The Izaak Walton League of America Endowment was established to provide financial support for the implementation of the mission of the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA). The IWLA was founded in 1922 to conserve, protect and restore the country’s land and waters. Before long, the IWLA saw a need to protect wild lands from development. The members realized this called for a supplementary funding source to support this policy.
To meet that need, the Endowment was established in 1943 as a separate non-profit organization. At first, the Endowment used donations to buy and hold land for transfer to the U.S. Forest Service. For example, the Endowment helped buy land to prevent development that threatened the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota. Through the years, these efforts expanded to include land purchases and transfers in other places around the country. In the late 1960s, the Endowment shifted its focus away from land purchases and started awarding grants to fund IWLA conservation-related projects.
Every member of the IWLA is a member of the Endowment. However, we receive none of our funds from League dues. We rely entirely on donations and revenues from our investments to fund the annual grants. You can find examples of these grants in the Recent Grants section of this website.