How do we value the Environment field?

Environment organizations share a common emphasis on concern for resources—air, water, land, energy, and climate—through education and the cultivation of stewardship, advocacy, and conservation of habitats and species. While this field is quite diverse, and some focus on addressing problems as or after they have occurred, much of environmental work is preventative in nature.

Almost $685 million is invested in over 184 Illinois social impact organizations that do work affecting Illinois’ land, air, and waterways. Ninety-three percent of that investment comes from government, and the rest from private sources like foundations and individuals who care about our environment. Download the Environment fact sheet.

What does this investment in Illinois’ air, land, and water yield?

$1: $58

Every $1 invested in the environmental field creates $58 in socio-economic value.


Accrues to the people of Illinois.


Accrues to society through increased tax revenue, increased spending in the state due to environment sector jobs, and avoided spending to treat costly environmental problems.

The work of the environment sector has value.

It plays an economic role in Illinois–as job creators, as avoiders of costly social problems. It is also a builder of human capital, a pillar in communities, and a protector of natural resources – including our air, land, and water around us.

If you care about this work and the future of Illinois’ natural resources, share this story or leave a story of your organization’s impact!


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