The Nature Conservancy's Endowment Fund: A Secure Investment to Protect Nature in Illinois

Story Highlights
  • The Conservancy's invested assets, at more than $1 billion, rank it among the 100 largest endowments in the country. Returns compare favorably to relevant benchmarks and to the S&P 500.
"Hiking and bird-watching together helps our family stay close. We know that nature will always need protection, which is why we are committed to the Conservancy’s mission and believe in supporting its Endowment Fund. A strong endowment is critical to the Conservancy’s long-term health and viability."

- Charlie and Anne Haffner established a gift for the Illinois Endowment Fund in their estate plan

The Best of Illinois, Protected as Your Legacy

If you have sailed on Lake Michigan, watched bald eagles soar over the Mississippi River or otters tumble in the Illinois River… if you have seen rare prairie wildflowers bloom, hiked through vibrant savannas, or wandered the lush woodlands remaining in Illinois… then you have experienced the best of our state.

Since its founding in 1957, The Nature Conservancy in Illinois has protected, conserved and restored many of the state's most important natural areas. These are the places you may have visited as a child and the places your children and grandchildren can visit into the future.

With 80,000 acres in Illinois already preserved, the Conservancy and its supporters have had remarkable success. Around the world and close to home, we use proven science-based strategies to protect entire landscapes for the plants, animals, and people that depend on them.

Taking the Long View

You plan your investments to ensure that your family will be cared for into the future. The Conservancy also plans for the long-term care of our investments, knowing these fragile landscapes will always require management and protection. Both of us plan to be guardians of these precious assets in perpetuity.

The Nature Conservancy now offers you the opportunity to safeguard our future together.

Endowment: An Investment in Our State's Future

Your contribution to the Conservancy's Endowment Fund in Illinois is an investment in conservation that lives on long after the gift is given.

The Endowment Fund is invested to produce current income and growth of the principal. Distributions are made each year to provide funding for Illinois stewardship, land acquisition or other purposes designated by donors. The funds provide the Conservancy a stable funding source to ensure continuation of the exceptional on-the-ground science in conservation work for which it is renowned in Illinois and around the planet.

The Conservancy pools its endowment assets. While distributions from Illinois' endowment only support work here, pooled investing from the aggregate endowment creates a more stable fund that:

  • facilitates access to top investment managers
  • manages risk by investing in a broad range of asset classes and managers
  • minimizes expenses through economies of scale 


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