DU 2019 Annual Report

An executive summary of DU's financial and conservation achievements during the past fiscal year

© Dean Pearson

We did it! Together, we accomplished what many said couldn't be done!

Ducks Unlimited's ambitious Rescue Our Wetlands campaign was a huge success, raising $2.34 billion from more than 2 million supporters and conserving more than 2.2 million acres!


In 2012, Ducks Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Ducks Unlimited de México and Wetlands America Trust committed to making DU's vision of abundant wetlands a reality through Rescue Our Wetlands, and it will go down as one of the largest conservation campaigns in history. The record-setting endeavor concluded in December 2018, and money raised has already been put to work across the continent through conservation projects and education programs that have positively impacted wildlife, people and their communities in our highest priority landscapes.

Three Wetlands America Trust trustees, Jim Kennedy, John Childs and Dave Grohne, launched Rescue Our Wetlands by committing the largest private gifts in the history of the organization, which served as the foundation of this major philanthropic effort. Now the campaign has come full circle and exceeded all expectations. As DU's largest individual donor, Kennedy joined representatives from all three organizations on stage during the 2019 national convention in Hawaii in a special moment to celebrate the success of the campaign.

FY 19 Highlights:

  • 309,000 acres conserved (14.5 million since 1937)
  • 589,000+ attendees at 4,200 events
  • $235+ million in total revenues
  • 82% revenue efficiency–used directly for DU's mission

But each and every donor and every donation mattered during this campaign, no matter how large or small. Volunteering, attending a DU banquet in your local community or contacting your congressional representatives on behalf of DU made a huge difference through this campaign. That support will continue to ensure our conservation legacy continues.

This fiscal year 2019 (FY19) Annual Report is filled with facts and figures explaining and celebrating our Rescue Our Wetlands success. It's also full of information about how FY19 was yet another successful and productive year for Team DU.

FY19 marked the ninth consecutive year we exceeded our budget goals with total revenue surpassing $235 million. With the support of more than 737,000 members, more than 58,000 Ducks Unlimited volunteers partnered with staff across the United States to raise more than $115 million in philanthropic support, DU's biggest year yet!

Each year, Ducks Unlimited commits to spend at least 80 percent of all funds raised on our conservation mission. We met that goal again in FY19 with 82 percent of our revenues going toward our mission.


Other great news about the fiscal year includes Ducks Unlimited's conservation of 309,000 acres of new wetland habitat in FY19. That's 482 square miles of habitat conserved for North America's waterfowl! Throughout North America, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 14.5 million acres since its inception in 1937.

And, following Dale Hall's retirement in June, Team DU welcomed Adam Putnam as our new CEO. Adam came on board in April and brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the position. We are excited about what the future holds with Adam at the helm. Team DU could not exist without the commitment of volunteers, members, staff, philanthropists, foundations, corporations and partnerships with private landowners and state and federal agencies that share our conservation goals.


One of those conservation-minded partners, Axalta Coating Systems, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, received Ducks Unlimited's 2019 Corporate Conservation Achievement Award. The award recognizes corporations from the United States, Canada or Mexico that have made exceptional contributions to wetlands conservation and environmental stewardship. You can read all about Axalta's approach to sustainability and award-winning work with DU on page 29 and elsewhere throughout this report.

In addition to our outstanding fundraising efforts, FY19 was another successful year for DU in our nation's capital. Ducks Unlimited held its second annual volunteer public policy training and fly-in in January. Nearly 80 DU state chairs, state policy chairs, senior volunteers and board members from 25 states gathered to advance DU's public policy priorities. Volunteers received training from DU's governmental affairs team and attended meetings on Capitol Hill. During the three-day event, DU volunteers had more than 100 visits with congressional leaders. More than 300 people attended a special reception in the Senate.

These are only a few of our FY19 achievements. You will read more about these and other success stories on the following pages

2019 DU Annual Report

View and download the full Ducks Unlimited Annual Report in PDF format to read more about our many achievements and success stories in FY19. Cover and all black and white photography by Clyde Butcher.

You can also click here to view our Honor Roll of Donors.

View and download

Thank you for your commitment to our incredibly successful Rescue Our Wetlands campaign, to Ducks Unlimited and to our conservation mission that benefits waterfowl, other wildlife and communities across North America.

Rogers Hoyt Jr.

H. Dale Hall
Chief Executive Officer