PLATINUM2023

Tennessee Wildlife Federation

Champion of Tennessee's Great Outdoors

Nashville, TN   |  www.tnwf.org

Mission

Leading the conservation, sound management, and wise use of Tennessee's wildlife and great outdoors.

Ruling year info

1951

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Michael A. Butler

Chief Development Officer

Mr. Kendall W. McCarter

Main address

300 Orlando Avenue

Nashville, TN 37209 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Tennessee Conservation League

EIN

62-6047188

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

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

Wildlife conservation in Tennessee is at a critical juncture. Increased threats—like aggressive invasive species and wildlife diseases—combined with antiquated funding systems are threatening our wildlife and the habitats they depend on. This combination in turn threatens our quality of life and our outdoor economy. The Federation believes that our acutely flawed wildlife funding system is the gravest threat facing Tennessee’s wildlife. It is a systemic problem that points back to governments—and citizens—not prioritizing wildlife. While addressing the long-term funding of conservation in Tennessee, we remain policy watchdogs, always on alert for opportunities to grow common-sense wildlife management in our state and for issues that threaten the wildlife and wild places that we love.

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?

Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program

The Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program introduces youth from 5th grade to college to the shooting sports, and recruits them into an outdoor lifestyle for a lifetime. It's one of the largest and most successful youth shooting programs in the nation: 2,100 youth annually; 90 active teams across the state; 19% girls and 81% boys competing head to head; 127 national medals won since 2005. In program surveys, 70% said the program taught them the importance of wildlife conservation

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Through Hunters for the Hungry, the Federation provides funding to certified wild game processors so they can receive and process donated venison, which is then given to local hunger relief programs such as food banks and soup kitchens. We work with over 70 participating processors in 63 counties and collect an average of 140,000 pounds of venison annually. This venison is a lean protein source that meets the needs of hunger relief agencies across the state. In addition to hunters donating all or part of their harvests, school clubs can participate in a variety of ways through a program called Hunger Challenge. These students contribute hundreds of volunteer hours, thousands of dollars, and tens of thousands of meals. Our Hunters for the Hungry program has donated 2 million pounds of venison since the program began in 1998, equaling 8.2 million meals.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Homeless people

Conservation Policy has always been at the core of our work. The Federation was founded over 70 years ago when sportsmen and wildlife lovers banded together to build the agencies and policies that moved our state's wildlife from teetering on the edge to a treasure that gives people reasons to go outside. Our robust policy team is presently addressing legislation spanning from securing federal funding for non-game wildlife management to fighting the invasive Asian carp.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Hunting and Fishing Academy provides comprehensive, immersive experiences in Tennessee's great outdoors to teach and hone the skills needed to enjoy hunting, fishing, and the great outdoors for a lifetime. More than a simple hunting or fishing event, Hunting and Fishing Academy provides engaging hands-on instruction in the art of being an outdoorsman in order to mentor first time and novice hunters and anglers of all ages. More than 70 volunteer mentors - called Hunt Masters - are now trained to help facilitate the effort. Measurement surveys are showing great results from this program: participants are coming away from events significantly more confident about hunting, with increased skills, and are much more likely to go hunting again on their own.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Adults

Tennessee Wildlife Federation's Habitat Conservation program actively conserves and restores forests, fields, wetlands, rivers, and streams. This provides wildlife habitat, as well as better public access to the great outdoors for generations. We've already conserved 11,000 acres, with an additional 2,000 acres being protected now across all three grand divisions. Through this program we work with dozens of public and private partners to protect and improve lands and waterways.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Affiliations & memberships

National Wildlife Federation 1946

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Pounds of food donated to hunger relief agencies

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Hunters for the Hungry

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Now in its 25th year, Hunters for the Hungry has collected more than 2.1 million pounds of donated venison, providing over 8.7 million servings to food banks and soup kitchens.

Number of participants engaged in programs

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

Children and youth, Adults

Related Program

Hunting and Fishing Academy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We have two programs geared toward engaging new people in the great outdoors: Hunting and Fishing Academy and Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program. Both prioritize in-person, tailored instruction.

Number of active habitat conservation projects

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

Habitat Conservation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Habitat Conservation Program has restored or is in the process of restoring more than 1,400+ acres of wetlands; 7 miles of streams; 5,000 acres of forestland. We planted 70,000 trees in 2021.

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.

Tennessee is the most biologically diverse inland state, yet our wildlife and lands are facing serious threats. These threats, combined with antiquated funding systems, are putting the future of our lands, wildlife, and outdoor economy at risk.

