Their vision became Rainforest Trust. And over 30 years later, our mission remains the same.
With every acre, we’ve grown in scale, scope and determination. We’ve already helped protect over 24 million acres around the world and have millions of acres in the pipeline, working toward the security of 50 million acres.
But we don’t just see these acres as land for protection. We see these acres as home to countless species who rely on the habitats contained within. We see them as the backyards of thousands of people who rely on them for fresh water and food supplies. We see them as part of the fabric of this planet we live on.
Rainforest Trust has been recognized as one of the most effective nonprofit organizations in the U.S. by Charity Navigator.
Rainforest Trust is a US-based nonprofitenvironmental organization focused on the purchase and protection of tropical lands to strategically conserve threatened species. Founded in 1988, Rainforest Trust was formerly known as World Parks Endowment. In 2006, then World Parks Endowment affiliated itself with World Land Trust, a UK-based nonprofitenvironmental organization, and became World Land Trust-US, as both organizations were dedicated to minimizing their costs in order to allow donated funds to flow to habitat conservation projects on the ground. On September 16, 2013, because of diverging modus operandi, and as part of celebrating the organization's 25th anniversary, the World Land Trust-US changed its name to Rainforest Trust.
Rainforest Trust supports the purchase of large tracts of land by local NGOs working across tropical Asia, Africa, and Latin America for the purposes of protecting it, in a fashion similar to the Nature Conservancy by making use of land trusts. The organization also seeks to help in-situ conservation measures by providing training, capital and equipment for environmental stewardship in economically impoverished areas.
Most acres are permanently protected for an average of less than $100 per acre. As of 2018, Rainforest Trust has helped protect 20,000,000 acres (81,000 km2) of habitat.
Byron Swift was the CEO of the organization from 1988 until 2012 when Paul Salaman became the CEO. In 2020, James C. Deutsch became the CEO.
Robert S. Ridgely, President Emeritus, is an expert on neotropical birds, on which he has published several books, is a longtime conservationist, and is the co-discoverer of the jocotoco antpitta.
WARRENTON, VA 20188-0841 | Tax-exempt since May 1989
Classification (NTEE) International Development, Relief Services (International, Foreign Affairs and National Security)
Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501(c)(3) Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition (as long as it doesn’t provide athletic facilities or equipment), or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
Donations to this organization are tax deductible.