Conservation dollars: How well they’re spent

Posted on: June 2, 2016 | Bob Frye | Comments

Blog--Good stewardsThe National Wild Turkey Federation uses some of the money it collects for habitat improvements.

Do you ever wonder how well the money you donate to sportsmen’s groups is being spent?

Well, you can rest easy for the most part.

Charity Navigator is the nation’s largest independent non-profit “watchdog” group that evaluates charitable organizations around the country. It rates them on two fronts: first, their financial health, and second, their accountability and transparency.

Such a “two-dimensional” approach is meant to ensure that a group can’t have lots of money, but spend it poorly, and yet get good ratings, and vice versa, it says.

“By guiding intelligent giving, we aim to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace, in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome our nation’s and the world’s most persistent challenges,” its website reads.

It provided ratings for a number of sportsmen’s groups. Most fared well, though some did better than others.

Here’s a look at how some did, listed alphabetically, as of June 1. Listed is the group’s name, it’s overall rating, and the percentage of its total expenses spent on the programs and services it delivers, i.e. the things sportsmen think they’re donating to support.

  • Boone and Crockett Club — 83.64 — 67.4
  • Delta Waterfowl Foundation — 87.94 — 83.2
  • Ducks Unlimited — 84.23 — 77.2
  • International Game Fish Association — 84.55 — 77.6
  • National Rifle Association Foundation 86.72   83.9
  • National Wild Turkey Federation — 88.14 — 88.9
  • National Wildlife Federation — 80.25 — 77.9
  • Pheasants Forever — 92.74 — 87.5
  • Quality Deer Management Association — 87.62 — 83.4
  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation — 92.41 — 89.7
  • Ruffed Grouse Society — 88.48 — 83.8
  • Safari Club International Foundation — 92.27 — 75.8
  • Trout Unlimited — 93.82 — 88.6
  • Western Pennsylvania Conservancy — 93.95 — 85.9
  • Whitetails Unlimited — 73.11 — 90.6

Full details can be found here.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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Bob Frye is a storyteller with a passion for all things outdoors. He hunts, he fishes, he hikes, he camps, he paddles, backpacks and snowshoes depending on the season. If he’s not an expert at anything, it’s because he’s passionate to try a little bit of everything.