Rainforest Action Network (RAN)

This is a logo owned by Rainforest Action Network for Rainforest Action Network. (link)



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2017):

Revenue: $7,171,005
Expenses: $7,162,410
Assets: $5,797,702




Environmental Advocacy Group

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The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is a left-leaning environmentalist organization that advocates against businesses which produce conventional energy sources (such as oil and natural gas), paper products, and consumer goods. Founded in 1985, RAN frequently ties its mission to the identity politics common on the American Left. 1 It is allied with some of the largest environmental groups in the nation, such as the Sierra Club. It has been endorsed by former Obama White House advisor Van Jones. 2 RAN has opposed the use of zero carbon nuclear energy. 3


RAN’s initiatives are largely activist-based and organized to pressure corporations to acquiesce to pressure from RAN and its allied organizations. Its reports in recent years have focused heavily on opposing the use of palm oil and campaigning for banks not to serve the energy industry. 4

Snack Food 20

RAN has for years opposed “Conflict Palm Oil,” a term used by environmentalists to describe palm oil industry practices under conditions which RAN says cause environmental harm and involve human rights abuses. 5

RAN’s most prominent opponent in its palm oil-related corporate campaigns is PepsiCo. In 2017, the company formally suspended its palm oil partnership with Indofood after allegations of environmental and human abuses, an Indonesian company with which PepsiCo partners with for some products. 6

RAN states that 50 percent of U.S. products have palm oil in them. 7 As of May 8, 2019, the citation of a 2008 fact sheet by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil led to a blank page. 8

“Banking on Climate Change”

In March 2019, RAN partnered with five other environmental groups – such as The Sierra Club and Oil Change International – to release a report called “Banking on climate change.” 9

The report tracked 33 international banks and criticized them for offering market services to energy companies. The report’s detailed methodology acknowledges that the assessments of the banks were not provided with direct data from the banks. 10

Beyond Paper

RAN and its allies have pushed for corporations to stop deforestation and other environmental abuses which impact Indonesia’s rainforests and many of the nation’s poor citizens. 11 RAN highlights “purchasing policies” by global brands which have changed due to pressure from environmental groups. Those changes are designed to reduce negative impacts of pulp, paper, and viscose production.

Opposition to Nuclear Energy

RAN was one of more than 600 co-signing organizations on a January 2019 open letter to Congress titled “Legislation to Address the Urgent Threat of Climate Change.” The signatories declared their support for new laws to bring about “100 percent decarbonization” of the transportation sector but denounced nuclear power as an example of “dirty energy” that should not be included in any legislation promoting the use of so-called “renewable energy.” 12

Nuclear power plants produce no carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas emissions, and as of 2021 accounted for 19 percent of American electricity production—the largest source of zero carbon electricity in the United States. 13 An October 2018 proposal from The Nature Conservancy noted that zero-carbon nuclear plants produced 7.8 percent of total world energy output and recommended reducing carbon emissions by increasing nuclear capacity to 33 percent of total world energy output. 14


Rainforest Action Network raised $7,909,549 in 2017. Its initiatives cost $6,840,501, and its assets that year were $6,417,015. 15

RAN has given $1.5 million to 250 “front-line communities,” indigenous groups, and activist allies since its founding. 16

RAN received millions of dollars from corporate, nonprofit, and individual donors in 2018. The Ford Foundation and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation each donated at least $100,000. The Humane Society of the United States donated between $50,000 and $100,000. 17 Other notable contributors in recent years include the Foundation for the Carolinas, the California Community Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Frank E. Payne and Seba B. Payne Foundation. 18

Grant Recipients

RAN provided a number of grants to domestic and international groups in 2017 and 2018. 1920 To cite four examples of domestic grants:

  • $5,000 went to the Protecting Mother Earth Conference, which was sponsored by the Indigenous Climate Action and Indigenous Environmental Network.
  • $2,500 was provided to activists opposed to the Louisiana-based Bayou Bridge Pipeline. According to RAN, the pipeline is designed to move fracked oil.
  • $10,000 was provided to Solidarity to Solutions Week activities. The money was used to push for clean energy and to assess the impact of environmental damage on indigenous people affected by corporations and climate change.
  • The Native Organizers Alliance received $10,000 from RAN as part of a South Dakota-based effort to halt the KXL pipeline “if and when” the pipeline is created.

RAN’s international donations were more substantial. Nearly $300,000 went to several grants across the world as part of RAN’s coalition efforts.

Corporate Campaigns

Rainforest Action Network claimed to have pressured Burger King to cancel $35 million in cattle contracts in Costa Rica in 1987. 21 Burger King also promised to only use domestic cattle for its burgers. Additionally, officials in Costa Rica asked RAN co-founder Mike Roselle to help the nation implement a law in line with RAN’s principles. Roselle attended a symposium along with then-Costa Rica president Oscar Arias, future Costa Rica president Jose Figueres, and top Burger King executives. 22

In 1999, RAN participated in the Seattle World Trade Organization protests. These protests locked down the city, and the Washington Post reported at the time that police made 20 arrests. 23

In 2019, RAN and its allies pushed a petition with 45,000 signatures as part of a pressure campaign to force Liberty Mutual to not insure a coal mine in Australia. 2425 According to a press release issued by the coalition, Liberty Mutual did not respond to meeting requests about their insurance policies.

