death of J. N. "Ding" Darling in 1962, his family,
friends, and admirers gathered in Des Moines, Iowa. Their task
was to determine how best to perpetuate "Ding's" forceful
leadership in conservation and conservation education.
initiated the J. N. "Ding" Darling Foundation, which
received its IRS Section 501(c)(3) approval letter in 1963. The
Foundation's Board of Trustees represented a broad national constituency.
Among the founding Trustees were former Presidents Eisenhower
and Truman, as well as experienced educators, publishers, artists,
business executives and conservationists.
The founders made an early decision to accomplish the work of the Foundation by relying on trustees and volunteers. Utilizing the experience of its trustees and attracting dedicated volunteers, the Darling Foundation avoided the necessity of paid staff. Since income from its modest endowment covered its low overhead, the Foundation
was able to put virtually all contributions received directly into its operating projects.
The Foundation supported the
J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge,
supplied teaching materials for conservation education, and
CD containing 6,800 of
Ding's editorial cartoons.
In 2006, having
accomplished the goals that the original
trustees had set, the
J. N. "Ding" Darling Foundation was dissolved.
The Foundation issued challenge grants to three
primary conservation organizations with which it
had worked for many decades and in which it had
the utmost confidence. Those three organizations
"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society, the
Heritage Foundation, and the
Conservation Foundation. All three
organizations successfully met their challenges,
and "Ding" Darling Conservation Education Fund
endowments totaling nearly $700,000 were
established to continue Darling's work in
conservation education. Lesser challenges and
grants were made to the
Environmental Council, the
the Prairie Learning Center, the
Library at Drake University, the
Brunnier Gallery and Museum at Iowa State
Special Collections at the University of Iowa
Library, and the
Wildlife Refuge Association.
In addition to
cash disbursements, the J. N. "Ding" Darling
Foundation assigned its copyrights and
trademarks to the "Ding" Darling Wildlife
Society at the
Darling National Wildlife Refuge, 1 Wildlife
Drive, Sanibel, FL 33957.