Giving Compass' Take:

• The George and Audrey Rasmussen Family Foundation's grantmaking focuses on conservation and combatting global warming. 

• What can individual donors learn from the habits of family philanthropists? 

• Read more about the family philanthropy in the Giving Compass guide for donors.

Lauren and Gary Ranz have spent much of their lives experiencing nature and encouraging others to join them. They see birds as a way for people to get enthused and concerned about our environment.

The Ranzs obtained the very first conservation easement in Sierra County for their Sierra Valley property which is protected in perpetuity – an action they took to help combat global warming and support the surrounding ecosystem for generations to come.

After moving back to the San Francisco East Bay, Lauren taught environmental education for the Orinda school district. Gary worked for Lindsay Wildlife Museum, where he still volunteers at the wildlife hospital.  Before Lauren’s mother passed on, they asked her if they could start a foundation in her memory, and thus the George and Audrey Rasmussen Family Foundation was established.

The whole family is involved in the foundation’s grant making. They are as passionate as they are practical and support Audubon California’s Working Lands program. “So much water goes to agriculture. If agriculture can be encouraged to support sustainable habitats, we all win.”

Read the full article about conservation and family philanthropy by Kelley Nelson at Audubon.