Who We Are

We are a charity committed to the conservation of wildlife and saving the important habitats they depend on.

We can't do it without you

We are the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically-important lands and waters. We address the most pressing conservation threats at the largest scale. Thanks to the support of our more than 1 million members and donors, we’ve built a tremendous record of success since our founding.

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We can't do it with you! Our volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization.  Every day, people are working to improve their part of the earth. Whether they're cleaning damaged ground, working in a disaster-struck area or protecting our valuable earth, our volunteers are hands on.

We know that not everyone can join our efforts on the ground but they still want to help! Our donors fund the projects that we work on. We can't say thank you enough.

The iMIS Foundation was established in 1992 by Julia and Rob Gillis, Chicago entrepreneurs and philanthropists who wanted to create a hands-on way to get involved in worldwide environmental and wildlife conservation efforts.

Julia, a former research scientist in biology at the University of Chicago and Rob, a senior vice president of Hamilton Bank, believed that there could be a better way to protect the environment through encouraging legislation, conservation, and more importantly, grass-roots efforts at a local level. If concern for the planet’s wellbeing was brought to everyone’s back yard, they believed, more effective work could be done.

The iMIS Foundation’s mission is to preserve the world’s most important ecological heritage areas. We dedicate our work to finding practical and lasting solutions that benefit wildlife and the environment they live in. Headquartered in Chicago, the iMIS Foundation now has a presence in 32 countries worldwide, with national and local chapters engaging in over 12,000 community volunteer efforts yearly and contributing over $42 million dollars towards preserving the world’s ecological heritage.

The iMIS Foundation receives a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator. We spend 92% of our budget directly on the programs and services that we sponsor to preserve the environment. We keep administrative costs low, and we believe in making our financial health transparent to our donors. We want you to know exactly where your donations go.