How Brian Sheth and His Foundation Helped Global Conservation Efforts

Lake with a fisherman, mountain range in Atitlán, Guatemala

Investor and business leader Brian Sheth is on a mission to save the planet. Case in point: In November 2017, the Sheth Sangreal Foundation generously increased its matching gift to Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC, now known as Re:wild) from $10 million to $15 million. Made possible by Sheth and his family, the decision was a conscious effort to accelerate the pace of the foundation’s efforts to protect the planet.

This challenge grant matched donations to the organization dollar for dollar, thereby doubling the financial impact of each donation. It was a sincere tribute to the work that GWC was doing to preserve the diverse ecosystem of our Earth. It allowed the group to add an important person to the team, one who was named “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine.

Expanding the Leadership Team

Twice the funding meant twice the opportunities for GWC. Thanks to the Sheth Sangreal Foundation, GWC expanded its leadership team to include Dr. Russ Mittermeier as chief conservation officer. This world-renowned biologist is famous for his work with amphibians and primates and was brought on to conserve critical habitats worldwide.

The chief scientist and CEO of GWC, Wes Sechrest, Ph.D., was overwhelmed by the increase. “This tremendously generous support from Brian Sheth and his Sheth Sangreal Foundation positions GWC to continue to lead the way in saving endangered species across the world and in protecting the health of our planet.” He went on to talk about his confidence that the challenge grant would inspire even more support for the mission of GWC.

Sheth timed his increase before the much-promoted #GivingTuesday, so all the donations on that day would be included in the match. This campaign was earmarked for the Finca San Isidro Reserve in Guatemala’s Cuchumatanes mountain range, where Jackson’s climbing salamander had recently been rediscovered. There are several lost species in the world, but this was an animal that was one of the most coveted, according to the “Search for Lost Species” initiative.

Animals that haven’t been spotted in the wild for quite some time are often feared extinct, and their rediscovery is a window into how we can learn more about the threats they face and what can be done to ensure they have a fair chance in a world ravaged by human hands.

Brian Sheth and his wife, Adria, have always been interested in doing their part for the planet. In an official statement he gave at the time of the match, Sheth said, “We are delighted to increase our $10 million matching grant to Global Wildlife Conservation to $15 million, just in time for #GivingTuesday. We want to inspire others to invest in an organization that is dedicated to the future of our planet.”

The Sheth Sangreal Foundation and the Planet

The Sheth Sangreal Foundation is beloved for its work in Texas, as Sheth has always believed in acting locally. He’s also known for his broader efforts in the environment and education fields. He believes that to whom much is given, much is expected.

Saving the climbing salamander is a part of a much bigger goal to preserve the clean air and water that all humans are entitled to. It’s a way to hold onto a fragile web of life that benefits us all. To show their thanks for his generosity, conservationists named a lemur species after him. The Cheirogaleus shethi — or Sheth’s dwarf lemur — is a testament to his legacy as a philanthropist and conservationist.

Sheth has also worked to protect the forests of Colombia and restore wildlife in the Galápagos. He’s partnered with investors and philanthropists Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurene Powell Jobs to create the Earth Alliance, a nonprofit environmental powerhouse that actively fights biodiversity loss and climate change. Whether he’s supporting scientific research halfway around the world or a children’s hospital in his hometown of Austin, Sheth’s steadfast about maximizing his philanthropic efforts.

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