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2019 State of the Environmental Sector: A Research Study

State-of-Environmental-Sector-CoverThe past three years have brought significant change to the environmental sector. From 2016 to 2018, giving to environment/animals organizations increased at a higher rate than total charitable giving in the United States: 13.5 percent versus 7.9 percent in current dollars, respectively.[1]

Following the 2016 presidential election, many high-profile organizations in this space experienced elevated levels of giving and an influx of new donors—a phenomenon popularly termed the “Trump bump.”

Other environmental nonprofits that were not direct recipients of this giving surge have contended with regulatory rollbacks and a heightened sense of urgency around their missions. Beyond the political climate, organizations are grappling with how they stand out and remain relevant in a crowded, ever-changing landscape, build relationships with the next generation of donors, and communicate the outcomes of their work.

As part of our dedicated service to environmental nonprofits, Campbell & Company developed a report chronicling this unique chapter in the sector. Through a nationwide survey and in-depth interviews, we sought to understand what matters most to leaders at this moment and what trends have cropped up over the past three years. We explored the trends, opportunities, and challenges present in this diverse field.

The 2019 State of the Environmental Sector report shares our findings, including a set of key themes that emerged during our interviews. Our hope is that this research contributes to the sector’s continuous learning and launches a meaningful dialogue among environmental leaders.

If you have questions or would like to discuss the research, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at

[1] Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018. Researched and written by Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Sponsored by Giving USA Foundation, a public service initiative of The Giving Institute.

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Kate Roosevelt
Kate Roosevelt brings to her work nearly three decades of experience working in and consulting with a wide variety of mission-driven nonprofit organizations. As Co-President of Campbell & Company, Kate...
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