Nearly all major environmental groups saw their donations increase, some significantly so, with President Trump in the White House, according to an Axios analysis of tax filings.
The big picture: This is classic Washington. When one side is in power, interest groups on the other side often see more financial support. That's why environmental groups are on the rise during one of the most aggressive regulatory rollbacks in American history.
Driving the news: Between 2015 and 2017, donations to 10 of America’s most influential environmental groups increased between 20% and 149%.
- That’s the last full year before Trump’s election and the first full year since his victory. (2017 is the most recent year with widely available forms.)
- The chart shown below, adjusted for inflation, shows 10 of the total 18 we analyzed.
By the numbers:
- Oceana's 149% increase was by far the biggest. CEO Andy Sharpless said fundraising jumped partly because of its campaign to stop the Trump administration’s plans to expand offshore oil drilling. He also cited big donations from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Wyss Foundation to expand global ocean conservation efforts.
- Earthjustice and the League of Conservation Voters saw their fundraising nearly double between 2015 and 2016, suggesting a sharp spike in donations after Trump’s November 2016 election.
- All but two saw growth.
What they’re saying: “Americans see the damage the Trump administration is doing to our environment and know that we are nearing a point of no return on climate,” says Sam Sankar, SVP of programs at Earthjustice.
What we’re watching: If this trend will accelerate or flatline if Trump wins re-election in 2020. If a Democrat wins, we’ll be watching to see if donations drop off as the threat to environmental policies lessens.
Go deeper: Read the full column here.