Supporting in-situ animal conservation for over 24 years.

Natural Encounters Conservation Fund (NECF) is a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization dedicated to promoting wildlife and environmental conservation through education and fundraising. Originally named the World of Birds Show, NECF is supported by our sister company, Natural Encounters, Inc., to better direct all proceeds to worthy in-situ conservation efforts all over the world.

Steve Martin and Palmer the Palm Cockatoo at the State Fair of Texas, where the audience has a chance to donate to NECF.


Connecting Humans to the Natural World

In 1995, Steve Martin formed the World of Birds Show as a 501(C)(3) public charity with the exclusive purpose of furthering the education of the public concerning wildlife and the conservation of wildlife through educational programs. World of Birds Show later became Natural Encounters Conservation Fund (in 2003) to better reflect its mission of helping empower in-situ conservation efforts. To date, NECF has received contributions and revenues totaling over 1.5 million dollars which has been donated to 55 organizations with projects on 5 continents.


The cheetah is one of the many animals that NECF has contributed to.


$1.5 Million Donated

NECF seeks to make its greatest positive impact on the environment by encouraging and supporting the conservation efforts of other organizations. In addition, NECF promotes educational programs that help people understand their relationship with the other species we share this planet with, as well as our undeniable dependency on the living earth. Representative animal species that have benefited from NECF donations include, but are not limited to: vultures, Javan rhinos, ground hornbills, cheetah, brown hyenas, California condors, sea turtles, palm cockatoos, Lear’s macaws, harpy eagles, and blue-throated macaws.


NECF has supported the Javan rhino by donating to the International Rhino Foundation.

The World of Birds Show/NECF has raised and donated over $1,300,000 to in-situ conservation projects, including the following:


In addition to monetary awards, NECF occasionally provides workers and other support for organizations involved in wildlife and habitat preservation. NECF also operates a Staff Development Fund where zoological facilities are given monetary awards to use at their discretion for the growth and development of their keeper staff.

Steve Martin (President) and a cheetah share a moment of connection.

NECF Board of Directors:

  • President: Steve Martin, President, Natural Encounters, Inc.
  • Vice President: Gary Lee, Founder and Principal, CLR Design, Inc.
  • Vice President: Jamie Gilardi, Executive Director, World Parrot Trust
  • Secretary, Treasurer: Bernard Hansen, Manager, Business Diagnostics, LLC


  • Director of Operations: Erik Montgomery