Photo: Tim Greyhavens

we believe in wild

Wilburforce Foundation is a private philanthropic organization that supports land, water and wildlife conservation efforts in Western North America.



We strongly support our grantees’ capacity to achieve higher levels of effectiveness.



We invest in natural and social sciences to advance conservation solutions.



We work with our grantees to defend and use policies that protect lands, waters, and wildlife.

Our Theory of Change: Connecting “Why” to “How”

Our Theory of Change is a guiding document that defines the outcomes we are striving towards and helps us ensure that our programs focus on those results.

rose's story

Rose Letwin is the founder, president, and sole funder of Wilburforce Foundation. At the heart of Rose’s philanthropy is a long-term commitment to sustaining wild places for the betterment of wildlife and communities for generations to come.

Rose enjoyed a long and successful career in technology, but she has always had a passion for animals. While volunteering in a wildlife rehabilitation center, she found herself facing the simple and devastating truth that many of these animals, once rehabilitated, had no place to go. She decided to focus her charitable efforts on habitat protection: preserving places where the welfare of animals could be prioritized. Rose founded Wilburforce Foundation in 1991 with the vision of a thriving, interconnected American West that could foster healthy wildlife. Her scientific background informed the foundation’s science-driven philosophy of employing metrics and foundational data to analyze problems and design programs for greatest impact. Her years of consulting and volunteer experiences with nonprofit organizations led to the foundation’s commitment to empowering and building up the leadership capabilities of its grantees. To date, the Wilburforce Foundation has invested more than $217 million in conservation efforts across Western North America, and is seen as an international leader in collaborative conservation. At the heart of Rose’s philanthropy is a long-term commitment to sustaining wild places for the betterment of wildlife and communities for generations to come. Read about Rose’s recent awards from the Alaska Wilderness League and from Defenders of Wildlife.

our team

The kind of change we’re seeking requires people with a diverse set of skills, outlooks, and experience. Our staff members are committed to creating change in their communities and the world.

Jeanne Cragin

Program Associate, Science and Capacity

John Daly

Program Officer, Yellowstone to Yukon Program Area

Denise Joines

Senior Program Officer, Northwest / Southwest Program Area

Megan Lopez

Program Associate, Yellowstone to Yukon Program Area

Megan Lucy

Grants Administrator

Yolanda Morris

Program Associate, Northwest / Southwest Program Area

Courtney Price

Director of Finance, Operations, and Grants Management

Wendy Vanasselt

Senior Program Officer, Alaska/British Columbia & Conservation Law and Policy

Lisa Weinstein

Executive Driector

board of directors

Our board members share a deep belief that wild places and the wildlife they support are irreplaceable resources.

Tim Greyhavens

Board Member

Rose Letwin

Founder and President

Jim Orr

Board Member


Grantee Perception Report

Every three years we commission the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) to conduct a survey of our grantees to assess our impact, interactions, and processes. The Grantee Perception Report that CEP provides to us is extremely valuable, helping ensure that we perform well in areas of particular importance to our strategic approach: building quality relationships with grantees, providing capacity building services to help them thrive, and advancing strategies that maximize our impact on the field. We’re grateful for the feedback.