The 1001: A Nature Trust

The 1001: A Nature Trust is an endowment fund created in 1971 to provide WWF International with a financial base to maintain a sustainably managed organization. The fund aims to engage influential members of society, those that are able to bring about change in the world, in the conservation activities of WWF.
Created in 1971, The 1001: A Nature Trust helped to create an endowment fund which allows WWF to finance its core activities. Originally, the idea of the fund came from Dr. Anton Rupert, a founding member of WWF. It was made concrete through the energetic efforts of HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, who invited 1000 influential people to join him in investing in the fund. A few years ago, WWF gathered a group of top conservation scientists and leaders together to look at how we could create a much bigger global impact over the coming decades. This resulted in a strategy called The Campaign for a Living Planet, presented overleaf, which will run until 2015.

The 1001: A Nature Trust serves two essential purposes. It allows WWF to build a solid financial base to implement our Campaign for a Living Planet as well as allowing us to investment in the leadership and innovation required to reach our bold goals. It also engages influential members of society in the activities of WWF. Our members enjoy the benefits of meeting other likeminded philanthropists within this prestigious group and have the opportunity to participate in a number of annual events WWF organizes, as well as a tailor-made plan that demonstrates to the donor how support to the conservation of our planet makes an impact.

A prestigious group of people

Members of The 1001: A Nature Trust are philanthropists from over 50 countries. Among them are owners and executive officers of large enterprises, entrepreneurs, scientists and artists to name a few. Whatever their political, personal or business interests, members of The 1001 share the same passion for the environment, and above all the same desire to support the world’s leading conservation organization. Individuals, whole families and sometimes multiple generations come together, meet and financially support our work!

We are actively looking for a new generation of philanthropists and conservationists to help us achieve our ambitious strategy.


  • Ulla Erhardt

    Head of Major Donors (Interim)

    WWF International,

    +41 22 364 9531

  • Amy Owen

    Major Gifts Manager / Donor Researcher

    WWF International,

    +41 22 3649231

Please contact us to discuss our major donor program and the ways in which you can make a difference.

Becoming a Member of the 1001: A Nature Trust

Commit to a living planet for future generations. Join influential philanthropists who are committed to solving today’s environmental challenges for tomorrow’s generations.
We are looking for new and existing 1001 members, who are ready to help us renew and reinvigorate The 1001, A Nature Trust. Through personal dialogue, your relationship with WWF will be further developed and deepened based on a tailor-made plan designed together with you. Members can regularly support the organization, by recommending new members, financially supporting a project or program, or by acting as an ambassador of WWF.

To be a Member of the Philanthropic Circle of the 1001 signifies...

  • Inspiring others to care for and invest in the future of our planet;
  • Sharing a vision with peers committed to sustainable development and making a tailor-made contribution to the environment;
  • Having access to WWF information and neutral scientific analyses on environmental issues;
  • Being presented with special opportunities and uncommon life experiences, such as trips to the field to become acquainted with concrete WWF projects;
  • Having the rare opportunity to contribute to a specific conservation project that can make a difference in your life. An investment with a long-term return: a legacy to future generations;
  • With a small number of members of the 1001 we are creating a special circle of conservation leaders. As part of this circle, these members get together to fund high impact and strategic programs.

Find out more

Additional contributions

Invest in the future: fund a conservation programme
WWF offers 1001 Members the unique opportunity to take an active part in one of its conservation projects. The Major Donors Team at WWF International will be happy to work with interested Members to match their geographical and thematic interests with an appropriate project - such as the protection of tiger habitats in a range of countries or the development of sustainable fishing practices in the Mediterranean. Wherever their specific nature conservation interests lie, WWF welcomes its Members' dedication to the organization's environmental commitments.

Legacy Gifts: Help leave our children a living planet

All of us would like to leave this world knowing we are passing on a healthy and thriving planet to our family and friends. One of the most significant ways to show your support and passion for the sustainability of our planet Earth and the life it supports, is to remember WWF in your will, trust or other similar arrangement. These are gifts that last forever. WWF is pleased to discuss any of these options with members and their legal advisers.
 / ©: WWF-Canon / WWF International
HRH Prince Philipp and HRH Prince Bernhard (right) at the launching of WWF-US in 1962.
© WWF-Canon / WWF International

The Future

© wwf
In the immediate future, The 1001: A Nature Trust is seeking to engage the next generation to join WWF’s efforts to protect and maintain a healthy planet.

To this end, members are being asked to give serious consideration to passing on their commitment to a sustainable human future to their children and grandchildren by offering them membership in The 1001: A Nature Trust. WWF’s aim is for each family that wields personal and professional influence and that counts in the world to be represented in The 1001: A Nature Trust.

Young 1001 members who are between 20 to 27 years old can reinforce this commitment by applying for training and hands-on participation in the WWF Youth Volunteer Programme.

This Programme offers motivated young people an exciting chance to spend 6 months learning, helping, sharing and teaching their specific skills to WWF colleagues at conservation project sites in different parts of the world such as Madagascar, India, Paraguay and the South Pacific.

  • “We shan’t save all we should like to, but we shall save a great deal more than if we had never tried.” Sir Peter Scott (1909-1989), WWF Founder
  • HRH Prince Bernard of the Netherlands (1911-2004) described The 1001: A Nature Trust as:  “… an extraordinary group of like-minded people… connected through their real concern for the natural world”.
  • "Our visits to WWF project sites in Loango, Gamba and Dzanga-Shangha confirmed that WWF has reason to be proud of the superb work it is doing in the field. The beauty of the landscape, amazing wildlife and the seamless cooperation between local and international WWF staff in organizing and carrying out the trip were also exceptional" (A participant in the field trip to Gabon/Central African Republic, March 2010)

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