We carry out our work with a deep commitment to accountability and transparency.
Accountable and Transparent
We want you and every member of the public to know as much as possible about how The Nature Conservancy operates and how carefully and effectively we use your donations.
As a leading global charity, we hold ourselves accountable to our members, the public and all creatures that have a stake in the preservation of the world’s natural resources. And we seek to make use of every dollar donated with careful attention to effectiveness and efficiency.
Our strong performance is reflected in the fact that The Nature Conservancy is highly rated by charity watchdog organizations.
Efficient and Effective
The Nature Conservancy is one of the most effective and efficient environmental organizations in the world.
Building on nearly six decades of experience, we've protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 river miles—and we operate more than 100 marine conservation projects globally.
We are able to accomplish so much because we make careful use of our resources, maximizing the funding that goes toward our science-driven program work. Our program efficiencies meets standards set by both Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, meaning you can be confident that any investment in The Nature Conservancy will be put to good use.
High charity and financial health ratings mean that your support is used efficiently and effectively.
You can feel confident with The Nature Conservancy’s high charity ratings that your donation in support of nature will make a difference by putting you at the center of critical conservation projects underway all across the globe.
The Conservancy consistently receives high charity ratings from charity watchdog organizations, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance and the American Institute of Philanthropy, as well as from the leading global investors services companies.
2018 World's Most Ethical Companies
TNC has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, for our commitment to integrity and ethical practices. Learn More
Accredited Land Trust Seal
The accreditation seal recognizes that The Nature Conservancy meets national standards for excellence, upholds the public trust and ensures that conservation efforts are permanent. Learn More
Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity
The Nature Conservancy is a BBB Wise Giving Alliance Accredited Charity. We meet all of the Alliance's Standards for Charity Accountability, which exist to help donors make informed giving decisions. Learn More
Compliant with DMA Ethical Guidelines
The Nature Conservancy complies with the Ethical Guidelines for Fundraising and Other Nonprofit Communications set forth by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Learn More
AA- Rating from Standard & Poors Rating Service
In its rating report S&P reports the Conservancy has "good liquidity position and solid levels of cash and investments." The S&P Rating Services report on the Conservancy can be ordered here.
Aa2 rating from Moody's Investor's Service
An Aa2 rating means that TNC is "judged to be of high quality and subject to very low credit risk," and demonstrates ""effective budgeting practices and financial management." Learn More
Three Star Rating from Charity Navigator
The Nature Conservancy currently holds a three-star rating from Charity Navigator. TNC's rating can fluctuate due to the year-to-year changes in our land acquisition spending. Learn more.
Operating in compliance with our highest corporate value: Integrity Beyond Reproach.
At The Nature Conservancy, we value above all else the highest ethical conduct of all employees, Board members, Chapter trustees and other volunteers. The Conservancy is guided by five organizational values: Integrity Beyond Reproach; One Conservancy; Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures; Commitment to Diversity; and Tangible Lasting Results. These values are reflected in the Conservancy’s Policies and Standard Operating Procedures, which are incorporated into this Code of Conduct.
As part of our Code of Conduct, every Conservancy employee and volunteer acting on behalf of the Conservancy is expected to comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations in every country, state, or locality in which the Conservancy operates. If there is a conflict between the law and Conservancy policies, employees and volunteers are expected to comply with the stricter of the two unless to do so would be a violation of the law. Employees and volunteers are expected to comply with this Code of Conduct and are required to report, promptly, any violations or perceived violations.
Policies and Procedures
In addition to our Code of Conduct, the Conservancy has a Policies and Procedures Manual that provides clear direction to achieve the Conservancy's mission in accordance with the highest legal and ethical standards. The Manual includes, among others, policies and procedures on Conflicts of Interest; Confidential Information; Privacy/Personal Data Protection; Lobbying Limitations; Participation in Candidate Elections; Reporting Suspected Violations of Law or Policy; Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Diversity; Workplace Harassment Prevention and Reporting; and Records Management.
Ethics and Compliance Office
The Office has four core areas of responsibility: training; policy and procedure development and oversight; risk assessment; and investigations of noncompliance. The Ethics and Compliance Office is led by our Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer who is a member of the Executive Council and reports to our General Counsel and to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.
In addition to our Code and Policies, our Ethics and Compliance Program includes the following:
- Annual Integrity Awareness training for all employees, members of the Board of Directors, Chapter Trustees, and other volunteer advisors;
- Conflicts of Interest Committee that reviews and decides action on all organizational and personal conflicts;
- Ethics and Compliance Helpline available to anyone to report a concern or ask for guidance;
- Quarterly review of the program with the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors; and,
- Ethical Heroes campaign to celebrate ethical behavior of our employees.
We are proud to be named by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies from 2013-18.
Contact the Ethics and Compliance Office
Phone: (800) 461-9330 (US)
Text: 571-458-1739 (US)
See helpline page for international numbers.
4245 N. Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22203
Read our Policies
Conflicts of Interest
It is the policy of the Conservancy to identify conflicts of interest involving Covered Persons (as defined in the Conflict of Interest Standard Operating Procedure) as well as situations that may give rise to an appearance of a conflict of interest and to address such conflicts and situations in a manner that fully protects the integrity and reputation of the Conservancy.
The purchase or sale of real estate (or any interest therein) from or to any Related Party is specifically prohibited. For this purpose, a “Related Party” includes
- Any individual who is, or was at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date of the purchase or sale, a member of the Board of Directors, a Trustee, or an employee of the Conservancy;
- Any individual who is a close relative of such an individual; or
- An entity in which the individual owns and/or his close relatives own directly or indirectly more than five percent of the equity interest therein.
To assure and ensure that the Conservancy will live up to its high fiduciary obligations and operate in compliance with our highest corporate value: “Integrity Beyond Reproach.”
Approved by the Board of Directors June, 1995. Revised March 15, 1996, October 2, 2002, and March 12, 2004. Revised to incorporate the former "Sales To or From Related Parties Policy" (approved on June 13, 2003) and approved on January 30, 2009.
The Conservancy has committed to work with other like-minded organizations to develop sustainable investment policies.
For decades, The Nature Conservancy has recognized that the private sector plays an important role in advancing our conservation mission. Businesses around the globe can, and do, have significant impacts on our climate and on the lands and waters that people and nature rely on for survival. For this reason, around the world, we are pursuing strategies to help companies ease their environmental footprints by reducing carbon emissions, properly valuing nature and the services it provides, and investing in protecting and restoring the natural systems that sustain us all.
In managing its long-term investment assets, the Conservancy utilizes a number of professional external investment managers to create and manage its investment portfolio, targeting a prudent balance between risk and return. The Conservancy actively encourages investment managers to consider using environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) criteria in the investment decision-making process. The Conservancy selects highly capable and proven investment managers willing and able to manage a portfolio within a specific asset class, and seeks to do so consistently with our mission. Specifically, we strive to employ managers who use ESG criteria to inform investment decisions, thereby helping to direct investment dollars toward companies ranking positively on sustainability measures. Additionally, the Conservancy excludes certain investment opportunities from the investment portfolio when deemed inconsistent with its mission.
The Conservancy believes that the prudent management of environmental issues is a potential source of creating value for investors. In general, companies that are successful in avoiding environmental risks, and also at identifying and capitalizing on sustainability opportunities, should reap economic benefits over time. Therefore, we believe the above approach is consistent with our fiduciary requirements to prudently manage risk and return, while also paralleling our conservation mission and our support of sustainability-minded corporations.