RFF’s mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement.
RFF is committed to being the most widely trusted source of research insights and policy solutions leading to a healthy environment and a thriving economy.
Our Core Values
RFF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization that operates according to four core values:
- Balance: RFF focuses on improving both environmental and economic outcomes.
- Independence: RFF is nonpartisan and its research is nonproprietary and publicly available.
- Rigor: RFF adheres to the highest scientific and professional standards.
- Results: RFF’s work leads to better decisions.
RFF developed the techniques and did the empirical work that made it possible to put wilderness preservation on an equal footing with economic developmentKenneth Arrow, 1972 Nobel Laureate
RFF is organized into two programs designed to deliver research and cost-effective solutions to address the world’s most important environmental and natural resource challenges.
- RFF’s Energy and Climate Program works to advance reliable, clean energy and reduce carbon emissions, while balancing the need for economic advancement.
- RFF’s Land, Water, and Nature Program works to build healthy and productive natural systems that are resilient to a changing climate and support a thriving economy.
Governance and Leadership
As a 501(c)(3) organization, RFF is supported by donors who understand the role that rigorous, objective research plays in formulating sound public policies. More than 70 percent of the funding raised from individuals, corporations, private foundations, and government agencies goes directly to RFF’s research and public education activities.
RFF is committed to transparency and accountability in its financial reporting and is dedicated to providing the maximum research value for our donors. Read our financial reporting page to view revenue and expense information, annual reports, 990 forms, audited financial statements, and more.
In 1952, a presidential commission mandated the creation of a research institution to examine the nation’s use of natural resources and implications for the future of the US economy and national security. RFF was founded as a result—the first think tank devoted exclusively to natural resource and environmental issues. The organization’s notable contributions include pioneering and developing the fields of environmental and resource economics, creating analytical techniques widely used in economic and policy analysis, producing landmark surveys of America’s energy and resource future, and crafting policy innovations that are now embodied in environmental, energy, and natural resource regulatory regimes around the world.
Learn more about RFF's legacy.