Non-profit

World Resources Institute (WRI)

World Resources Institute logo (link)
Website:

www.wri.org/%20

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

52-1257057

DUNS Number:

87-360-3317

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $99,339,072
Expenses: $89,823,844
Assets: $108,201,902

Formation:

1982

Founder:

Gus Speth

President:

Andrew Steer

The World Resources Institute (WRI) is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing research and policy approaches on environmentalist issues around the world.

WRI receives hundreds of millions of dollars a year via grants from government agencies, private foundations, and corporations. Some of these donors include the European Climate Foundation, the Shell Foundation, Facebook, the Toyota Mobility Foundation, the Walmart Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. [1][2][3]

Virginia Giuffre accused former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), at the time a board member of World Resources Institute, of being one of the men with whom alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein ordered her to have sexual intercourse;[4] Richardson denied the allegation,[5] though he resigned from the WRI board for reasons WRI maintained were unrelated. [6]

Background

The World Resources Institute is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organization that conducts global research on environmentalist subjects such as climate change and environmentalist energy. The institute has more than 700 “experts” and members of staff and conducts its activities in more than 50 countries around the world including China, where it opened an office in 2008. [7] Other WRI offices are located in Brazil, Europe, India, Indonesia, and Mexico. [8]

WRI was founded in 1982 by Gus Speth, who created the organization with a $15 million grant provided to him by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (also known as the MacArthur Foundation), a left-of-center foundation that granted an average of just over $200 million each year, between 2000 to 2017, to a large number of left-of-center causes including disarmament, environmentalist policy, and population control. [9]

The World Resources Institute gathers data through independent research and analysis which it then uses to influence policies of national and local governments and business strategies. WRI also tests its programs with governments, companies, and other communities. [10]

Andrew Steer, the current president of the World Resources Institute, will be stepping down from his position to become the president and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, a left-of-center charitable project launched by billionaire Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in February 2020. Bezos endowed the Fund with $10 billion to be disbursed by 2030 to environmentalist projects aimed at combatting climate change. [11]

Funding

Most of the World Resources Institute’s revenue comes from contributions and grants from private foundations, organizations, and companies including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Bezos Earth Fund, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Funding for the World Resources Institute has grown by a large amount since 2017.

WRI received approximately $86.5 million in contributions and grants in 2017, with total revenue of just under $93.5 million. The institute had $94.5 million in total functional expenses, with just under $6 million going to “executive compensation,” and $24.3 million paying for the 700 staff members’ “salaries and other wages.” WRI had $105 million in total assets for 2017 and Just over $18.5 in total liabilities. [12]

The World Resources Institute’s income increased substantially in 2018 when it made $140 million in total revenue, with $138.6 million received in the form of contributions and grants. WRI’s expenses also grew but not nearly as much. The institute had $104 million in total functional expenses, paying $4.4 million in “executive compensation,” and $24.6 in salaries and wages. WRI’s total assets also grew to $150 million and its total liabilities rose to $26 million. [13]

WRI’s income grew further in 2019 when it made just under $160 million in total revenue, $158 million of which came from contributions and grants including a total of $4.5 million being received in the form of government contributions. It had $120.7 million in total expenses for the same year, paying $5 million in “executive compensation,” and $31 million for salaries and wages. The institute’s total assets climbed again to $183 million, and its total liabilities dropped to $21 million. [14]

The World Resources Institute received $16,047,627 from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany in 2017, as well as $9,217,439 from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, $9,160,427 from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, $5,835,411 from the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom, $2,467,680 from the Department of Energy & Climate Change of the United Kingdom, $2,081,000 from the European Climate Foundation, $1,500,000 from the U.S. Agency for International Development, and $691,357 from the U.S. Department of State. [15]

WRI also received multiple contributions from government organizations in 2019 including, $23,080,000 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, $13,271,808 from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, $9,559,266 from the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, $8,655,960.43 from the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and $6,579,803 from the U.K. Department for International Development. [16]

The Bezos Earth Fund, a left-of-center charitable project launched by billionaire Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in February 2020, selected the World Resources Institute as one of its first grantees, promising the organization $100 million over five years. WRI noted that it would use the money to “develop a satellite-based monitoring system to advance natural climate solutions around the world.” [17]

The MacArthur Foundation has awarded a total of $55,516,000 between 1982 and 2020 to the World Resources Institute including the initial $15 million in 1982, just over $22.5 million in 1986, $1.2 million in 1998, $1.5 million in 2007, $3 million in 2018, $2.6 million in 2019, and $1 million in 2020. [18]

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also known as the Gates Foundation, has provided millions of dollars to WRI between 2000 and 2019 including $1,320,000 in 2011, $2.1 million in 2016, and $1 million in 2019. [19]

