Population(s) Served

The Georgia Conservancy has a long history of advocating for the preservation of Georgia’s natural resources at the local, state and federal levels.

Our advocacy team has decades of experience in state politics and is dedicated to using the political process to help protect our state’s precious natural places. We’re at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta every day of the legislative session pushing for conservation-minded bills and fighting against legislation that would roll back advancements that we and our partners have already made.

The Georgia Conservancy’s advocacy work doesn’t end when the final bell of the legislative session tolls. We’re working year-round on key issues, such as water resource protection, habitat restoration, land conservation, and sustainable growth.

It takes a special disposition to balance various relationships with elected officials and between partners, and interest not only in policy, but also in politics, process, and strategy. We take pride in our efforts to engage and collaborate with diverse groups of individuals and organizations to find common ground solutions to our state’s most pressing issues.

Through this approach, we have been successful in protecting some of our state’s most cherished landscapes, including Cumberland Island National Seashore, the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and the Okefenokee Wilderness, as well as influencing the passage of some of our strongest natural resource protections, which include the Coastal Marshland Protection Act, the Erosion and Sedimentation Act, the Georgia Water Stewardship Act, and the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Amendment (Nov. 2018).

The successes that we and our partners in conservation can claim have forwarded our vision of a Georgia where people and the environment thrive. However, advocating for the protection and preservation of Georgia’s natural resources is a job never-ending. It is a necessary task that relies upon the collaborative efforts of all who call our state home.

Population(s) Served

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 trips provided

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


Related Program

Trips and Stewardship

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Stewardship trips in Georgia - includes weekend excursions, day hikes and day paddles.

Number of participants engaging in stewardship trips and service projects

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


Related Program

Trips and Stewardship

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of people participating in trips, including the Grand Columbus Whitewater paddle.

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.

Protecting Georgia through ecological and economic solutions for stewardship, conservation and sustainable use of the land and its resources.

• The integrity of natural systems – air, land, water, plants and animals – and their services have value that must be conserved and restored for present and future generations.
• Stewardship of Georgia’s natural resources is the responsibility of every individual, organization, government, and business.
• A healthy environment and healthy economy are vital to a thriving society. In conserving Georgia’s natural resources, we must understand the changing climate and act accordingly.
• Principled advocacy relies upon sound data and inclusive collaboration.


Healthy Natural Systems
Goal 1: Protect and restore Georgia’s natural systems for a sustainable future.
We believe Georgia’s natural systems have an ecological and economical benefit to Georgians and can be rehabilitated and protected through intentional land use and education of current and future generations.

Thriving Communities
Goal 2: Position Georgia’s communities to be more resilient to ecological, demographic and economic stresses.
We believe ecologically-minded land use practices related to land development and redevelopment will produce a healthy balance of ecology, economy and equity as Georgia’s population grows and changes.

Engaged Georgians
Goal 3: Create stewards and foster appreciation by connecting all Georgians to our natural resources.
We believe educating Georgians about our natural resources will produce deeper engagement with natural systems and clearer understanding of the changing climate. This will ensure that every Georgian feels responsible for the stewardship of our natural resources.

Strong Georgia Conservancy
Goal 4: Increase efficiency and effectiveness of Georgia Conservancy’s operations.
We believe the Georgia Conservancy is in a unique position to effect real change in Georgia’s ecology and economy through effective and efficient programming that balances the ecological, economic and equity concerns.

Objectives in each of our four strategic focus areas include:

Protect and restore Georgia’s natural systems for a sustainable future.
• Identify and promote promising carbon reduction strategies, specific to Georgia.
• Coordinate conservation plans related to different natural systems and understand how they are related to key land development plans.
• Build relationships with diverse stakeholders and convene ecologically-minded discussions in a moderate, nonpartisan way.
• Advocate to protect Georgia’s land, air, and biodiversity under threat.

Position Georgia’s communities to be more resilient to ecological, demographic, and economic stresses.
• Encourage land use practices that reduce disturbances to nature.
• Provide training, technical services and recommendations that encourage ecologically minded development and redevelopment of communities and cities.
• Provide reliable ecological information to Georgians by conducting sound research related to conserving and restoring Georgia’s land, air, water, and biodiversity.

Create stewards and foster appreciation by connecting all Georgians to our natural resources.
• Engage and educate individuals, organizations, governments, and businesses about stewardship of Georgia’s natural systems and climate change.
• Utilize outdoor experiences to build appreciation for and education about Georgia’s natural resources.
• Increase awareness of Georgia Conservancy activities and resources to recruit, maintain, and engage membership participation with Georgia’s natural resources.

Increase efficiency and effectiveness of Georgia Conservancy’s operations.
1. Ensure stability, future growth, and long-term sustainability by retaining and increasing foundation, individual, AND corporate giving, year over year.
2. Retain, develop, and increase Georgia Conservancy’s human capital.
3. Develop clarifying organizational documents including a theory of change, logic model, updated outcome measures, and updated diversity and inclusion policies.

