What they do: Much of the environmental movement is funded through generous grants from large foundations dedicated to supporting liberal causes.
Examples: The Rockefeller Foundation, the Turner Foundation, the Tides Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts
What they do: Environmentalists and corporate interests who stand to profit from environmental legislation have developed organizations with considerable resources dedicated to electing sympathetic presidents, senators and representatives, and for lobbying on behalf of more environmental legislation and regulation.
Examples: The League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club Voter Education Fund, United States Climate Action Partnership
What they do: As environmental legislation and regulation have exploded in the last few decades, a major factor in causing this has been environmental organizations devoted to litigation against the government (and sometimes on behalf of the government) and private enterprise to advance the Big Green agenda.
Examples: Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Wilderness Society, Earthjustice (formerly Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund)
What they do: These are the groups that promote — and often politicize — environmental causes by engaging with the media and the public.
Examples: Defenders of Wildlife, The Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, World Wildlife Fund
What they do: Although this is steadily changing, many conservation-oriented organizations still tend to be older and less focused on political activism. They focus on maintaining natural resources through local volunteer work or purchasing property to put in land trusts.
Examples: The Audubon Society, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Nature Conservancy