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a left-of-center private foundation that has devoted 46.2% of its grants to environmental conservation since its launch in 2000 and provides generous support of left-of-center environmentalist organizations hostile to energy production, logging, and mining, has provided a total of $7,878,315 to WRI since 2014, with the most recent grant being $2,300,000 awarded in 2020. [20]

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a left-of-center foundation created in 1940 as the charity for the five sons of John D. Rockefeller, contributed $200,000 in 2014, $400,000 in 2015, $150,000 in 2016, $200,000 in 2017, and $500,000 in 2019. [21]

The World Resources Institute also lists its major donors; entities that have contributed more than $750,000 between 2016 and 2018. This list includes Bloomberg Philanthropies, Cargill Incorporated, Citi Foundation, ClimateWorks Foundation, the European Climate Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Google, Open Society Foundations, and The World Bank. [22]

The World Resources Institute has also received substantial amounts of money from corporations and corporate-linked foundations in 2017, including $940,000 from Cargill, $800,000 from the Shell Foundation, Facebook, the Toyota Mobility Foundation, Tyson Foods, the Walmart Foundation, UPS Foundation, Mars, and DuPont. [23] WRI also notes that it has also received donations from HSBC, FedEx, the IKEA Foundation, and Microsoft’s AI for Earth. [24]

Controversy

Former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson (D) resigned from the World Resources Institute board after he was accused by Virginia Giuffre in 2019 of being one of the men with whom alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein ordered her to have sexual intercourse. [25]

Richardson, who denied the accusations made by Giuffre, resigned from his position on the World Resources Institute board of directors and claimed in a statement that he “felt it was time to resign” as he had served on the board for more than eight years. WRI made no public comment on Richardson but confirmed to the Huffington Post that he was no longer on the board. [26]

