About Us

Resources for the Future is an independent, nonprofit research institution in Washington, DC.

Our Mission


RFF’s mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement.

We are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization that embraces five core values:

Balance: Improving both environmental and economic outcomes.

Rigor: Adhering to the highest scientific and professional standards.

Independence: Preserving nonpartisanship, integrity, and trust.

Respect: Building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.

Results: Leading to better public- and private-sector decisions.

Our Vision

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At RFF, we envision a future where climate change no longer threatens our well-being and where smart environmental decisions help to uplift communities around the world.

Our experts bring the brightest economic thinking to bear on our future, shaping many of the world’s most successful environmental decisions and policies over the past 70 years. Today, we’re applying our expertise to reduce emissions, build resilience, and solve the climate challenge.


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By the Numbers

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We're a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a $16m budget.

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More than 1.5 million users visit our website annually.


13,000+ people watched RFF events in 2021.

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In 2021, we wrote 330 publications and commentaries.


250+ foundations, corporations, and individuals support us.


Resources magazine has been published since 1959, with 208 issues to date.


We're home to 131 staff and affiliated scholars.


RFF is ranked #1 globally for environmental economics.

Leadership and Governance

RFF's Leadership Team, Board of Directors, and President's Council consist of experts, professionals, and leaders in the field of environmental economics and policy. Learn more about Leadership and Governance at RFF.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

RFF is committed to being a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. Working to achieve this goal is essential to achieving our mission—and it is simply the right thing to do. It strengthens our organization, allows us to reach a broader audience, and positively impacts the greater community. Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative strives to achieve the vision outlined in our value statement.

Commitment to Independence

RFF is committed to conducting impactful, impartial, and independent research and policy analysis. We do not advocate or lobby on behalf of our partners, collaborators, or supporters, design or execute our efforts to the exclusive benefit of specific entities, or allow undue outside influence to impact our work. By supporting RFF, our funders demonstrate their shared acceptance and absolute commitment to this core value.


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.​​​​​

Donate to RFF now, or find out about different ways of giving.

Financial Reporting

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.

Media Resources

Click here to access resources for journalists and others interested in RFF expertise.