2021 Annual Report

Published Nov 23, 2021

man on tractor in front of farm

We are scientists, engineers, economists, activists, and everyday people using science to protect our health, safety, and environment in an equitable way.

Message from the President and Chair

If you feel as though you’ve spent 2021 vacillating between hope and fear, progress and regression, celebration and mourning, you are not alone.

The excitement of a new administration was followed by destabilizing attempts to overturn a fair and legal election. The tremendous promise of mass vaccination was undermined by misinformation about vaccines, leading to a surge in infections. Despite growing awareness of injustices, too many systems that prop up the status quo seemed to grind on. We took hit after hit from ever more intense wildfires, storms, floods, and drought, but we also welcomed a renewed focus on slowing climate change—by the White House as well as several states.

All of us at UCS have been working as hard as we can to ensure that science, progress, and justice ultimately prevail. From the smallest successes to the biggest wins this year, your support has been crucial.

With the Biden administration signaling a commitment to scientific integrity from day one, UCS laid out a path for restoring the role of science in federal policymaking. We’ve pushed for the urgent, ambitious action that is so clearly needed on climate change—ranging from dramatic cuts in carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy to adaptive measures that will protect outdoor workers from extreme heat.

We’ve invested in partnerships, networks, and coalitions to build a base for action that will be broad enough to match the scope, scale, and speed of the challenges we face. We’ve made the urgency of the multiple crises we face clear and certain, and pushed hard—whether by bringing our analyses to community meetings or testifying before Congress—for the science-based solutions we know can address these crises.

The past year has renewed our sense of hope, while continuing to remind us that we have no time to lose in the race to stem climate catastrophe, protect democracy, and reduce the risk of nuclear weapons. It’s also shown us the value of the interdependence that arises from having shared goals. We understand no single organization can create the change we need by working alone, so UCS will continue to rely on your support, and all you do to contribute to our common cause.



Infographic of UCS 2021 revenue

The Union of Concerned Scientists continues to benefit from the generosity of our nearly 120,000 members and foundations, who work in partnership with us to build a healthy planet and safer world. The majority of our support—60 percent—came from generous individual donors through outright and planned gifts, while support from foundations represented 34 percent of our revenue.


Infographic of UCS 2021 expenses

Eighty-eight percent of every dollar donated to UCS in fiscal 2021 directly funded our program work, with the remaining 12 percent spent on the critical administrative infrastructure and fundraising that support our programs. With an annual budget of $43 million, UCS continues to strengthen our unique ability to help solve our planet’s most pressing problems with the power of independent science.

Thank you

We are deeply grateful for your dedication and support. This work would not be possible without your commitment to building a better world together