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A lack of response of the financial behaviors of biodiversity conservation nonprofits to changing economic conditions.

Larson ER, Boyer AG, Armsworth PR - Ecol Evol (2014)

Bottom Line: We examine how biodiversity conservation nonprofits in the US responded to these changes through their financial behaviors, focusing on a sample of 90 biodiversity conservation nonprofits and the largest individual organization (The Nature Conservancy; TNC).For the 90 sampled organizations, an analysis of financial ratios derived from tax return data revealed little response to economic conditions.Our results suggest that the financial behaviors of US biodiversity conservation nonprofits are unresponsive to economic conditions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee, 37996-1610.

ABSTRACT
The effectiveness of conservation organizations is determined in part by how they adapt to changing conditions. Over the previous decade, economic conditions in the United States (US) showed marked variation including a period of rapid growth followed by a major recession. We examine how biodiversity conservation nonprofits in the US responded to these changes through their financial behaviors, focusing on a sample of 90 biodiversity conservation nonprofits and the largest individual organization (The Nature Conservancy; TNC). For the 90 sampled organizations, an analysis of financial ratios derived from tax return data revealed little response to economic conditions. Similarly, more detailed examination of conservation expenditures and land acquisition practices of TNC revealed only one significant relationship with economic conditions: TNC accepted a greater proportion of conservation easements as donated in more difficult economic conditions. Our results suggest that the financial behaviors of US biodiversity conservation nonprofits are unresponsive to economic conditions.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Log10 United States (US) gross domestic product (GDP) as billions of 2010 dollars ($) by quarter for 2000–2009 (black) with linear regression fit (gray).
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fig01: Log10 United States (US) gross domestic product (GDP) as billions of 2010 dollars ($) by quarter for 2000–2009 (black) with linear regression fit (gray).

Mentions: The decade of the 2000s was characterized by highly variable economic conditions globally and within the United States (US), including a period of rapid growth followed by the largest recession since the Great Depression (Poole 2010; Fig.1). How these economic fluctuations have affected biodiversity conservation has been a subject of conjecture but little empirical evaluation. Some authors see opportunity to slow rates of habitat destruction and climate change during recessions and to decouple resumed economic growth from environmentally damaging production (Jackson 2009; Woodward 2009). Others caution that recessionary conditions may impair biodiversity conservation through diminished government revenues and related program cuts or by reduced charitable giving to nonprofit organizations (Bakker et al. 2010; Elliott 2011; Sayer et al. 2012).


A lack of response of the financial behaviors of biodiversity conservation nonprofits to changing economic conditions.

Larson ER, Boyer AG, Armsworth PR - Ecol Evol (2014)

Log10 United States (US) gross domestic product (GDP) as billions of 2010 dollars ($) by quarter for 2000–2009 (black) with linear regression fit (gray).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4264893&req=5

fig01: Log10 United States (US) gross domestic product (GDP) as billions of 2010 dollars ($) by quarter for 2000–2009 (black) with linear regression fit (gray).
Mentions: The decade of the 2000s was characterized by highly variable economic conditions globally and within the United States (US), including a period of rapid growth followed by the largest recession since the Great Depression (Poole 2010; Fig.1). How these economic fluctuations have affected biodiversity conservation has been a subject of conjecture but little empirical evaluation. Some authors see opportunity to slow rates of habitat destruction and climate change during recessions and to decouple resumed economic growth from environmentally damaging production (Jackson 2009; Woodward 2009). Others caution that recessionary conditions may impair biodiversity conservation through diminished government revenues and related program cuts or by reduced charitable giving to nonprofit organizations (Bakker et al. 2010; Elliott 2011; Sayer et al. 2012).

Bottom Line: We examine how biodiversity conservation nonprofits in the US responded to these changes through their financial behaviors, focusing on a sample of 90 biodiversity conservation nonprofits and the largest individual organization (The Nature Conservancy; TNC).For the 90 sampled organizations, an analysis of financial ratios derived from tax return data revealed little response to economic conditions.Our results suggest that the financial behaviors of US biodiversity conservation nonprofits are unresponsive to economic conditions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee, 37996-1610.

ABSTRACT
The effectiveness of conservation organizations is determined in part by how they adapt to changing conditions. Over the previous decade, economic conditions in the United States (US) showed marked variation including a period of rapid growth followed by a major recession. We examine how biodiversity conservation nonprofits in the US responded to these changes through their financial behaviors, focusing on a sample of 90 biodiversity conservation nonprofits and the largest individual organization (The Nature Conservancy; TNC). For the 90 sampled organizations, an analysis of financial ratios derived from tax return data revealed little response to economic conditions. Similarly, more detailed examination of conservation expenditures and land acquisition practices of TNC revealed only one significant relationship with economic conditions: TNC accepted a greater proportion of conservation easements as donated in more difficult economic conditions. Our results suggest that the financial behaviors of US biodiversity conservation nonprofits are unresponsive to economic conditions.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus