Natural Areas Association

supporting professionals protecting nature

aka NAA   |   Pittsburgh, PA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Natural Areas Association

EIN: 36-3132261


The Natural Areas Association's (NAA) mission is to support the community of natural area professionals. We help members reach their professional goals, promote natural areas management based on sound science, work to raise awareness about the need for natural areas conservation, and support natural areas research.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Lisa Smith

Main address

PO Box 17646

Pittsburgh, PA 15235 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Climate change

Natural resources



Information and communications

Population served info


NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Natural Areas Association (NAA) serves scientists and practitioners focused on the management of ecologically significant natural landscapes with the intent to protect biodiversity for current and future generations. Protecting nature requires quality science to inform practices on-the-ground and access to reliable resources that can advance the conservation and stewardship of land and water biodiversity. NAA curates and shares relevant and timely programs and resources with practitioners responsible for the ecological resilience and protection of natural areas in perpetuity.

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?

Natural Areas Conference

Attendees catch up on current research by natural areas managers and scholars, learn about the challenges, successes and pitfalls of natural areas science, policy and education. They also obtain practical on-the-ground training and information that they can apply when they return to their jobs. Finally, a key function of the conference is to provide one-on-one meetings and conversations that couldn’t happen otherwise.

Population(s) Served

The Natural Areas Journal is a leading voice in natural areas management and preservation. Published quarterly by the Natural Areas Association, the Natural Areas Journal disseminates cutting-edge research, best practices and the newest knowledge related to natural areas. The journal includes peer-reviewed original research articles on applied conservation biology, ecological restoration, natural areas management, ecological assessment and monitoring, invasive and exotic species management, habitat protection, and fire ecology. Also included are editorials, conservation issues, forums, topic reviews, and stewardship articles.

Population(s) Served

NAA offers one-hour webinars focused on research and technique for land managers and stewards.

Population(s) Served

NAA offers a library of freely accessible proprietary resources for natural areas practitioners, as well as connecting our community to resources by affiliated organizations.

Population(s) Served

Workshops are geared towards practitioners who are managing similar systems in a particular region. NAA’s goal is to create an opportunity for practitioners to come together as a community, support each other and share tested methodologies and expertise – as well as challenges - in a collaborative atmosphere.

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 attendees present at rallies/events

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Number of participants engaged in programs

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Number of people on the organization's email list

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


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.

We are first and foremost in the business of science and practice delivery, bridging the gap between data and research on one hand, and on-the-ground management on the other. But we also take pride in fostering the natural areas practitioner community through professional networking and multiple forums in which to share ideas and best practices. We believe deeply in collaboration and that we are more effective at our jobs, when we come together to address our common challenges.

Foster a community of professionals that come together to find solutions to our shared challenges

Hold the Natural Areas Conference, the premier gathering of natural areas professionals

Hold Stewardship in Action Workshops to demonstrate on-the-ground management techniques and practices.

Publish the Natural Areas Journal, a peer-reviewed, internationally recognized journal for scientists and natural areas professionals that provides opportunities for researchers to share research results and best management practices

Offer interactive monthly webinars on emerging management topics.

Host virtual lectures and symposia for a deeper dive into emerging natural areas issues.

Convene a Science Advisory Committee comprised of leaders in natural areas science to identify emerging issues that may impact natural areas and the work of our stakeholders.

Host in-person and virtual, topical roundtables that provide natural areas practitioners with the opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and collaboration.

Connect practitioners from federal, state, local, academic, tribal, nonprofit and private entities committed to the ongoing protection of ecologically significant landscapes.

For the past 50 years, NAA has positively impacted biodiversity conservation and climate resilience through applied science, practical solutions, knowledge transfer, and advocacy. Our 2021 strategic business plan outlines a path that builds upon NAA’s existing strengths to advance science-based management practices to support on-the-ground efforts to protect ecologically significant natural landscapes. We continue to increase organizational capacity through increasing staffing levels and engaging expert consultants. We will continue to focus on content development, distribution, and accessibility to support practitioners in the preservation and stewardship of high-value natural areas.

