The Nature Conservancy
490 Westfield Road
Charlottesville VA 22901
Mission Statement
The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Michael L. Lipford
Board Chair Charles W. Moorman
Board Chair Company Affiliation Norfolk Southern Corporation
Contact Information
Address 490 Westfield Road
Charlottesville, VA 22901
Telephone 434 295-6106
Fax 434 979-0370
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1951
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $9,663,000.00
Projected Expenses $10,408,000.00
The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.

The Nature Conservancy works from a local-to-global scale in more than 60 countries, all 50 states and your backyard. Our latest successes in Virginia have included:


  1. Utilizing regulatory carbon offsets from California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) to generate revenue for Virginia’s Clinch Valley Conservation Forestry Program. These offsets will generate revenue for the Clinch Valley Program, help companies reduce their carbon footprints, and demonstrate that working forests are compatible with combatting climate change.
  2. Facilitating a workshop with the fishing industry, scientists and conservationists to identify solutions to protect both fishing access and corals, and to set the stage for further analysis and action to protect underwater canyons along the Mid-Atlantic coastline. As a result, on June 10, 2015, the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council voted to approve sweeping measures to protect deep-sea corals in 15 zones containing dozens of submarine canyons from Norfolk Canyon in Virginia to Hudson Canyon in New York.
  3. Teaming up with Harley-Davidson riders and corporate leaders through their Renew the Ride™ initiative and the Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees Program to kick-off the planting of 110,000 rare longleaf pine seedlings in southern Virginia during the winter of 2014-2015. Once covering 1 million acres in southeast Virginia, native longleaf pines have been reduced to a mere 200 trees in Virginia, but thanks to The Nature Conservancy it is making a comeback. In recent years, the Conservancy, its partners and private landowners have joined together to plant hundreds of new acres of Long Leaf Pines through southeast Virginia.

The Nature Conservancy’s current initiatives and goals include:

  1. Protecting Water - The Nature Conservancy has been working to protect Virginia's water supplies for more than 60 years. The best way to ensure clean drinking water downstream is to protect the land and waterways of tributaries upstream. To achieve this, The Nature Conservancy is working to preserve intact forests and marshes, restore degraded rivers and streams, and restore oyster habitat statewide.
  2. Coastal Resiliency - The Nature Conservancy’s Virginia Coast Reserve is an enormous stretch of land including 14 undeveloped barrier islands that protect Virginia’s coast from battering storms. By preserving these barrier islands, and restoring lost seagrass habitat and oyster reefs along their shores, The Nature Conservancy is working to significantly increase the resiliency of this coastline against the effects of extreme weather events.
  3. Forest Conservation - The Central Appalachians extend through six states and across 50,000 square miles of rugged mountain ridges and pastoral valleys. Because these important lands and waters intersect with energy resources, ranging from coal to wind, energy development poses an increasing threat, compounded by climate change. The Nature Conservancy is working to achieve conservation at scale in this region through Smart Resource Development, by protecting and Restoring Public Lands and by utilizing Fire Management plans to rejuvenate forest land.
  1. Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of efforts to reduce runoff pollution into the waters.
  2. Protection and restoration of critical habitats.
  3. Foster recovery of threatened and endangered species.
  4. Provide community based conservation efforts to help reduce air pollution.
  5. Increase resiliency to climate change.

In 1960, a small group of conservations came together in a Richmond home and formed our Virginia Chapter. The following year, the Arundel family donated property to establish our very first Virginia preserve, at verdant Wildcat Mountain in Fauquier County. Today, more than a quarter-million acres later, the Conservancy has preserved many of Virginia’s greatest ecological treasures and the natural benefits they provide to our people.

Places like our Virginia Coast Reserve, the East Coast’s longest expanse of coastal wilderness and a globally vital stopover site for migratory birds, and Piney Grove Preserve, where restored old-growth pine savannas shelter Virginia’s most endangered bird. We’ve also worked to protect the Clinch River, America’s most important river for imperiled freshwater animals and a source of drinking water for at least 50,000 people in southwest Virginia.

