Mission: Founded in 1999, the Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) works to conserve the biological diversity of the Amazon. We work to protect biodiversity by studying ecos ... (More)

Amazon Conservation Association is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 2000, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.amazonconservation.org

  1012 14th Street NW
Suite 625
Washington DC 20005 

  202-234-2356


 Important note on the timeliness of ratings

The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Financial and Accountability & Transparency score for Amazon Conservation Association is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations. Please check with the charity directly for any questions you may have.

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Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 95.14, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS. 

View this organization’s historical ratings.


Back to Overall

Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

90.4%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

6.3%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

3.1%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

5.4%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.04


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

0.59 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

6.33%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors can be reluctant to contribute to a charity when their name, address, or other basic information may become part of donor lists that are exchanged or sold, resulting in an influx of charitable solicitations from other organizations. Our analysts check the charity's website to see if the organization has a donor privacy policy in place and what it does and does not cover. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



John P. Beavers, Executive Director

$126,050 (2.39% of Total Expenses)


Current CEO and Board Chair can be found in the Leadership & Adaptability report below.

Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2019

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Activity data not reported from the IRS


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Amazon Conservation Association reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

  • Adapt our overall strategy to: 1) grow our partnerships with local communities, governments and nonprofits to aid in verifying and taking action on deforestation and fires; and 2) adjusting our approach to emphasize sustainable local economies based on productive forests that empower local people to adapt to the ongoing threats of climate change.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our organization had to adjust fundraising goals, decreasing our individual donation goals by 29% and our grant fundraising goals by more than 75% to adjust for the anticipated reduction in donations from individuals and foundations. Many fundraising activities had to be canceled. We also had to temporarily close our biological research stations and ecolodges in Peru due to travel restrictions. With the stations and ecolodges closed, we received almost no earned revenue and had to redirect operational funds to support keeping staff employed as well as maintenance and protection activities at our field sites. We applied and received the first round of the PPP loan, enabling us to maintain our full DC staff employed. We were able to meet our adjusted financial goals thanks to the PPP loan and the support from our loyal individual and institutional donors.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

Due to social distancing and travel restrictions, our boots-on-the-ground conservation work had to completely cease during the majority of 2020, not only to protect our staff but also the vulnerable communities they serve. As a preventative measure and due to travel restrictions, we temporarily closed our biological research stations and ecolodges in Peru, pausing our awareness-raising efforts as well as a large part of our science operations, but have thankfully been able to open them since late 2021. As a result of the research stations and eco-lodges being closed for over a year, a lot of critical research had to be postponed and a significant tool to engage funders and future conservationists was lost.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

We primarily adapted our programs by: 1. Shifting to virtual events and workshops. Our first virtual AmazonTEC - the premier forum that connects science and technology with policy and governance in the Amazon - hosted more than 250,000 people from over 20 countries. We held 80 other workshops with local partners to keep advancing conservation efforts and added radio-specific promotion activities to reach communities without internet access. 2. Scaling our Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project, MAAP, to monitor the entire Amazon basin, enabling governments and communities to remotely patrol their territories and protected areas. We created a Fire Tracker App that finds and reports fires and deforestation across the basin using real-time satellite imagery. Taking advantage of recent digital advancements, we also improved the quality, resolution, and thus accuracy of the satellite imagery used to report fires and deforestation events to local governments, agencies and communities.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

We fully intend to maintain the virtual components of some of our workshops and trainings as they resulted in greater participation both locally and internationally, and to provide more virtual forums at amazonconservation.org/events to engage those passionate about protecting the Amazon. Additionally, we’ll continue our approach of applying the latest science and technology to our efforts to innovate how conservation is done on and off the ground, using satellites, drones, apps, GIS mapping, machine learning, AI and other high-tech tools to monitor and stop deforestation.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
5/1/20212019 95.14
12/1/20202018 91.16
5/1/20192017 93.33
7/1/20182016 100.00
7/1/20172015 94.74
6/1/20162014 100.00
Rating Version: 2.0
7/1/20152013 94.34
6/1/20152013 92.48

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to its Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

4/1/20142012 87.90
3/1/20132011 90.50
3/1/20122010 97.75
9/20/20112009 97.15
Rating Version: 1.0
3/1/20112009 99.53
4/1/20092007 83.31
4/1/20082006 96.49
3/1/20072005 85.74
3/1/20062004 83.57
10/1/20052003 86.25

Previous: Finance & Accountability  / Next: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

Amazon Conservation Association cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

Do you work at Amazon Conservation Association? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


Back to Overall

Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Amazon Conservation Association reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$1,760,233

Spent in most recent FY

37%

Percent of program expenses


Protecting Habitats


$1,286,781

Spent in most recent FY

27%

Percent of program expenses


Science and Education


$1,058,790

Spent in most recent FY

22%

Percent of program expenses


Threats and Solutions


Previous: Impact & Results  / Next: Culture & Community

...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Amazon Conservation Association is a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


Amazon Conservation works to unite science, innovation, and people to protect the Amazon – the greatest wild forest on Earth.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


To achieve a thriving Amazon that supports the full diversity of life.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Protect Wild Places: Protect critical ecosystems and biodiversity by creating and strengthening protected areas, ensuring landscape connectivity for species survival, and directly addressing threats.

Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.


Goal Two: Empower People: Build sustainable and resilient livelihoods that protect standing forests Strengthen environmental governance that improves protection and management of natural resources.

Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.


Goal Three: Put Science and Technology to Work: At our Amazon research stations, we carry out and host robust scientific research, develop cutting-edge technologies, and support the next generation of scientists.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Amazon Conservation provides professional growth opportunities for its staff in DC through a budget for staff development for both leadership and junior positions to ensure that staff are well-equipped to do their jobs and are able to improve their skills. With the COVID-19 pandemic, staff took the opportunity to participate in multiple free and paid virtual events training sessions, webinars, and workshops to build their capacity. Amazon Conservation encourages staff to use work time to attend such trainings and bring new ideas into the organization.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

Amazon Conservation partners with local nonprofits, community-based organizations, indigenous groups and government agencies to build local capacity and provide resources to strengthen local governance and sustainable management of forests. Through in-person, virtual and radio-based training and workshops, we provide local people with the knowledge and tools to monitor their territories, develop sustainable livelihoods, conserve forests, and more. At our biological research stations and ecolodges, we host national and international scientists, universities and tourists to conduct research and raise awareness about the importance of protecting the Amazon. We actively engage with our networks, partners and the general public through hundreds of informational blog posts, research papers, press releases, social media posts, virtual forums and MAAP reports with the latest scientific updates about the state of the Amazon, including data on fires, deforestation and carbon emissions.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


In 2020, we had to temporarily close all of our biological stations and ecolodges while the COVID-19 pandemic raged, halting and delaying innumerable quantities of innovative scientific and technological research. The lockdowns wreaked havoc on local Amazonian economies, impacting the lives of people with whom we work closely every day, and we shifted our approach to emphasize sustainable local economies based on productive forests that empower local people to adapt to the ongoing threats of climate change. Being a lean organization also meant that we had to seriously consider how we could weather this unprecedented global emergency ourselves while redirecting funds to support our local community partners. We harnessed the growing power of technology to expand the reach and accuracy of our Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project so that our real-time monitoring of deforestation events and fires can capture high-resolution satellite images with high precision across the entire Amazon basin. With the help of virtual workshops and the need for local support on the ground, we also grew our partnerships with local communities, governments and nonprofits to aid in verifying and taking action on deforestation and fires. We further took advantage of the new world we found ourselves in and shifted our workshops and annual AmazonTEC conference to all virtual events, expanding participation by the thousands. The pandemic has made clear the connections between the environment’s health, human health, social justice, and economic security. Our mission has never felt more urgent, and we took time for some serious reflection on the state of the world and the environment and our role in it. A key product of this introspection, in 2020 we launched our 2020-2030 strategic plan with our new holistic approach that addresses the major needs for maintaining a healthy Amazon, today and in the future: protecting wild places, empowering people, and putting science and technology to work.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Additional Information

Unscored

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Organization Leadership

Organization Leadership


John Beavers

Executive Director

Jim Brumm

Board Chair

Previous: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves. Learn more about how and why we rate Culture & Community.


Culture & Community Score

93

out of 100

Amazon Conservation Association has earned a passing score. This score has no effect on the organization's Star Rating. The organization provided data about how it listens to constituents (Constituent Feedback) and its Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) practices (see report below).

The Culture & Community Beacon is comprised of the following metrics:

  • Constituent Feedback: 100/100 (30% of beacon score)

  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: 90/100 (70% of beacon score)


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

93

of 100 points

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

90/100 points

70% of beacon score


This organization's score of 90 is a passing score. The organization reported that it is implementing 7 diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.


View this organization's DEI Strategies


Methodology


We are utilizing data collected by Candid to document and assess the DEI practices implemented by the organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the Equity Strategies section of their Candid profiles to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Constituent Feedback

100/100 points

30% of beacon score


This organization reported that it is collecting feedback from the constituents and/or communities it serves. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective.


View this organization's Constituent Feedback Practices




Methodology


We've partnered with Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Below you can find more information about the metrics we currently evaluate in this beacon and their relevance to nonprofit performance.


Constituent Feedback


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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