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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

Inflation-corrected annual revenues and total assets for a random sample of 90 small, medium, and large biodiversity conservation nonprofits in 2000 and 2009 with a 1:1 line representing the boundary between negative and positive growth.
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fig02: Inflation-corrected annual revenues and total assets for a random sample of 90 small, medium, and large biodiversity conservation nonprofits in 2000 and 2009 with a 1:1 line representing the boundary between negative and positive growth.

Mentions: Our cross-sectoral analyses use a stratified random sample of 90 biodiversity conservation nonprofits drawn from an existing dataset of over 1700 such organizations (Armsworth et al. 2012). Sizes of biodiversity conservation nonprofits span six to seven orders of magnitude in the full dataset and are right skewed, with more small than large organizations. To ensure representation across this size gradient, we stratified the sample to contain 30 of the 200 smallest organizations, 30 from 200 around the median size, and 30 of the 200 largest organizations (Fig.2). For each nonprofit in the sample, we collected itemized data for reported revenues, expenditures, assets, and liabilities from their US tax returns for 2000–2009. Specifically, we used IRS 990 forms, which we accessed from the GuideStar website (http://www.GuideStar.org). We standardized all monetary amounts to 2010 US dollars ($) using the Consumer Price Index (http://www.bls.gov/CPI/). A minority of our nonprofits (35 of 90) reported in fiscal years different from the calendar year; for these organizations, we standardized fiscal years by calculating averaged monthly values and summing these into corrected calendar years.


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)

Inflation-corrected annual revenues and total assets for a random sample of 90 small, medium, and large biodiversity conservation nonprofits in 2000 and 2009 with a 1:1 line representing the boundary between negative and positive growth.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

fig02: Inflation-corrected annual revenues and total assets for a random sample of 90 small, medium, and large biodiversity conservation nonprofits in 2000 and 2009 with a 1:1 line representing the boundary between negative and positive growth.
Mentions: Our cross-sectoral analyses use a stratified random sample of 90 biodiversity conservation nonprofits drawn from an existing dataset of over 1700 such organizations (Armsworth et al. 2012). Sizes of biodiversity conservation nonprofits span six to seven orders of magnitude in the full dataset and are right skewed, with more small than large organizations. To ensure representation across this size gradient, we stratified the sample to contain 30 of the 200 smallest organizations, 30 from 200 around the median size, and 30 of the 200 largest organizations (Fig.2). For each nonprofit in the sample, we collected itemized data for reported revenues, expenditures, assets, and liabilities from their US tax returns for 2000–2009. Specifically, we used IRS 990 forms, which we accessed from the GuideStar website (http://www.GuideStar.org). We standardized all monetary amounts to 2010 US dollars ($) using the Consumer Price Index (http://www.bls.gov/CPI/). A minority of our nonprofits (35 of 90) reported in fiscal years different from the calendar year; for these organizations, we standardized fiscal years by calculating averaged monthly values and summing these into corrected calendar years.

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