These are but a few of the tangible results we’ve produced for nature and people over the past 50 years. Each is a testament to the Conservancy’s hallmark ability to build and lead conservation partnerships that bridge all interests. When our water, our wildlife and our land are threatened, we invite everyone to the table. We may not all agree all of the time, but we have forged lasting solutions because they are grounded not only on the best available science, but also on common understanding of the need to protect our most special places for ourselves and for future generations.

The Virginia Chapter has grown from a handful of volunteers in 1960 to more than 30,000 supporters across the Commonwealth. Combined with our knowledgeable staff, we work together to fulfill the mission of The Nature Conservancy: to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.

Areas of Service
Areas Served
Board Chair
Board Chair Charles W. Moorman
Company Affiliation Norfolk Southern Corporation
Term May 2015 to Jan 2018
Board CoChair
Board CoChair John C. Ulfelder
Board of Directors
Board Members
Benjamin K. Adamson Corinthian Construction
Margaret W. Bemiss Madge Bemiss Architect PLLC
Clifford A. Cutchins IVMcGuireWoods LLP
Christopher B. Davidson Director of Global Sustainability at MeadWestvaco
Jane T. Fisher Community Volunteer
James B. Fleming Columbia Capital LLC
George C. Freeman IIIPresident & CEO of Universal Corporation
Matthew J. Gerber James C. Justice Companies, Inc.
Cabell W. Grayson CBRE Global Investors
Jil W. Harris Community Volunteer
G. Scott Hetzer Sr. VP Tax and Treasurer of Dominion
Thomas J. Hill Managing partner of Plus Tick
Karl K. Kindig Karl K. Kindig, Attorney at Law
Roger H. W. Kirby Guilford Company
Deborah Lawrence Professor of Environmental Studies at UVA
William H. Lewis Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP
Wiley F. Mitchell Jr.Willcox & Savage
Charles W. Moorman Norfolk Southern Corporation
Mamie A. Parker MA Parker and Associates LLC
Robert H. Trice Retired
John C. Ulfelder West*Group
William H. West CFO Investure
Kenan L. White The Growers Exchange
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 23
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 19
Female 6
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 72
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 3
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. Michael L. Lipford
Since 1991, Michael Lipford has served as State Director of the Conservancy’s Virginia Chapter, where in addition to his statewide duties, he is regularly called upon by the organization to help formulate and lead new conservation initiatives with regional, national, and global impacts. Prior to coming to the Conservancy, Michael surveyed streams throughout the southeast as a field biologist, and taught biology and forest and wildlife management at Dabney Lancaster Community College in Clifton Forge, VA. He also served as the first Director of the Virginia Division of Natural Heritage, an organization launched by the Conservancy before being transferred to the State Department of Conservation and Recreation. A native of Portsmouth, Michael enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, drawing, beekeeping, and gardening. He lives in an historic home in Richmond with wife Elizabeth and their three daughters.

Under Michael’s leadership, the Conservancy’s Virginia chapter has served as a model to other programs across the organization for organizing its work around landscape-scale projects:

