Greens in the Red
It’s not just investors who are bearing the brunt of the bear market: U.S. and Canadian environmental nonprofits are learning that when the stock market shrinks, so do the coffers of their financial supporters. A recent survey found that 10 leading private foundations in the U.S. lost $8.3 billion in the first six months of this year — and times are only getting tougher. The value of the California-based David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a major funder of environmental groups, has fallen from $6 billion to $3.3 billion this year. In 2000, when the Packard Foundation had still more money, it gave away $450 million; in 2003, it plans to give away $200 million. The Georgia-based Turner Foundation was hard hit too, losing a third of its assets this year. Some environmental organizations that survive off of memberships and smaller donations are in the black, but many others are not as lucky.