The Nature Conservancy is an American charitable environmental organization, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Its mission is to “conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.” The Indiana Dunes of Northwest Indiana played a role in the formation of The Nature Conservancy. Volo Bog in northern Illinois was the first purchase of the Illinois Nature Conservancy due to the fundraising efforts of Cyrus Mark, the first president of the Illinois Nature Conservancy. Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy works in more than 35 countries, including all 50 states of the United States. The Conservancy has over one million members, and has protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide. The Nature Conservancy also operates more than 100 marine conservation projects globally. The organization’s assets total $6.18 billion as of 2014. The Nature Conservancy is the largest environmental nonprofit by assets and by revenue in the Americas. The Nature Conservancy rates as one of the most trusted national organizations in Harris Interactive polls every year since 2005. Forbes magazine rated The Nature Conservancy’s fundraising efficiency at 88 percent in its 2005 survey of the largest U.S. charities. The Conservancy received a two-star rating from Charity Navigator in 2012 (three-star in 2010) and was named by that organization in 2005 on their list of “10 of the Best Charities Everyone’s Heard Of”. The American Institute of Philanthropy gives the Conservancy an A− rating and includes it on its list of “Top-Rated Charities”. The Nature Conservancy is led by President and CEO Mark Tercek, a former managing director at Goldman Sachs, and an adjunct professor at the New York University Stern School of Business. The organization draws from all segments of the community. Retired General Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of coalition forces during the First Gulf War, was a member of the Conservancy’s President’s Conservation Council.
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