Wisconsin Conservation Endowment

We build and protect Wisconsin’s nest egg.

Planning for the future in Wisconsin involves making sure the necessary financial resources are available to care for the natural resources that we cherish. Through the Wisconsin Conservation Endowment, the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin serves as a community foundation for the state of Wisconsin. The Foundation provides individuals and organizations who care deeply about our natural resources the opportunity to leave a legacy of sustained support.

Endowments can be created to fund:

  • A favorite conservation program or organization;
  • A unique habitat or landscape;
  • A beloved region or area;
  • A rare or endangered species;
  • General conservation needs in Wisconsin.

Why choose the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin?

  • Experience. Since 2006, we’ve worked with donors to establish more than 90 endowment funds, with more than $7 million in assets.
  • Public conservation focus. We serve conservation needs throughout the state by focusing efforts on the public lands that we all cherish.
  • Professional conservation expertise. Our staff and board bring extensive conservation experience to managing our endowment.
  • Professional financial services. TIAA brings dependable portfolio management expertise to our endowment.
  • Administrative support. The Foundation offers a personal approach to guidance, strategies, and fundraising support.
  • Wisconsin-based. The Foundation is not affiliated with a larger, national organization, so all of your contributions stay right here in state.

Types of endowment funds

ACORN FUND ($2,000-$8,000). A way to start a non-agency fund type above with minimum contributions of $2,000 to $8,000 per year until the threshold for the endowment is reached.

FIELD OF INTEREST FUND ($10,000). Created by individual(s) or an organization to support the Foundation’s priority conservation programs including state natural area management, wildlife conservation or conservation education.

AGENCY FUND ($15,000). Created by a qualified tax-exempt organization to support the organization’s operations and programs.

DESIGNATED FUND ($20,000). Created by individual(s) or an organization to support a specific conservation purpose designated by the donor.

DONOR-ADVISED FUND ($40,000). Donor advises the Foundation on which projects should be supported through the fund on an annual basis.

Review our current endowment funds

Whether you are considering creating an endowment fund or are interested in contributing to one that already exists, we are proud to share our list of existing endowment funds.

Frequently-asked questions

We understand that, in considering an endowment fund, you will have many questions. We’ve put together some of our most frequently asked questions and answers into an easy, downloadable document. If you have further questions, please contact Camille Zanoni (below).

Profiles in Conservation

Diversity, equity, and inclusion in conservation

It is vitally and increasingly important to consider diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our changing world. According to data from the 2010 U.S. Census, more than 25 percent of children in Wisconsin are people of color. That means the future of conservation depends upon making conservation relevant and meaningful to all Wisconsinites.

Read More
read more

Jim Hlaban recognized as water hero

You can tell a lot about Jim Hlaban’s commitment to conservation from his email signature: “If we don’t do it, who will?” Jim and his wife, Mary, recently made a commitment to protect Wisconsin’s waters into perpetuity by creating the Wisconsin Water Protection Fund, which will make annual grants to numerous conservation organizations working to protect water resources across the state.

Read More
read more

From climate-change denier to conservationist

Like many Wisconsinites, there was a time when Joey believed the environmental movement to be at odds with business and personal-property rights. Today, Joey integrates green practices into his business—Heinrichs Home Comfort, a residential HVAC company. Joey’s commitment to conservation might mean a lower profit margin, but he takes pride in knowing that he’s contributing to energy efficiency.

Read More
read more
Camille Zanoni

Camille Zanoni

Director of Philanthropy

(608) 264-8922
[email protected]

Camille leads the Foundation’s development efforts and helps raise support for Wisconsin’s priority conservation needs through annual, endowed, and planned giving.