  • Building coastal resilience and restoring fisheries at the Virginia Coast Reserve, the last and only ocean wilderness located along the Atlantic coastline.
  • Working with government, business and industry to pursue conservation and restoration projects that will improve water quality in and around the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Protecting a network of forests and streams jeopardized by energy development in the Central Appalachian Mountains.
  • Working with colleagues in North Carolina to protect and restore floodplains and forests feeding into Ablemarle Sound, especially through improved fire and hydrology.
  • BS in Biology from Virginia Tech
  • MS in Biology from James Madison University
Awards, Recognition, and Memberships:
  • Received The Nature Conservancy’s highest staff honor, the One Conservancy Award, 2003
  • Received the Virginia Environmental Leadership Award, voted on by his peers, 2010
Co-CEO Mr. Bill Kittrell
Term Start 1991
Full Time Staff 66
Volunteers 1200
Organization has a Strategic Plan?
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
The Nature Conservancy is a global organization dedicated to protecting the lands and waters on which the diversity of life depends. We envision a world where forest, grasslands, deserts, rivers and oceans are healthy; where the connection between natural systems and the quality of human life is valued; and where the places that sustain all life endure for future generations. We are one of the world's largest private, nonprofit, nongovernmental conservation organizations. Yet, we operate at the local level, working in hundreds of communities on the ground to conserve natural diversity and sustain livelihoods. Science is the foundation of our work. Critical data on plants and animals and threats to their habitats help us determine what conservation actions to take. Socio-economic and human development data help us frame solutions that meet the needs of people and nature. We develop innovative tools and uncommon approaches to protect natural systems. In all that we do, we seek common ground with others, often acting as the catalyst to create tangible, lasting conservation results.
Our 1-million-plus members have helped us protect more than 15 million acres of habitat in the United States and more than 102 million acres in Canada, LatinAmerica, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. We currently manage 1,400 preserves, the largest system of private nature sanctuaries in the world.
Long Term Success The Conservancy recently acquired land in Chile to protect the ancient trees of the Valdivian Coastal Range.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $9,663,000.00
Projected Expenses $10,408,000.00
Endowment Value $37,000,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$99,209,000$120,687,000$120,717,000
Individual Contributions$517,969,966$537,512,000$482,283,722
Investment Income, Net of Losses$44,199,000$235,213,000$116,725,000
Membership Dues------
Special Events----$118,679
Revenue In-Kind$125,753,000$22,905,000$28,244,000
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$573,205,033$541,179,000$560,201,345
Administration Expense$136,586,000$121,776,000$115,448,000
Fundraising Expense$91,255,000$94,916,000$89,011,000
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.181.471.24
Program Expense/Total Expenses72%71%73%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue15%14%15%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$6,712,500,146$6,518,912,000$6,183,317,000
Current Assets$407,657,737$830,754,000$355,560,620
Long-Term Liabilities$376,641,210--$376,346,000
Current Liabilities$411,890,025$741,453,000$385,920,000
Total Net Assets$5,923,968,911$5,777,459,000$5,421,051,000
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.991.120.92
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets6%0%6%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose Our increasing population and urbanization are putting extraordinary pressure on nature around the world. Our Chesapeake Bay and half of Virginia’s rivers are impaired, exposing people to risk from drinking water, swimming and eating fish. And hundreds of acres of our forests fall every week to make way for development. Virginia also faces several particularly daunting regional and global threats to the lands, waters and natural systems that sustain our lives and livelihoods: Climate: Our Mid-Atlantic coast faces twice the global risk from rising seas. We need deeper investments in natural habitats such as oyster reefs, eelgrass beds and salt marshes that shelter wildlife and provide a first line of defense for people living in coastal communities. Energy: Our demand for energy is spurring development that threatens our waters, our wildlife, our forests and our ocean. We need new and enhanced scientific tools to guide decisions that will protect nature and steer energy production to appropriate sites. Fisheries: Scientists calculate that 90 percent of the fisheries we depend on for food and livelihoods are being over-harvested. We need to expand marine-conservation partnerships that are revolutionizing ocean governance and management to ensure sustainable fishing. Together, we will forge solutions that are innovative, yet practical. We have a narrow window of opportunity to protect our prosperity and quality of life, but that window will begin to close within this decade. By joining together now and taking immediate action, we will meet our economic needs and secure clean water to drink, lush forests to seek recreation and renewal, and plentiful seafood to eat. How will we succeed? PROTECT and restore our landscapes, rivers and oceans at an unprecedented scale. TRANSFORM how we use the Earth’s natural resources through innovative science and partnerships. INSPIRE leaders and new ambassadors for conservation.
Goal $50,000,000.00
Dates July 2013 to June 2020
Amount Raised To Date $0.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 11/2016View
Foundation Comments
  • Financial information provided from IRS 990s.
  • IRS 990s and audited financial statements prepared by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP.
  • Revenue from "Individuals" also includes support from corporations and foundations.