2016 Annual Report

Union of Concerned Scientists 2016 Annual Report
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Science for a Healthy Planet and Safer World

We Put Science into Action

UCS scientists and analysts develop and implement innovative, practical solutions to some of our planet’s most pressing problems—solutions for combating global warming; developing sustainable ways to feed, power, and transport ourselves; fighting misinformation; advancing racial equity; and reducing the threat of nuclear war.

Opening Letter

Message from the President and Chair

UCS President Ken Kimmell and Board Chair Anne Kapuscinski

October 31, 2016

As we write this, we don’t yet know the outcome of November’s election. But we do know that our country has suffered through distressing political polarization and, perhaps like you, we have watched this election cycle with alarm.   

We also know that the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) will be effective no matter what happens. We have a focused and achievable list of federal initiatives we will pursue if the opportunity presents itself, as well as a plan to prevent harmful backsliding if necessary. Our staff, members, and supporters have long demonstrated an ability to press for vital changes, grounded in science, in many different political climates. And especially in these fast-moving times, we must remember to pause and celebrate the truly momentous victories we collectively achieved over the past year.

Together, we made tremendous progress in 2016. By supporting UCS, you helped make the scientific case and galvanize critical support for a suite of landmark policies. You helped build significant momentum for clean energy: first, when Oregon phased out coal, and then when California and Massachusetts passed ambitious bills that will significantly cut global warming emissions and ramp up renewable energy. You helped put game changing analysis in the right hands, leading directly to national standards for heavy-duty vehicles that will eliminate more than 1 billion tons of global warming emissions. And you helped us expose decades of climate deception by companies like ExxonMobil, which prompted two state attorneys general to launch investigations, bringing national attention to the responsibility these companies bear for climate change. 

We’ve prepared this report for you as a snapshot of our work together over the past year, of victories small and large— all of which you helped make possible. We know how deeply you care about good policy informed by rigorous science, and we hope you are proud of your contributions to a healthier planet and safer world this year. Our gratitude to you rings out from every page.


Anne R. Kapuscinski
Ken Kimmel, Signature

Ken Kimmell

Campaign Highlights


Independent Science, Innovative Solutions

Clean energy and fighting climate science deception. Reducing big rig emissions. Paris climate agreement, changing our food system, and the next steps on nuclear weapons. Despite the lack of political leadership on these issues, UCS made progress on each one in 2015.

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The Union of Concerned Scientists continues to benefit from the generosity of our members (more than 100,000) and foundations, who work in partnership with us to build a healthier and safer world. In fiscal 2016, the majority of our support—69 percent—came from generous individual donors, while support from foundations represented 18 percent of our revenue. Bequests represented another 10 percent of revenue. In addition, we continued the strategic use of our board reserve fund ($3.2 million this fiscal year) to offset risk and support our programs.



Eighty-three percent of every dollar contributed to UCS directly funded program work in fiscal 2016, with the remaining 17 percent spent on the critical infrastructure that supports our programs. With an annual budget of $32 million, UCS continues to strengthen our unique ability to help solve our planet’s most pressing problems with the power of independent science.

NOTE: These results had not been audited at press time.

Our Supporters

The Union of Concerned Scientists is a membership organization—support from people like you helps build a healthier planet and a safer world.

We depend on your support

We are pleased that UCS continues to receive recommendations from the United States’ premier charity rating agencies, Charity Navigator, the Better Business Bureau, and Charity Watch.

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UCS Leadership

Our leadership team combines a deep knowledge of critical issues with management acumen to get results.

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Board of Directors

Our distinguished board members contribute expertise and experience to help further our mission.

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National Advisory Board

Impressive leaders and experts in science, business, education, and the arts lend their time and resources to support our work.

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