Our professional staff of 13 is well-qualified to carry out the work of our organization, led by Katherine Moore, President. Katherine Moore, AICP, has served in the community development and environmental fields for over 20 years. Her professional experience includes 12 years in the private sector as a consultant and the past 11 years with the Georgia Conservancy. During her tenure with Georgia Conservancy, Ms. Moore has served various roles before becoming President, including Director of the Sustainable Growth program and Vice President of Programs. As Director of Sustainable Growth, she provided training, technical expertise and community engagement services on the topics of community resilience and planning. This program worked with over 60 communities across Georgia and the nation. Her leadership helped emphasize opportunities within housing choice, small town stabilization, and redevelopment to increase community resilience. As Vice President of Programs, Ms. Moore was responsible for strategic coordination across the organization’s central areas of Land Conservation, Sustainable Growth, Stewardship Trips, Coast, and Advocacy. Ms. Moore is a graduate of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership (IGEL), serves on the Leadership Board of Directors for Mothers & Others for Clean Air; the Boards of Directors of the Douglas C. Allen Institute for the Study of Cities, the Architecture and Design Center, and The Museum School of Avondale Estates.

Charles H. McMillan III, Land Conservation & Coastal Director. Leading the coastal- and land-focused work of the Georgia Conservancy from its office in Savannah, Charles is advocates for land and coastal protection. He regularly works with local landowners, municipalities, nonprofit partners, and government officials across the state to find ways to tackle environmental issues through mitigation planning, ecological restoration and forward-thinking policy, as well as collaborative partnerships. Charles has been instrumental in reinvigorating the Association of Georgia Land Trusts, bringing together a group of 21+ organizations to network, collaborate and share information and resources to improve conservation in Georgia. A Vanderbuilt University graduate, McMillan is a retired civil engineer with experience working with property owners on a host of issues including service on the interagency prescribed burn team, ecological inventory of the longleaf pine ecosystem & assisting landowners on long term conservation issues.

In FY21, the work of Georgia Conservancy advanced resilience against climate change and protected vital land, providing both ecological and economic benefits to all Georgians.

Healthy Natural Systems
• We completed our analysis of land cover trends over the last 50 years to help assess future needs for resource protection & sustainability, a project named Georgia Now and Forever. Our work identified relationships between specific land cover types, their climate change mitigation and carbon banking potential, and the geographies experiencing the most development pressure.
• We formed 2 new alliances to protect The Okefenokee Swamp & Cumberland Island from emerging development pressures. In total, we currently support 5 coalitions to protect some of Georgia’s most precious places.
• Thanks to our advocacy leadership, a 50-mile stretch of land along the Ocmulgee River is under consideration by the National Park Service for additional protection.
• We adopted new techniques for incentivizing land conservation by exploring carbon sequestration with private land trusts. We educated approximately 1,000 individuals &worked with 30 state and federal agencies, land trusts, local governments, & foundations to engage and educate individual landowners on the financial and ecological benefits of private land conservation.
• Our legislative advocacy included measures to protect Georgia’s land, water, and communities such as amending Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program allocations in the state’s budget, creating a Carbon Sequestration Registry, and passage of HB 511 establishing requirements for dedicated fees that will ensure fees paid in association with solid and hazardous waste, among other fees, go towards their intended use.
Thriving Communities
• Partnering with Atlanta Housing Authority, we provided consultation and planning services on an innovative revitalization project-focused on watershed management, walkability & housing diversity in Northwest Atlanta.
• We reached 30 Georgia communities to promote low-impact design or green infrastructure methods.
• To increase housing diversity and sustainable development practices throughout the state, we completed 5 housing studies, including critical education components aimed towards reducing local resistance to multifamily housing, creative infill or reuse projects, and density.
Engaged Georgians
• We hosted 26 virtual discussions on various topics for 23,380 viewers.
• As pandemic restrictions eased, we reignited Stewardship Trips in late 2020, hosting 10 trips & service projects around the state during for 174 people.
• To increase diverse engagement in the outdoors and environmental sustainability, we launched a monthly hiking group for 15 refugee women. Guided hikes promoted environmental stewardship & well-being strategies.
• 21 Scouts from a Boy Scout Troop participated in 2 service projects to maintain the network of trails at Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve & plant a food forest.

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 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 make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback



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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


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  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 12/14/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Virginia Harman

McRae, Smith, Peek, Harman & Monroe LLP

Term: 2019 - 2024

Carmen Foskey Bergman

Dulany Industries, Inc

Mark Berry

Southern Company

Mikita Browning

City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management

Fred Daniels

Citizens Trust Bank

Hardie Davis, Jr.

Mayor - City of Augusta

Brian Deisselhorst


Nick Donkar


Rick Downey

Regions Bank

Jennifer Gilmer


John Hutchins

Baker Hostetler

Byron Kirkpatrick

Troutman Pepper, LLP

Mike LaFerle

Home Depot

Timothy McKinley

Cox Automotive

Chris Miller

Kia Motors

John Mulcahy

Georgia Pacific

Gerald Pouncey

Morris, Manning, & Martin LLP

Eboni Preston

Greening Youth Foundation

Stacy Shailendra

Ansley Atlanta Real Estate

W. Michael Stubbs

Hodges, Harbin, Newberry & Tribble Inc.

Charles Thomas

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
  • 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

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/29/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/09/2019

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 employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.