RAN has been critical of the Trump administration for pulling out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council and for pulling out of the Paris Climate accords. 26 27 The group also praised a judge who declared the administration’s efforts to move forward with the Keystone XL Pipeline violated environmental laws. 28


Rainforest Action Network was co-founded by, among others, Mike Roselle. Roselle told Time in 2009 that he had been arrested about 50 times for his activism. 29 Roselle is listed as a “Board Emeritus” member as of 2018. 30

RAN’s Executive Director is Lindsey Allen. She previously directed the group’s Forest Program. 3132

Hollywood actors Woody Harrelson and Daryl Hannah were Honorary Board Members of RAN in 2018.


  1. Rainforest Action Network, Responsible Food Systems, Accessed May 8, 2019.
  2. Rainforest Action Network, How We Win, Accessed May 8, 2019.
  3. “Group letter to Congress urging Green New Deal passage.” Earthworks. January 10, 2019. Accessed July 27, 2023.
  4. Rainforest Action Network, Publications, Accessed May 8, 2019.
  5. Rainforest Action Network, Snack Food 20, Accessed May 8, 2019.
  6. Gill Hyslop, “PepsiCo and Nestle sever ties with Indonesia’s largest palm oil supplier in wake of alleged human rights abuses,” October 5, 2018. Accessed May 8, 2019.
  7. Rainforest Action Network, Palm Oil Fact Sheet, Accessed May 8, 2019.
  8. Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil, “Fact sheets Basic,” 2008. Accessed May 8, 2019.
  9. Rainforest Action Network, “Banking on climate change,” March 19, 2019. Accessed May 8, 2019.
  10. Anya Marcelis and Ward Warmerdam, “Banking on climate change: Fossil fuel finance report card 2019 Methodology Note,” March 2019. Accessed May 8, 2019.
  11. Rainforest Action Network, “Beyond Paper Promises,” Accessed May 8, 2019.
  12. “Group letter to Congress urging Green New Deal passage.” Earthworks. January 10, 2019. Accessed July 27, 2023.
  13. “Nuclear explained.” U.S. Energy Information Administration. Accessed July 25, 2023.
  14. “The Science of Sustainability.” The Nature Conservancy. October 13, 2018. Accessed July 25, 2023.
  15. Rainforest Action Network, 2017 990, Accessed May 8, 2019.

  16. Rainforest Action Network, “Frontline communities: where small grants have a huge impact,” Accessed May 8, 2019.
  17. Rainforest Action Network, 2018 Annual Report, Accessed May 8, 2019.×8.5_vWEB.pdf
  18. Data compiled by subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted May 29, 2019.
  19. Rainforest Action Network, 2017 990, Accessed May 8, 2019.
  20. Rainforest Action Network, Climate Action Fund Grants, Accessed May 8, 2019.
  21. Rainforest Action Network, How We Win, Accessed May 8, 2019.
  22. Global nonviolent action database, “U.S. activists stop Burger King from importing rainforest beef, 1984-1987,” Accessed May 8, 2019.
  23. John Burgess and Steven Pearlstein, “Protests delay WTO opening,” December 1, 1999. Accessed May 8, 2019.
  24. Sum of us, “Liberty Mutual, don’t insure Adani,” Accessed May 8, 2019.
  25. Rainforest Action Network, “Tens of thousands demand Liberty Mutual not insure massive coal mine,” April 26, 2019. Accessed May 8, 2019.
  26. Rainforest Action Network, “Rainforest Action Network responds to Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. from UN Human Rights Council,” June 19, 2018. Accessed May 8, 2019.
  27. Rainforest Action Network, “RAN statement on the Trump administration and the Paris Climate Accord,” June 1, 2017. Accessed May 8, 2019.
  28. Rainforest Action Network, “Federal judge blocks Keystone XL Pipeline, Rainforest Action Network Responds,” November 9, 2018. Accessed May 8, 2019.
  29. Kristi Oloffson, “Environmental activist Mike Roselle,” October 12, 2009. Accessed May 8, 2019.,8599,1929701,00.html
  30. Rainforest Action Network, 2018 Annual Report, Accessed May 8, 2019.×8.5_vWEB.pdf
  31. Rainforest Action Network, Our Team, Accessed May 8, 2019.
  32. Rainforest Action Network, Lindsey Allen, Accessed May 8, 2019.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

Supported Movements

  1. Green New Deal (GND)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 1991

  • 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
    2017 Jun Form 990 $7,171,005 $7,162,410 $5,797,702 $449,735 N $6,860,777 $0 $1,228 $320,338
    2016 Jun Form 990 $7,591,424 $6,462,021 $5,707,240 $367,868 N $7,877,879 $0 $649 $296,285 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $4,409,618 $5,331,523 $4,533,023 $323,054 N $4,579,762 $0 $533 $258,197 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $7,997,815 $4,590,214 $5,460,988 $329,114 N $8,215,039 $0 $1,283 $226,010 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $4,360,948 $4,083,948 $1,935,863 $211,590 N $4,138,635 $0 $347 $225,021 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $3,705,572 $3,775,400 $1,685,050 $237,777 Y $3,577,686 $0 $2,526 $216,224 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Rainforest Action Network (RAN)

    425 BUSH ST STE 300
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94108-3721