Our Cause

RLF builds alliances that advance bold solutions to secure a just and resilient world for people and nature.

  • We mobilize influence, knowledge, and expertise through dynamic partnerships with innovators in communities, philanthropy, government, science, business, and advocacy to protect the environment for the benefit of people and the planet.
  • We help redefine power by elevating the voices and experiences of marginalized communities, supporting them to drive solutions that address their priorities.
  • We maximize results, to leverage philanthropic and public investments to achieve enduring outcomes at scale for environmental protection, climate resilience, and healthy communities.
  • We deploy a thoughtful mix of strategies—including policy and campaign development, advocacy, research, and coalition-building—to secure equitable policies and public funding, and we stay with issues to ensure lasting outcomes.
  • Donors and partners trust us to manage large, multi-year grantmaking programs and financial transactions; land, water, ocean, and climate agreements; fiscally sponsored projects; and efforts to advance social and environmental equity.

Our Values Guide Our Approach and Outcomes

Our Values

RLF strives to embody the following values and characteristics in our daily work as we advance a more just and resilient future for people and nature:

  • Collaboration – We believe the key to achieving meaningful environmental results and a productive workplace is rooted in humanity—our ability to build effective relationships, listen deeply, respect different perspectives, and elevate new leaders.
  • Equity – We value the insight, energy, and innovation of inclusive decision making. Our work seeks to elevate voices and build power within underrepresented communities to help advance a just and equitable future in which leadership reflects the diversity of the world we live in.
  • Integrity – We are dedicated to our cause, genuine in our approach, and strive to cultivate a foundation of trust within our organization and with our partners. We believe humility and commitment to ongoing learning keeps us effective in our work.
  • Creativity – We embrace a thoughtful, entrepreneurial spirit, seeking innovative ways to solve problems new and old. We are willing to take risks that the times and issues require to achieve lasting results.
  • Excellence – We aspire to high standards of quality in everything we do—from internal operations to strategic program implementation. We are attentive to detail and persevere to deliver results on goals we share with funders, partners, and colleagues.

We Fight for Nature and Equity

Our Achievements

  • Enabled protection of more than two million acres of land across the American West and Mexico.
  • Led efforts that generated more than $30 billion in new public funding for water, land, and ocean conservation.
  • Helped transform the effort to restore former commercial salt ponds along San Francisco Bay into a long-term, multi-billion-dollar, regional focus on adaptation to rising sea levels.
  • Brokered landmark renewable energy development policy for the American West.
  • Partnered with California to protect nearly 17 percent of the state’s offshore waters.
  • Catalyzed transformation of the California state parks system to better serve diverse, young, and urban park visitors.
  • Supported 50-plus commercial fisheries worldwide in achieving sustainability certification.

It All Started in 2000 with Protection of California Lands

History

Resources Legacy Fund was created in 2000 to help carry out a five-year effort by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to protect at least 250,000 acres of ecologically valuable land in California while expanding the capacity and sophistication of local conservation groups and generating new policies and funding for conservation. RLF played a highly instrumental role in the program’s overwhelming success.

Nearly half a million acres of land eventually were protected, and Packard’s $175 million investment leveraged an additional $764 million. Decades later, our work continues to build public funding, new policy directions, and stronger constituencies for conservation. And we still aim to exceed donors’ expectations, whether they are major philanthropic institutions, individual donors, or something in between.