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    How to think about Climate Giving

    Choosing charities carefully can mean a much greater impact on climate change

    Climate change can feel overwhelming. As individuals looking to make a difference in this cause, the choice of where to allocate our charitable donations is crucial. But how can you decide where to give with so many environmental charities out there? At Giving Green, we help donors like you find the most impactful charities fighting climate change. We’re proud to partner with Charity Navigator to highlight the best charities for climate change mitigation so that you can streamline your decision-making process, ensuring that your contributions significantly advance the fight against climate change. 


    Before giving, it’s important to understand the nuances of climate giving and how it differs from broader environmental efforts, which often encompass a variety of ecological preservation activities. So…

    How is Climate Giving Different from Environmental Giving?


    “Environment” can mean a lot of things, and therefore, environmental charities address a broad range of issues, such as conserving open spaces, ensuring clear air and water, and defending biodiversity. Preventing climate change is more focused: to stop warming the earth, we need to take steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.


    Frequently, climate change mitigation and environmental protection go hand-in-hand. For instance, protecting forests achieves goals of conservation, maintaining biodiversity, and keeping greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. But sometimes these cause areas are in opposition: for instance, building new solar fields may require developing open spaces and encroaching on animal habitats. 


    In recognition of these differences, Charity Navigator and Giving Green are proud to announce the creation of a new curated list of the Best Climate Change Mitigation Charities. This list complements Charity Navigator’s previous list of the Best Charities to Protect the Environment



    How Can I Identify High-Impact Climate Charities?


    There are hundreds of charities in the U.S. that work on climate mitigation. Where do you start?


    One approach is to refer to the work of charity evaluators. Some, like Charity Navigator, provide a wide view of many charities, rating them on finance, culture, leadership, and results. Others, like our team at Giving Green, search for only the highest-impact organizations and provide deep assessments of just a few charities.


    If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can use evaluators' frameworks to make your own decisions. For example, we at Giving Green assess charities based on scale, feasibility, and funding need. We ask questions like: Is this charity working on systems-level change, like policy advocacy, that will have a big impact? Is its strategy likely to succeed? And is it likely to raise a lot of money, or does it need additional donations?



    Where Should I Give if I Care About Climate Change?


    A great place to start is the curated list of top climate change charities we partnered with Charity Navigator on! Giving Green has done thousands of hours of research to arrive at this short list of highly impactful opportunities. You can also view additional recommendations on our top climate nonprofits list


    To tackle a problem as big as climate change, we must give thoughtfully and strategically. By focusing on emissions and relying on rigorous evaluations, you can maximize the impact of your climate donations.



    Dan Stein, Founder and Executive Director, Giving Green

    Emily Thai, Manager, Giving Green