Charles Coats is the Senior Coordinator for Individual Philanthropy, responsible for a range of donor relations and operations functions aimed at ensuring the continued success of the National Wildlife Federation’s donor engagement efforts.
As a native of Northern Virginia, I grew up watching the suburbs continue to develop and expand into the creeks and forests I played in. From an early age, this began my understanding of how humans have changed the natural world to benefit themselves at the expense of the environment around them. I also grew up as a Ranger Rick kid as my grandmother worked in the production and packaging side of house for the magazine team here at the National Wildlife Federation. She retired with 25 years of service when I was four but my whole childhood included Ranger Rick guiding me through storytelling and activities involving our natural world. This allowed me to make the connection that there is a wider world out there to explore and discover.
Throughout my childhood, my family tried to take day trips to natural areas and preserves as often as we could, exploring any natural area within a few hours’ drive. Every year we attended family reunions in many of this nation’s greatest national parks and natural spaces. These experiences made me comfortable outdoors and I learned many important lessons in and from nature.
In college I pursued my passion for the natural world, social causes, and non-profit organizations by working towards a degree in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with a minor in Non-Profit Management. After graduating, I worked with many environmental and conservation organizations such as National Park Service, NatureBridge, Student Conservation Association, and Living Classrooms Foundation. After a few years, I finally landed a job with the National Wildlife Federation.
Charles holds a B.A. in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with a concentration of Environmental Justice and a minor of Non-Profit Studies from George Mason University. He is also actively engaged with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Alumni board.
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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.