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.

Total support and revenue for Environmental Defense Fund reached a record level of $223 million in fiscal 2018, an increase of 41 percent over the previous year.


This $65 million increase was driven in large part by two generous gifts designated for use over multiple years, totaling $56 million. EDF also saw continued growth in membership gifts, which increased 5 percent, or $2 million, over the previous year.

Year-to-year swings in total support and revenue, and changes in net assets, reflect the use of established nonprofit accounting principles. These require us to record gifts and pledges – including multiyear commitments – in the year they are made, not in the years designated for use.

Stewardship of multiyear gifts is an organizational priority that enables longer-term program development, central to EDF’s ability 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.

EDF’s total operating expenses reached $192 million in fiscal 2018, also a record level, representing an increase of 5 percent over the previous year.

Total operating expenses

Program activities accounted for 82 percent of the total. Personnel costs were the largest area of growth, followed by rent and related occupancy expenses.


Net assets have grown with the addition of larger multiyear grants and initiatives. Liquidity, the standard measure comparing the timing of support and revenue versus the timing of expense payments, ranks favorably within EDF’s peer group.

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.