“But how can just one person make a difference when it comes to climate change?”
Every single human on this planet has the opportunity to be an environmental leader by setting an example through their own actions every day. Whether that be things like picking up trash in your local neighborhood, eating a more plant-based diet, and/or (if you have the means) sharing freely and generously with the world at large through donations to organizations that focus on bettering our planet.
We know it can be difficult to ensure your donation is going to the right place, so we put together a list of organizations that have scored 85% or higher on Charity Navigator, the world’s largest independent nonprofit evaluator.* Charity Navigator rates charities by evaluating two areas of performance: Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency. Their goal is to show donors how efficiently they believe a charity will use its support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time, and its level of commitment to being accountable and transparent.
Acadia Center (100) Acadia Center is a non-profit organization committed to advancing the clean energy future. Through research and advocacy, it works to empower consumers and offer real-world solutions to the climate crisis for all.
Communities for a Better Environment (85) Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) is a social justice organization with a focus on environmental health and justice. CBE works to achieve environmental health and justice by building grassroots power in and with communities of color and working-class communities. We organize in working-class communities of color because those communities suffer the most from environmental pollution and toxins. We provide community residents who want to challenge corporate polluters with organizing help, scientific and policy research, and legal assistance. The focus of our work is to help community members identify their own problems, and define their own campaigns and solutions.
Conservation Lands Foundation (97) As the only nonprofit in the country solely dedicated to protecting the National Conservation Lands, our mission is to protect, restore and expand the National Conservation Lands through education, advocacy and partnerships.
Environmental and Energy Study Institute (94) EESI's mission is to advance science-based solutions for climate change, energy, and environmental challenges to achieve our vision of a sustainable, resilient, and equitable world. Climate change is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. As the U.S. is a leading global emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, we have a responsibility to prioritize climate mitigation quickly and in a way that centers on equity and workforce development. Additionally, we need communities to be resilient to intensifying climate impacts by promoting common-sense solutions like energy efficiency, utilizing all renewables, and making construction more sustainable.
Environmental Defense Fund (90) Environmental Defense Fund's mission is to preserve the natural systems on which all life depends. What distinguishes EDF from others is the combination of what we protect and how we protect it. We work to solve the most critical environmental problems facing the planet, focusing on mitigating climate change, restoring the ocean's bounty, protecting wildlife and their habitats, and safeguarding our health. Since these topics are intertwined, our solutions take a multidisciplinary approach. We work in concert with other organizations-as well as with business, government, and communities-and to avoid duplicating work already being done effectively by others.
Friends of the Earth (90) Friends of the Earth and our network of grassroots groups in 77 countries fight to create a more healthy, just world. Our current campaigns focus on clean energy and solutions to global warming, protecting people from toxic and new, potentially harmful technologies, and promoting smarter, low-pollution transportation alternatives. Friends of the Earth U.S. is also a part of Friends of the Earth International, the world's largest grassroots environmental network. Our dedicated staff fights to protect the rights of all people to live in a safe and healthy environment, both at home or in countries around the world. Our campaigns demonstrate our belief that the fight for justice and the movement to protect the health of the planet are part of the same struggle.
International Anti-Poaching Foundation Inc. (94) IAPF protects endangered wildlife and ecosystems by conducting anti-poaching operations, delivering ranger training, supplying equipment and technological solutions, and providing critical project management and administrative support to local communities engaged in preventing poaching and trafficking. The Akashinga model brings conservation and community together whilst creating vital education and employment opportunities for communities in rural Africa.
National Forest Foundation (90) Our National Forests span 193 million acres from Alaska to Puerto Rico. Truly "The People's Lands," these forests, grasslands, deserts, and snow-capped mountains are our most cherished outdoor spaces that offer unparalleled recreation opportunities. They also support local economies, provide critical natural resources, clean our water and air, and host wildlife.
