Donating for Environmental Issues

Organizations that align with your values

Some people have more time than money, some have more money than time.

You can make an impact beyond leading with your lifestyle. Some of us can volunteer, others prefer to donate. Giving your money to some of the best organizations is the simplest way to help.

Donating has changed a lot over the past 20 years and there are now ways to use the internet to connect to those you help, plus a huge array of concrete evidence to show what organizations are effective in using your money, and which ones are not.

Before we introduce the organizations we've found to use donations well in making an impact, think.

Make sure you're spending your money as smartly as you make it. A lot of the time we tend to give to the causes that are best for asking for it, not necessarily the most effective.


The Natural Resources Defense Council: The Earth’s Best Defense

The Natural Resources Defense Council seeks to protect the basics—air, land, and water—and to defend endangered natural places, with an eye toward how these long-term decisions affect humans.

Learn more at

Center for Biological Diversity: Nonprofit Protecting Earth’s Species

Founded in 1989, the Center for Biological Diversity uses biological data, legal expertise, and citizen petitions to obtain new protections for plants, animals and their habitats. Their track record is impressive - 93 percent of their lawsuits result in favorable outcomes, and they continue to grow by expanding their territory, staff, and outreach:
Learn more at 


Center for Biological Diversity: Nonprofit Protecting Earth’s Species

Center for Natural Lands Management: The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) aims to protect and restore endangered and threatened species and their habitats in California and Washington. Through land acquisition agreements, CNLM manages 34,000 acres of nature preserves in California and the South Puget Sound Program in Washington .

Learn more at

Save the Redwoods League: To Preserve the oldest trees in the world

This isn't just on the list because we love giant Sequoias. It's a great organization situated in Northern California, dedicated to protecting California's most iconic trees: the 1,500-year-old redwoods and giant sequoias. 

Learn more at

Marine Conservation

5 Gyres Institute: More Ocean, Less Plastic

The 5 Gyres Institute works to empower action towards reducing and eliminating plastic pollution through science, art, education and adventure. "Gyre” is an ocean current, but their name refers to the main subtropical gyres in the North and South Pacific, the North and South Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean. The areas of the ocean where plastic trash accumulates. 

Learn more at

Land and Water Conservation

The Nature Conservancy: Protecting which all life depends

The Nature Conservancy is the world’s largest nonprofit conservation organization. It’s a science-based environmental group that works in all 50 states and over 30 countries to support protection of wildlife and their habitat. Chances are, if you’re an outdoors person, you’ve stepped foot on land that The Nature Conservancy has fought to protect. (Check out this map to see!) They also offer opportunities with partner organizations to volunteer and provide digital resources to educators to bring into the classroom.

Learn more at

Climate Change

Protect Our Winters: We All Need Winters

Protect Our Winters is working to mobilize the snowsports community against climate change. Take the pledge to join their POW Seven initiative which offers the seven most effective ways to make a difference towards climate change and sustainability for the future.

Learn more at

The Union of Concerned Scientists: Defend Science

The Union of Concerned Scientists performs important research on climate changes and breaks down those results so non-scientists can understand. They also offer an awesome toolkit for those looking to get involved with advocacy work, from tips on writing and calling policymakers, getting media to cover events, and raising issues at public meetings – so your actions can have the biggest impact.

Learn more at Global Grassroots Climate Movement, referring to the number of particles in the air, is a great way to connect with other advocates in your community in order to build a collective voice. Their focus includes protesting against new fossil fuel development and offshore drilling.

Learn more at

The Environmental Defense Fund

The Environmental Defense Fund is committed to finding collective solutions to our environmental problems. They recently released a plan to drop global carbon emissions by 2020, and they are working with farmers, ranchers and fishermen to ensure we have food security for the future

Learn more at

Where to find out more

GiveWell: Make your dollar go further is a website started by a group of hedge fund analysts, and applies the same financial rigor to nonprofits, trying to assess how much good they will do with your money. 

It is a great source for review and finding organizations to support. 

The Center for High Impact Philanthropy

The Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania offers recommendations about where donations will have the greatest impact. It examines a variety of important areas such as the empowerment of women and girls, early education and global health.