Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Action Fund



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2018):

Revenue: $5,056,695
Expenses: $5,838,331
Assets: $2,045,441




Environmental Advocacy Group


Kevin Curtis

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The NRDC Action Fund is the political arm of the major environmentalist group Natural Resources Defense Council, helping its affiliated organization advance its objectives through support for environmentalist legislation and candidates. Its policy stances primarily revolve around opposing conventional energy, opposing natural resource extraction, and increasing protections for endangered animals and public lands.

It is an outspoken supporter of radical environmentalist legislation like the “Green New Deal,”1 a package of left-wing policies critics have characterized as a “radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy”2 and which proponents have called “a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy” plan. 3


The NRDC Action Fund was launched in 1999 to give the Natural Resources Defense Council direct influence over legislation and elections. 4

Like its affiliate, the Action Fund was an outspoken opponent of former President George W. Bush and frequently lobbied against the Bush administration’s energy policies. 5

Though it was still active, the Action Fund was strategically “relaunched” in 2009, under the guidance of executive director Heather Taylor-Miesle. 6 She held her position until 2015. 7

The Action Fund was very supportive of the Obama administration, referring to former President Barack Obama as a “Clean Energy Champion… who took unprecedented actions in the past four years to protect our air and produce clean energy jobs.” 8

On February 9th, 2016, Kevin Curtis was appointed executive director of the Action Fund, taking over for Taylor-Miesle, who had left a year prior for a position at the Ohio Environmental Council. 9

After the Trump administration assumed control of the White House, the NRDC Action Fund returned to being critical of the Executive. In response to President Donald Trump announcing his re-election at a Florida rally, Executive Director Kevin Curtis accused the President of being “a disaster for American leadership.” 10

Present Activities

The NRDC Action Fund regularly blogs about recent environmental legislation and climate change policy proposals from Democratic presidential candidates in the 2020 Presidential election. 11

On occasion, it will mobilize activists to either call or meet with their legislators regarding the environment.

The Action Fund also endorses candidates, but it redirects all candidate donations to GiveGreen, a partnered project of the LCV Victory Fund and NextGen Climate Action that directs donors to environmentalist candidates. 12


In addition to being overseen by the same executive staff as the NRDC—which includes president Rhea Suh and director John H. Adams—the Action Fund is headed by executive director Kevin Curtis. Instead of being paid through the Action Fund, Curtis’ salary is covered by the NRDC; according to the most recent publicly available filings, he makes $217,208 a year.

Before becoming Executive Director at the NRDC Action Fund, Kevin Curtis was the chief program and advocacy officer at the Climate Reality Project. He was also a deputy director of the Pew Environment Group. 13


The NRDC Action Fund’s most recent publicly available filings from 2018 show total revenues of $5,056,695 and total expenses of $5,838,331. 14 Its single largest grant was one for $537,500 to the League of Conservation Voters.


  1. Haq, Aliya. “Green New Deal Rises to Scale of Climate Challenge.” NRDC. February 27, 2019. Accessed August 13, 2019. ; Suh, Rhea. “A New Call to National Climate Action.” NRDC Action Fund. January 09, 2019. Accessed August 13, 2019.
  2. McConnell, Mitch. Twitter Post. March 25, 2019, 5:18 P.M. Accessed March 29, 2019.
  3. Montgomery, David. “AOC’s Chief of Change.” Washington Post. July 10, 2019. Accessed August 20, 2019.
  4. “NRDC Consolidated Financial Statements.” NRDC. June 30, 2014. Accessed August 13, 2019.
  5. “NRDC Action Fund Archive.” NRDC Action Fund. June 2, 2004. Accessed August 13, 2019.
  6. “NRDC Action Fund Facebook 2011.” NRDC Action Fund. Accessed August 13, 2019.
  7. “Heather Taylor-Miesle LinkedIn Profile.” LinkedIn. Accessed August 13, 2019.
  8. Harrison, Melissa. “President Obama, Other Clean Energy Champions Win.” NRDC Action Fund. November 6, 2012. Accessed August 13, 2019.
  9. Dison, Denis. “NRDC Action Fund Names New Executive Director.” NRDC Action Fund. February 09, 2016. Accessed August 13, 2019.
  10. Dison, Denis. “Trump’s Presidency Has Been a Disaster; One Term Is Enough.” NRDC Action Fund. June 18, 2019. Accessed August 13, 2019.
  11. “Blog.” NRDC Action Fund. Accessed August 13, 2019.
  12. “GiveGreen.” GiveGreen. Accessed August 13, 2019.
  13. Dison, Denis. “NRDC Action Fund Names New Executive Director.” NRDC Action Fund. February 09, 2016. Accessed August 13, 2019.
  14. “About Us – We Support NRDC.” NRDC Action Fund. Accessed August 13, 2019.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Kathleen Welch
    Board Member
  2. John Podesta
    Former Board Member, 2008-2014
  3. Anne Bartley
    Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 1998

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2018 Jun Form 990 $5,056,695 $5,838,331 $2,045,441 $734,195 N $5,056,695 $0 $0 $314,978 PDF
    2017 Jun Form 990 $4,891,902 $5,464,098 $2,926,917 $764,788 N $4,891,902 $0 $0 $278,211 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $2,887,816 $3,238,029 $2,957,555 $226,725 N $2,887,816 $0 $0 $150,006
    2015 Jun Form 990 $3,874,936 $2,013,299 $3,581,522 $516,098 N $3,874,936 $0 $0 $53,539 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $1,553,303 $1,458,066 $1,641,382 $418,841 N $1,553,303 $0 $0 $24,257 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $1,727,566 $3,277,106 $1,475,750 $348,446 N $1,727,296 $0 $0 $36,067 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $2,623,363 $1,340,042 $2,955,590 $278,746 N $2,623,363 $0 $0 $43,584 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $2,302,865 $3,355,076 $1,694,463 $300,940 N $2,302,865 $0 $0 $15,744 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Action Fund

    NEW YORK, NY 10011-4211