References

  1. “WRI 2017 Funding Commitments,” World Resources Institute, August 14, 2018, https://www.wri.org/about/wri-2017-funding-commitments. ^
  2. “Committed Grants – World Resources Institute,” gatesfoundation.org, accessed April 5, 2021, https://www.gatesfoundation.org/about/committed-grants?q=world%20resources%20institute. ^
  3. “World Resources Institute – MacArthur Foundation,” RSS, accessed April 5, 2021, https://www.macfound.org/grantee/world-resources-institute-915/. ^
  4. Alexander C. Kaufman, “Top Environmental Group Faces Upheaval Over Board’s Ties To Jeffrey Epstein, Trump,” HuffPost UK (HuffPost UK, August 20, 2019), https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/world-resources-institute-board-trump-epstein_n_5d5b52cae4b05f62fbd42050. ^
  5. Media, KRQE. “Former Gov. Bill Richardson Denies Involvement in Epstein Sex-Trafficking Ring.” KRQE News 13 Albuquerque – Santa Fe. KRQE News 13 Albuquerque – Santa Fe, August 23, 2019. https://www.krqe.com/news/new-mexico/former-gov-bill-richardson-denies-involvement-in-epstein-sex-trafficking-ring/. ^
  6. Alexander C. Kaufman, “Top Environmental Group Faces Upheaval Over Board’s Ties To Jeffrey Epstein, Trump,” HuffPost UK (HuffPost UK, August 20, 2019), https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/world-resources-institute-board-trump-epstein_n_5d5b52cae4b05f62fbd42050. ^
  7. “The WRI Story: 30 Years of Big Ideas,” World Resources Institute, July 31, 2018, https://www.wri.org/wri-story-30-years-big-ideas. ^
  8. “WRI Engagement Across the World,” World Resources Institute, September 24, 2013, https://www.wri.org/wri-global-map. ^
  9. “Annual Essays – MacArthur Foundation,” RSS, accessed April 5, 2021, https://www.macfound.org/about/annual-reports. ^
  10. “Our Approach,” World Resources Institute, June 19, 2014, https://www.wri.org/our-work/our-approach. ^
  11. Glenn Gamboa, “Bezos Plans to Spend $10 Billion by 2030 on Climate Change,” AP NEWS (Associated Press, March 9, 2021), https://apnews.com/article/climate-climate-change-jeff-bezos-bee1aea9cffc377400048dcb5b7405f0. ^
  12. Sisi Wei Mike Tigas, “World Resources Institute – Nonprofit Explorer,” ProPublica, May 9, 2013, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/521257057. ^
  13. Sisi Wei Mike Tigas, “World Resources Institute – Nonprofit Explorer,” ProPublica, May 9, 2013, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/521257057. ^
  14. “World Resources Institute 2019 990,” ProPublica, accessed April 5, 2021, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/521257057/10_2020_prefixes_47-52%2F521257057_201909_990_2020100717356534?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=d84870fc33716e6a981c05d25a5c7daf5c638cea-1617646109-0-Ab-II4w6zirxYE3_XMNluS-M6c8kHjWwXACjDZwUFnWz_U7_9qLQZf5H768aWJeiZCQy44yUeQuqljWULcb-S7S59nsCaTTqWABkGpSsTI9ezmPQQQFLIQ9zoasEm2bc8C-cOh-gbwkyNWgkHWB8DcL3R97IMEPnzr1VXZ69vjZ-4jravAEoy7m4V-CtvHp6mTWGLIbGsQrlxqApY5hOmCMNLPQy7MemebkqCgQ1PHbOWlEERt-Qx0kKiY6ejvvPso9XBSohFu8x7q_7a1m2OJOnzhX1vW_EeYLf82PjEAoia1CdUnP2hgaMCzl7BKf9IdnY7GcafsUv_eV4w1Wg0Ukc9JNXdEuG9duTP_2V6rmQAsUbKi4JCZZUanORxojS6k1D43ZUDaRHLLv8iS9IYVuzpv0BBW-pd8psPcuio4jAHYtdRqPbGsvU2FfuqvsLLnG4HC1pen6xac4x5LpyyLicvr0j56baq1F3QLKXL8EIeqBlzCw16OhcZKsASXaY-MzSV23i4UPYKmLNTfCoqso6p9NIfaySw1Dghz2OFYz0ZY1xoMwoe_28xx9cyT59Ng . ^
  15. “WRI 2017 Funding Commitments,” World Resources Institute, August 14, 2018, https://www.wri.org/about/wri-2017-funding-commitments. ^
  16. “WRI 2019 Funding Commitments,” World Resources Institute, October 14, 2020, https://www.wri.org/about/wri-2019-funding-commitments. ^
  17. “RELEASE: Gift from Bezos Earth Fund Will Support Two Major Climate Initiatives at WRI,” World Resources Institute, November 18, 2020, https://www.wri.org/news/2020/11/release-gift-bezos-earth-fund-will-support-two-major-climate-initiatives-wri. ^
  18. “World Resources Institute – MacArthur Foundation,” RSS, accessed April 5, 2021, https://www.macfound.org/grantee/world-resources-institute-915/. ^
  19. “Committed Grants – World Resources Institute,” gatesfoundation.org, accessed April 5, 2021, https://www.gatesfoundation.org/about/committed-grants?q=world%20resources%20institute. ^
  20. “World Resources Institute,” Grantee Detail, accessed April 5, 2021, https://www.moore.org/grantee-detail?granteeId=312. ^
  21. “World Resources Institute,” Rockefeller Brothers Fund, June 19, 2019, https://www.rbf.org/grantees/world-resources-institute. ^
  22. “Recognized Donors,” World Resources Institute, October 14, 2020, https://www.wri.org/about/donors. ^
  23. “WRI 2017 Funding Commitments,” World Resources Institute, April 16, 2019, https://www.wri.org/about/wri-2017-funding-commitments-2. ^
  24. “WRI Annual Report 2018-19: Thanking Our Donors,” World Resources Institute, May 8, 2019, https://www.wri.org/annualreport/2018-19/donors. ^
  25. Alexander C. Kaufman, “Top Environmental Group Faces Upheaval Over Board’s Ties To Jeffrey Epstein, Trump,” HuffPost UK (HuffPost UK, August 20, 2019), https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/world-resources-institute-board-trump-epstein_n_5d5b52cae4b05f62fbd42050. ^
  26. Alexander C. Kaufman, “Top Environmental Group Faces Upheaval Over Board’s Ties To Jeffrey Epstein, Trump,” HuffPost UK (HuffPost UK, August 20, 2019), https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/world-resources-institute-board-trump-epstein_n_5d5b52cae4b05f62fbd42050. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Andrew Steer
    Former President
  2. James Gustave Speth
    Founder and Former President
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: September - August
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 1982

  • 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
    2016 Sep Form 990 $99,339,072 $89,823,844 $108,201,902 $17,455,768 N $97,506,285 $0 $447,399 $4,281,102
    2015 Sep Form 990 $72,688,357 $77,539,897 $97,500,992 $16,487,491 N $72,738,600 $0 $485,414 $3,881,686 PDF
    2014 Sep Form 990 $84,401,990 $65,763,955 $96,765,491 $7,456,696 N $81,917,245 $0 $430,119 $2,730,795 PDF
    2013 Sep Form 990 $50,572,560 $48,011,355 $80,784,738 $10,770,474 N $49,834,180 $0 $429,205 $2,462,820 PDF
    2012 Sep Form 990 $45,502,243 $43,950,960 $73,015,976 $8,159,199 N $44,171,816 $0 $413,759 $3,734,982 PDF
    2011 Sep Form 990 $50,079,176 $40,533,012 $65,224,571 $5,322,724 N $47,451,943 $0 $422,812 $2,847,253 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    World Resources Institute (WRI)

    10 G STREET NE 8TH FL
    WASHINGTON, DC 20002-4213