American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts (Bellingham, WA)


  • Name:sandra tassel
  • Title:Program Coordinator

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts
  • Address:702 Kentucky Street
    Bellingham, WA 98225
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:3605157171

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Mission of American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts ("American Friends")

    American Friends partners with Canadian conservation organizations and American owners of environmentally and ecologically significant lands to protect Canada’s natural lands, clean water, abundant habitat and quality of life for citizens of both countries.

  • Overview:
  • American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts (AF) protects Canada’s natural heritage in partnership with Canadian conservation organizations. The ecologically significant properties conserved by AF are at risk of being lost to development. AF’s preservation method and collaborative approach make it uniquely capable of saving these properties

    Canada’s land, water, plants and wildlife provide valuable services and functions that benefit the entire planet. The United States and Canada share these resources wherever ecosystems bridge the artificial boundary between our two countries. Our economies, politics, cultures and a multitude of families are shaped by this proximity.

    As a result of the interdependencies between the U.S. and Canada, Americans own high priority conservation land in all the provinces with active land trusts. These Canadian charities work tirelessly to accomplish their preservation missions, using voluntary conservation mechanisms. Funding for this work is very scarce in Canada. The land trusts focused on the unique landscapes that link the U.S. and Canada found it was imperative to have a legal tool and financial incentives to secure land donations from U.S. taxpayers who hold some of the most strategic tracts. Canadian and U.S. conservationists created AF to provide the tool and the incentives.

    Landscapes where AF’s conservation mechanism is most crucial include: the Gulf Islands in British Columbia; Alberta’s Rocky Mountains; the Great Lakes in Ontario; and the coastline of the Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

    Although the organization is still young, and operated almost entirely by volunteers, American Friends’ and its partners have completed 17 transactions in 5 provinces, appraised for over $9 million. These donations of land and conservation easements preserve marine coastline, pristine lakes and rivers, wetlands, forests, entire islands, habitat for endangered species and lands important to local and regional resource-based economies. Each dollar of direct support to American Friends produces in excess of $80 in donated land value.

    The potential conservation impact of American Friends’ work is immense. Our request to the Lawrence Foundation is aimed at increasing the organization’s capacity to fulfill that potential.

  • History:
  • American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts (AF) was founded in 2005 by a coalition of conservation professionals from both sides of the border to address a significant obstacle to strategic, landscape-level resource protection. Tax laws in both countries made it nearly impossible for Canadian resource protection organizations to protect priority properties owned by US residents. According to leaders in the Canadian land trust movement, even very generous, conservation-oriented landowners were unlikely to forfeit an income tax deduction on their US tax return by donating fee title or a conservation easement to a Canadian nonprofit.

    Donors who considered making a gift to a US charity faced substantial Canadian capital gains taxes levied on this type of donation, as though it had been a cash sale. Canada’s conservation work desperately needed a mechanism to tap the philanthropic desires and preservation inclinations of these landowners, especially in provinces with high numbers or percentages of US ownership.. After more than five years of effort by supporters from across Canada, AF secured the tax status it needed in both countries. It now provides that innovative mechanism, and has proven it can permanently protect critical natural resource lands owned by US taxpayers.

    During its first five years, AF has formed a potent board of directors composed of both Canadian and US land protection experts, secured the pro bono assistance of one of the finest attorneys in the field and obtained both its 501(c)3 designation from the Internal Revenue Service and, very recently, its “Prescribed Donee” status from Revenue Canada. Securing the latter recognition required several years of lobbying on the part of Canadian organizations and an act of Parliament. AF’s dual tax status - and unique structure as a US land trust that is capable of holding land and easements in Canada - allows U.S. owners of Canadian lands to donate fee title or conservation easements to AF, qualifying for U.S. tax deductions and avoiding onerous Canadian capital gains taxes. Through this cutting edge, cross-border initiative, landowners can finally protect their priority properties, facilitating significant conservation results in Canada at low cost.

    In addition to forming a dedicated board and securing the necessary tax classifications, AF's volunteers completed the essential and time-consuming work of creating the policies and procedures necessary to launch its conservation programs. This preparation was funded by a handful of philanthropic gifts from individuals and foundations who understood how AF could advance the land conservation movement in Canada.

    As its name implies, AF accomplished its resource protection mission in partnership with capable Canadian organizations that know their regional landscapes. Organizations that wish to partner with AF are required to qualify as “Grantees”. In the qualification process AF ensures that its partners have the capacity and credibility to protect lands and conservation easements in perpetuity. At present, AF has fifteen Canadian nonprofits as qualified grantees.

    In 2011, AF completed its first conservation transactions. During the course of the subsequent three years, it has closed 17 impressive land and easement donations. Each of these gifts has helped the organization to refine its methods, prove their viability, build a network of partners and conservation professionals in both countries.

    Today, with nineteen potential donations in its portfolio, AF is poised to take a significant role in protecting the special places beloved by Canadians and Americans alike. The board is committed to increasing AF's capacity to serve conservation fully.

  • Year established:2005
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:15
  • Advisory board size:0
  • Staff size:0


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:20-4817049

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:204817049
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:% NA
  • Organization Address:702 KENTUCKY STREET 663
  • Organization City:BELLINGHAM
  • Organization State:WA
  • Organization Zip:98225-4200
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:September, 2007
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:March, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:March
  • NTEE Code:C34
  • Asset Amount:$4,206,943
  • Asset Code:6 ($1,000,000 - $4,999,999)
  • Income Amount:$1,487,782
  • Income Code:6 ($1,000,000 - $4,999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$1,487,782
  • Last Updated:2/25/2018 7:27:26 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.