The goals of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are to prevent extinction and recover species, but these goals can only be met if the law is fully funded. Unfortunately, Congress has appropriated only a small portion of what scientists say is needed for recovery. Here, we review decades of data on ESA implementation to develop informed recommendations for the funding that the ESA needs to succeed in its urgently important mission. We have created this infographic in summary of our findings. This work highlights the severe past underfunding of the ESA and what is truly needed to meet our obligations to conserving listed species.