We have increased the number and types of programs offered every year since 2016, and we plan to continue this trajectory. Our intention is to meet practitioners where they are, and this means creating programming for varied professional experience levels, geographic locations, budgets, ability to travel as well as their preferred method of learning, such as written, oral, hands on, collaborative and independent, and we've been acting on this through our program


Natural Areas Association
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30
Financial documents
2021 Natural Areas Assocation 2020 Natural Areas Association 2018 2018 Financial Statement.pdf
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 68.65 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 3.8 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 13% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Natural Areas Association

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Natural Areas Association

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Natural Areas Association

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Natural Areas Association’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $22 $24,260 $70,975 -$57,327 $145,501
As % of expenses 0.0% 5.2% 16.6% -12.4% 22.6%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $22 $24,260 $70,386 -$57,916 $144,912
As % of expenses 0.0% 5.2% 16.4% -12.5% 22.5%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $494,036 $370,614 $428,127 $532,177 $763,841
Total revenue, % change over prior year -21.2% -25.0% 15.5% 24.3% 43.5%
Program services revenue 47.4% 66.2% 37.5% 35.1% 36.6%
Membership dues 16.6% 22.4% 22.4% 20.4% 15.4%
Investment income 1.6% 4.0% 2.2% 1.4% 0.6%
Government grants 7.8% 0.0% 10.2% 9.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 18.5% 8.4% 13.7% 35.6% 48.8%
Other revenue 8.1% -1.0% 14.0% -1.5% -1.3%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $444,783 $464,654 $428,397 $463,795 $643,802
Total expenses, % change over prior year 7.2% 4.5% -7.8% 8.3% 38.8%
Personnel 52.9% 50.9% 59.3% 66.9% 59.1%
Professional fees 16.0% 16.0% 13.5% 17.5% 14.8%
Occupancy 3.4% 3.8% 3.2% 0.9% 0.5%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 27.7% 29.2% 24.0% 14.6% 25.7%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Total expenses (after depreciation) $444,783 $464,654 $428,986 $464,384 $644,391
One month of savings $37,065 $38,721 $35,700 $38,650 $53,650
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $47,700 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $2,945 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $481,848 $506,320 $464,686 $550,734 $698,041

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Months of cash 3.5 3.5 2.5 3.0 2.0
Months of cash and investments 14.6 14.9 16.6 14.7 12.6
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 12.1 12.1 15.2 12.5 11.7
Balance sheet composition info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Cash $129,808 $137,370 $89,474 $115,866 $109,200
Investments $412,979 $437,882 $502,963 $452,035 $566,902
Receivables $108,000 $21,000 $0 $0 $38,487
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $4,371 $7,316 $2,945 $2,945 $2,945
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 100.0% 59.7% 20.0% 40.0% 60.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 2.1% 8.3% 8.7% 0.9% 1.3%
Unrestricted net assets $449,143 $473,403 $543,789 $485,873 $630,785
Temporarily restricted net assets $188,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $188,000 $76,500 $0 $78,725 $75,776
Total net assets $637,143 $549,903 $543,789 $564,598 $706,561

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Lisa Smith

Lisa Smith is the executive director of the Natural Areas Association. Lisa has also served as the organization’s Board President (2009-2013), Vice President (2005-2009) and member of the board (2003 – 2005). Lisa is a trained field ecologist who works with numerous partners on projects related to wild plant and natural areas management and conservation. As a consultant, she works with land trusts throughout the Mid-Atlantic region to strengthen operations and land stewardship programs as a certified assessor and accreditation facilitator. Her education includes a BSci in Biology from Juniata College, an MSci in botany from Miami University, and an MSciEd. in secondary science education from Duquesne University.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Natural Areas Association

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Natural Areas Association

Board of directors
as of 04/14/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Roger McCoy

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

Term: 2019 - 2023

Jim Johannsen

Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation

Ryan Klopf

Virginia Natural Heritage

Darrell Bowman

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Alice Heikens

Franklin College

Peter Dunwiddie

University of Washington

Raquel Garcia-Alvarez

Forest Preserves of Cook County (IL)

Kelly Heintz

King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (WA)

Bill Holimon

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission

Jim Neal

Caddo Lake Institute

Arthur Pearson

Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (NY)

Ephraim Zimmerman

Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program

Holli Redekop

Silverglow Studio

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 ? No
  • 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • 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 4/14/2023

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
Female, Not transgender
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data