Independent Science, Innovative Solutions
September 30, 2017
When we wrote this letter to you last year, we lived in a different political world.
We could count on scientific positions within government being held by scientists. Our president spoke regularly about climate change, and took steps to address it. Industry-related conflicts of interest in government were an embarrassment, not standard operating procedure.
Today, we face a new reality. The Trump administration poses an unprecedented threat to our public health and safety, our climate, and the role of science in our democracy. Since his inauguration, President Trump, his administration, and Congress have started rolling back vital protections for our health and safety. They have appointed high-ranking officials with glaring conflicts of interest and a lack of qualification. They have created global uncertainty around the Paris climate agreement. They have threatened devastating attacks on a nuclear-armed state. And on a wide range of issues ranging from air quality and worker safety to pesticides and nutrition, they have demonstrated a deep disregard for facts, expertise, and the need to include science in the decisionmaking process.
But in these uncertain times, we have also witnessed another change: a wonderful, meaningful, and enduring movement for truth led by regular Americans—including you, our supporters.
Today, UCS has thousands of new members. And our supporters have risen to the challenge: testifying at congressional hearings, writing letters to local papers, phoning and emailing elected officials, marching in the streets, and speaking up at town halls. Many of you have attended our trainings, summits, phone conferences, or webinars, and have volunteered your time or expertise in other ways. Some have sent increased financial support or convinced a friend to join us. Time and time again, you have shown up to defend science.
The result is nothing less than a united and growing coalition—one that fully recognizes the importance of facts, reason, and evidence-based decisionmaking and the power of science to serve the public good.
Thanks to you, we are a far stronger movement than we have ever been. We’ve preserved necessary protections that were under threat. We’ve blocked harmful policies. And we’ve taken advantage of many different opportunities to make progress instead of just playing defense.
Every accomplishment in the pages ahead was made possible because you stood up for science this year. We are so grateful.
It wasn’t an easy year in Washington. This was the year that science came under full attack—sometimes from industry, sometimes from Congress or the Trump administration, often from both. But we were there, and, against the odds, we helped stand up for science—and even made some progress.
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The Union of Concerned Scientists continues to benefit from the gener-osity of nearly 125,000 members and foundations, who work in partnership with us to build a healthier and safer world. In fiscal 2017, the majority of our support—77 percent—came from generous individual donors, while support from foundations represented 18 percent of our revenue. Planned giving represented another 3 percent of revenue. Our donors responded very generously to support our new and increased work in this changed political climate, and the operating surplus from this year will continue to fund these critical efforts.
Eighty-one percent of every dollar donated to UCS in fiscal 2017 directly funded our program work, with the remaining 19 percent spent on the critical administrative infrastructure and fundraising that support our programs. With an annual budget of $33 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.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is a membership organization—support from people like you helps build a healthier planet and a safer world.
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Our leadership team combines a deep knowledge of critical issues with management acumen to get results.
Our distinguished board members contribute expertise and experience to help further our mission.
Impressive leaders and experts in science, business, education, and the arts lend their time and resources to support our work.