Planning for the future in Wisconsin involves making sure the necessary Sunflowers against blue sky in Wisconsin by Joshua Mayerfinancial 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.

We are committed to working with you to find the right option to ensure your lasting legacy for protecting Wisconsin’s natural resources.

To learn more, read our Endowment Fund Overview and FAQ.

View our current list of Wisconsin Conservation Endowment Funds. To designate your contribution to one of our existing endowments, donate online and type the fund name in the endowment fund section.

The Foundation also offers donors the opportunity to create a non-endowed Spend Down Fund. A Spend Down Fund is simpler than an endowment and does not require a high balance to create a major impact. It can be created to support the causes and projects of your choosing over a finite period of time. Please see our Spend Down Fund Policy for more information.

Why choose the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin?

  • Experience. Since 2006, we’ve worked with donors to establish more than 70 endowment funds, with more than $5 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-CREF 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

Spend-down Fund ($3,000)

A non-endowed fund that can be spent down in its entirety and replenished over a finite period of years.

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.

Who creates endowment funds?

People just like you. Read a few profiles to see how simple and rewarding it is. Together we’re moving conservation forward.

More information:

To learn about your endowment options, contact Development Director Camille Zanoni at (608) 264-8922 or [email protected].

Read our Investment Policy.