NWRA – National Wildlife Refuge Association

The NWRA is a nonprofit organization focused on protecting and promoting the 150 million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System and the landscapes beyond its boundaries through advocacy, outreach and education, and conservation projects. They rely on strong partnerships with Friends groups across the country to:

  • Build a strong constituency for wildlife
  • Mobilize and build a grassroots network of refuge Friends groups who will lend their hands and voices to support America’s wildlife refuges and wildlife conservation on the local, regional, and national levels.
  • Give wildlife a voice on Capitol Hill
  • Be the advocacy leader for the National Wildlife Refuge System
  • Conservation “beyond the boundaries” support for conserving landscapes surrounding national wildlife refuges

NWRA’s action alerts, blogs, and posts help us all understand the issues facing the refuge system. All Friends groups should ensure they are an affiliate member of NWRA and keep their contact and email information up to date with the NWRA. Friends should also consider supporting NWRA’s work by contributing to their organization.


Other Allies

USFWS – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

USFWS partners with some 200 Friends organizations that work on behalf of national wildlife refuges, raising funds, leading educational field trips, staffing information desks, sometimes pulling invasive plants or mowing. There are 33 Friends organizations that work to support and promote national fish hatcheries.

USFWS maintains a Friends page on their government website where you can find various resources for your Friends group. Content includes: FWS Friends policy and partnership agreement, information on starting a Friends group, FWS contacts, and training opportunities for Friends groups.


PLA – Public Lands Alliance

The Public Lands Alliance is a membership organization that connects, strengthens, and represents the nonprofit partners of America’s public plans. Their mission is “to work to build and elevate effective nonprofit organizations and exceptional public-nonprofit partnerships for the benefit of public lands and their users.”

Member organizations, such as Friends groups, benefit from PLA’s representation with elected officials, connections with other public lands partners, education and training programs, access to insurance, and a discounted registration fee to their annual convention and trade show.


NFWF – National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

NFWF is the nation’s largest private conservation grant-maker. They work with both  public and private sectors to protect and restore the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. They do not advocate nor litigate.

Many refuges and Friends groups have benefited from the National Wildlife Refuge Friends Grant Program that funds projects to assist organizations in being effective stewards of natural resources within the wildlife refuge system. NFWF is one of the few foundations that gives capacity building grants to Friends groups.


NEEF – National Environmental Education Foundation

NEEF’s mission is to make the environment ever‐present in the daily lives of Americans by delivering practical, accessible information they can use through the sources they know and trust.

NEEF offers two annual grant programs:

  • Every Day Events Grantssupport restoration and/or resilience-focused volunteer events on public lands. Awarded grantees will be expected to lead service events that either restore public lands and/or make those lands more resilient to future natural disasters. Grant-funded activities will mobilize community volunteers and educate participants about their role in protecting the long-term sustainability of their local public lands.
  • Every Day Capacity Building Grants — provide Friends groups with grants of up to $5,000 to build their organizational capacity to serve public lands.