Our finances

Your donations support our program work

Environmental Defense Fund's lasting commitment to preserve natural systems requires financial strength and the stewardship to stay the course.

EDF continued to grow during fiscal 2019, as total operating expenses reached a record $201 million, a 5% increase over fiscal 2018.

Total operating expenses

Support and revenue of $203 million in fiscal 2019 showed significant fundraising strength. Contributions and membership increased 8%, providing more than two-thirds of total support and revenue.


Year-to-year swings in total support and revenue, and changes in net assets, reflect the timing of large gifts designated for use over multiple years. (Nonprofit accounting principles require us to record income in the year funds are raised, not in the years designated for use.)

Stewardship of multiyear gifts is an organizational priority that enables longer-term program development, equipping EDF to address large, ongoing challenges such as climate change. To ensure financial stability and to provide increased funding for high-impact programs, we monitor fundraising and adjust spending to maintain a balanced annual budget.

Fiscal 2019 is EDF's first year of reporting under the new Accounting Standards Update 2016-14, which governs the allocation of certain expenses to program activities and supporting services. The expenses that are allocated include depreciation, interest, office and occupancy, which are allocated on a square-footage basis, as well as salaries and benefits, which are allocated on the basis of estimates of time and effort. As with most significant accounting rule changes, we were also required to restate the prior year's activities using this new methodology.

Program activities accounted for 82 percent of total operating expenses in fiscal 2019.


The generous resources provided by our donors enable us to deliver strong results for the environment and human health. We thank you and welcome the critical role you play as our partners in this mission.