Not only does Tennessee lack funds to address growing threats, like the pervasive and invasive Asian carp or microplastic pollution in our rivers, we don’t even have the resources to adequately implement existing Wildlife Action Plans. State agencies are unable to collect data and implement necessary conservation measures for sensitive species, exacting a severe toll on our birds, animals, and pollinators.

Sadly, Tennessee will soon have even less funding for conservation. State conservation funds are tied to the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and excise taxes on firearms and ammunition. Currently, state wildlife agencies get 60 percent of their funding from these two sources. But, the number of Americans who hunt is declining, threatening the primary source of funding for conservation and upending the entire North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Recent studies show that only five percent of Americans hunt—half of what it was 50 years ago.

We view the lack of long-term, sustainable funding for conservation in our state as the single greatest threat to our wildlife and wild places. No other threat—from Asian Carp to microplastic pollution—can be neutralized if we don’t first solve this crisis. We are organizationally committed to facing this threat head-on, with all the resources at our disposal.

The board and staff of Tennessee Wildlife Federation engaged in strategic planning to grow our organization and its conservation policy program into one of the best in the country. The resulting plan defines our strategic priorities and identifies the obstacles to accomplishing our mission for the next four years.

To win the necessary policy victories, the Federation is growing policy staff, expanding coalitions, and developing messaging for audiences and decision makers at the state and federal level. We are increasing capacity and expertise to research and track legislation, building relationships with key lawmakers, broadening communications with stakeholders, and increasing our presence among hunters and anglers. We will not only write compelling stories in defense of our wildlife, residents, and wild places, we will also be the microphone as we shout these stories from the mountaintops.

In addition to playing offense on the critical conservation funding issue, the Federation is elevating the litter crisis in our state. Unsightly along our roads and in our communities, litter is even worse for wildlife. The Tennessee River contains more microplastic per gallon than any other river studied in the world. We have big plans to solve the litter crisis through dynamic coalitions, partnerships with businesses and transformative legislation.

Because of growth resulting from our strategic plan, the Federation now has the ability to tackle critical conservation issues, like Asian carp. We are now able to proactively advance new policy and legislation, instead of simply playing defense when issues arise. We’ve added internal capacity, especially within our policy program. In the next year, we are hoping to further grow our policy reach as our seasoned communications team continues to dramatically increase the Federation's reputation. Because of our communications team, the Federation achieved as many media hits in the first eight months of 2019 as all of 2018!

Over our 75-year history, Tennessee Wildlife Federation has shaped Tennessee’s wildlife policy, advanced landmark legislation on air and water quality, helped restore species and their habitats, introduced new generations to the outdoors, and connected hungry families to local venison.

Through programs in conservation policy, engagement and stewardship, TWF’s goal is to ensure the successes of our past remain for future generations. Recent key accomplishments include winning $25 million in federal funding to fight Asian Carp, including in the Southeast, and securing $2.3 million in annual recurring funding for Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s water-focused work through the passage of a fuel sales tax re-appropriation.

TWF also lead expert-level working-group discussions and drafted the natural resources and recreation recommendations and content that was ultimately included in Governor Haslam’s TN H2O plan, Tennessee’s first statewide water plan, which has since been adopted by Governor Lee.

Because sportsmen and women are the primary conservationists in Tennessee today, the Federation is continually and actively recruiting and re-activating Tennessee’s next generation of enthusiasts. We introduce over 2,500 youth and their parents annually to the outdoors through our Scholastic Clay Target Program and Hunting & Fishing Academy. We also keep current sportsmen engaged through popular programs like Hunters for the Hungry. Since 1998, our Hunters for the Hungry program has collected more than 1.7 million pounds of venison, providing over 7 million meals to the food insecure through our partnerships with food banks and soup kitchens.

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

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, 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 look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Financials

Tennessee Wildlife Federation
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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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  • 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.

Tennessee Wildlife Federation

Board of directors
as of 01/31/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Bruce Fox

Fox & Farley

Term: 2021 - 2023

Dan Hammond

American Hometown Media

Robert Lineberger

Diversified Trust Co.

Chris Nischan

Owner, Rod & Gun Guide Service

Allen Corey

Miller & Martin

Richard Speer

Specialty Products Global, LLC

Ric Wolbrecht

Raymond James

Bruce Fox

Fox and Farley

Allen Carter

Athens Insurance

Katherine Griffin

Robertson Manufacturing

Anker Browder

Browder Metals

Terry Lewis

William Oehmig

Kestrel Capital, LLC

Bobby Goode

Tommy Bernard

Horizon Wine & Spirits

Jill Hangii

Bobby Pidgeon, Jr.

Pidgeon Company

Derek "DC Curry

Grassland Environmental

Don Nalls

Nalls Sherbakoff Group

Craig Connors

John Reid

Russell Metals

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? No
  • 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