The National Forest Foundation is the only conservation organization solely dedicated to improving these public lands for todays and future generations. Our efficient, effective, and creative approaches to conservation reach millions of Americans annually. We accomplish our work through signature conservation initiatives, tree planting, grant programs as we empower communities to work together and inspire millions of Americans to care for their backyard National Forests.
National Park Trust (100) We preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow. We acquire the missing pieces of our national parks, the privately owned land located within and adjacent to our national parks’ boundaries. We also bring thousands of kids from under-served communities to our parks; they are our future caretakers of these priceless resources.
Oceana (95) Founded in 2001, Oceana is the largest international group focused solely on ocean conservation. Our offices in North America, South America and Europe, work together on a limited number of strategic, directed campaigns to achieve measurable outcomes that will help return our oceans to former levels of abundance. We believe in the importance of science in identifying problems and solutions. Our scientists lead our team of economists, lawyers, and advocates focused on achieving tangible results for the oceans. Saving the oceans may take decades, but in each of our campaigns, we aim to accomplish an important milestone in that effort within two to five years.
Pure Earth (92) Pure Earth's mission is to identify and clean up the poorest communities throughout the developing world where high concentrations of toxins have devastating health effects. Toxic pollutants affect the health of more than 200 million people worldwide. The number of people affected is comparable to HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. Yet pollution is one of the most underreported and underfunded problems in the world. The majority of acutely toxic sites are caused by local business, many of them artisanal or small-scale. Abandoned sites are also quite common. Surprisingly, international companies are rarely implicated. Women and children are especially at risk of suffering neurologic and immune system damage and early death. Pure Earth devises clean-up strategies, empowers local champions, and secures support from national and international partnerships. Cleaning up one community at a time brings us closer to a Pure Earth.
Sierra Club Foundation (95) The Sierra Club Foundation promotes climate solutions, conservation, and movement building through a powerful combination of strategic philanthropy and grassroots advocacy. We partner with individual and institutional donors to align financial resources with strategic outcomes, provide flexible funding for innovation, build capacity in the environmental movement, and create partnerships with a broad spectrum of allied organizations around shared values and goals. As the fiscal sponsor of the charitable programs of the Sierra Club, we provide resources to it and other nonprofit organizations to support scientific, educational, literary, organizing, advocacy, and legal programs that further our goals.
Trust for Public Land (100) The Trust for Public Land was founded in 1972 by a diverse coalition that believed all people need and deserve access to nature and the outdoors, close to home, in the cities and communities where they live, as a matter of health, equity, and justice. While many conservation organizations set aside wildlands for biodiversity or habitat restoration, our founders sought to bring the benefits of parks and nature to the places, people, and communities that needed them most.
Waterkeeper Alliance (91) Waterkeeper Alliance's mission is to strengthen and grow a global network of grassroots leaders protecting everyone's right to clean water. Today, Waterkeeper Alliance is made up of over 300 Waterkeeper Organizations and Affiliates protecting rivers, lakes, and coastal waterways on 6 continents. They are the largest and fastest-growing nonprofit solely focused on clean water and their goal is swimmable, drinkable, and fishable water everywhere. They accomplish this by holding polluters accountable and connecting local Waterkeeper organizations worldwide.
WildAid (100) WildAid's mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. WildAid works to reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products and to promote energy conservation, via global public awareness campaigns. WildAid also strives to create model field conservation programs and to strengthen marine protected areas around the world.
Wild Earth Allies (90) Wild Earth Allies collaborates with a wide network of partners to protect wildlife and habitats in culturally appropriate ways. Our mission is to protect vital areas of our natural world for the benefit of wildlife, habitats, and people by inspiring collaborative action. We operate with best practices, a lean structure, and a commitment to optimism, cultural respect, shared learning, and integrity. We envision a world where wildlife flourishes in healthy ecosystems that sustain us all.
World Resources Institute (98) WRI's mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth's environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. WRI's more than 450 experts and staff work closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action to sustain our natural resources-the foundation of economic opportunity and human well-being. Our work focuses on six critical issues at the intersection of environment and development: climate, energy, food, forests, water, and cities and transport.
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