Institutions striving to conserve biological diversity spend millions of dollars on initiatives worldwide but rarely define, measure, and communicate conservation success. Conservation funding is finite and needs to be allocated optimally. To achieve this, two important issues require attention. First, we need more systematic evaluation of the impacts and costs of individual approaches and more synthesis of site-specific information to enable comparisons of relative effectiveness among conservation approaches. Second, there must be stronger links between site-specific initiatives and global monitoring of biodiversity. The information used by institutions to monitor the status of biodiversity at all scales rarely connects with the institutions attempting to conserve biodiversity.