Back to Resource Center

The Best Climate Change Nonprofits Working to Protect the Planet

A person holding a cardboard sign that says, “Protect our planet!” into the air

Whether you’re simply interested in donating to causes you care about or are building an impactful CSR strategy, it’s worth it to know where your money is going. Not all charities are made equal; the best climate change nonprofits will put your money directly into projects, resources, and communities that need it most. We’ve rounded up a list of some of the most influential and unique nonprofit climate change organizations to help you find a group that aligns with your strategic goals and values.

Table of Contents

1. Environmental Defense Fund
2. Good Energy Collective
3. The Good Food Institute
4. Industrious Labs
5. Greenpeace
6. DEPLOY/US
7. Cool Earth
8. The Climate Reality Project
9. Earthjustice
10. Opportunity Green
11. Project Innerspace
12. Energy for Growth Hub
13. Rainforest Alliance

13 of the Best Climate Change Nonprofits to Know

Below are some of the best climate change charities working to protect our Earth and its people that you may want to support. Giving back to one or more of these climate change nonprofits allows you to target two types of social responsibility – philanthropic and environmental – at once.

1. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)

The Environmental Defense Fund is one of the largest climate change nonprofits in the nation. It combines science, law, economics, and community involvement to target environmental issues. 

Through initiatives like reducing methane emissions, clean energy research, and implementing sustainable agriculture practices, the EDF helps stabilize the environment and the well-being of the people who depend on it. A donation to the EDF helps support tangible and evidence-based climate change solutions.

2. Good Energy Collective

Nuclear power will play an important role in the future as we combat climate change and embrace cleaner energy sources. Options like wind and solar power are cheap and have helped many Americans make the switch to clean energy, but they can’t totally replace fossil fuels on their own. 

Despite how accessible and powerful it is, nuclear energy is generally underfunded and misunderstood. The Good Energy Collective is here to change that. The organization believes in constructing technology fit for our modern, socially grounded era: advanced nuclear reactors that are low-carbon, safe, and scalable. 

To do that, the Collective focuses on gaining support from communities and politicians alike through outreach efforts, education, job opportunities, and more. This work has been so impactful that Good Energy Collective has been nationally recognized by Giving Green as one of the top five nonprofits fighting climate change.

3. The Good Food Institute

As our global population grows, so too does the demand for nutritious and conflict-free food sources. The Good Food Institute is working to create alternative proteins (like plant-based burgers) to compete with conventional options like beef. The goal is to reduce livestock consumption and introduce a newer, sustainable way to meet our nutritional needs. 

Raising animals for meat is a huge drain on the environment, especially methane-producing animals like cattle. Agriculture alone accounts for around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions each year. Plus, the deforestation and habitat destruction that comes from expanding grazing fields can be devastating to local ecosystems. 

The world is getting bigger, but we can’t scale meat production to match – not unless we create a new system for cultivating protein-rich foods that don’t harm our planet. The Good Food Institute performs research, partners with key industry leaders, and does advocacy work to spread awareness about alternative proteins and sustainable good production.

4. Industrious Labs

Industrious Labs is a newer climate change nonprofit with a clear goal: build a greener future and revolutionize what the group calls “heavy industry.” According to Industrious Labs, “heavy industry” like steel and cement production contributes 24% of greenhouse gas emissions, making it the biggest source of climate pollution. 

Despite this, materials like steel, aluminum, and cement are needed to build our new world. Through policy creation, advocacy, and political action, the organization pushes to implement business practices that reduce emissions, are accountable to communities, and support a circular economy.

5. Greenpeace

Greenpeace is internationally recognized as one of the best charities for climate change thanks to its advocacy and direct action work, which centers around solving environmental issues. The group campaigns against the use of fossil fuels, works to promote renewable energy, and advocates for political change that protects our planet. 

Greenpeace operates locally within the US and on a global scale, creating campaigns that drive awareness, influence public policy, and create systemic changes in how we view climate change.

6. DEPLOY/US

DEPLOY/US stands out from other nonprofit climate change organizations due to its target audience: American conservatives. The group focuses on enacting decarbonization policies, with its ultimate goal being to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. DEPLOY/US makes that happen by partnering with local grassroots, philanthropic, business, faith, and other organizations to push for policy change and implement low-carbon practices. 

This group is part of what’s known as the “eco-right,” a movement of conservative-leaning climate groups that aim to drum up support for decarbonization using conservative principles. They play an important role in gaining nonpartisan support for reasonable climate policy, but many are underfunded by their communities. Donating to an organization like DEPLOY/US gives you a unique way to support better policy from an angle that’s traditionally underrepresented.

7. Cool Earth

The mission of Cool Earth is straightforward but powerful: to back people and protect the rainforests. Cool Earth partners with Indigenous peoples and local communities to protect rainforest land and combat the climate crisis. 

Their unique approach is all about empowering locals to manage and preserve their natural resources through “people-powered” projects. Supporting Cool Earth means supporting communities and partners across the Amazon, Congo, and New Guinea rainforests.

8. The Climate Reality Project

Founded in 2011 by Former Vice President Al Gore, The Climate Reality Project is an organization focused on building a just, sustainable, and true net-zero future. Education and advocacy are used to push for reducing emissions, putting an end to “greenwashing,” and financing clean energy solutions. The group also trains climate leaders and works to promote public policy that cuts back on emissions.

9. Earthjustice

Everyone deserves a good lawyer – even the Earth. That’s the philosophy held by Earthjustice, a nonprofit that takes on legal battles to hold polluters accountable, enforce environmental policy, and protect our planet from exploitation. 

Earthjustice provides “top-tier” legal representation at no cost to public-interest clients, helping them target climate change-related issues across several industries. Donating to Earthjustice directly funds and supports these legal initiatives.

10. Opportunity Green

Planes, trains, and automobiles have historically been one of the largest sources of pollution. Opportunity Green aims to change that by reducing aviation and maritime shipping emissions worldwide. It hopes to encourage private businesses to adopt clean energy alternatives throughout the shipping process, therefore significantly reducing the amount of emissions created. 

Founded in 2021 in the UK, Opportunity Green is one of the newest climate change charities we know of. That means it’s definitely in need of donations to increase staff and bring on legal expertise to fight for policy initiatives.

11. Project InnerSpace

US-based nonprofit Project InnerSpace wants to unlock our most abundant source of clean energy: the very heat stored deep beneath the Earth’s surface. Project InnerSpace is dedicated to supporting the global development of geothermal energy and expanding access to carbon-free heat and electricity, especially for populations in the Global South.

The work Project InnerSpace does to push for geothermal energy is funded by philanthropy from climate-conscious donors. So, the money you donate goes right toward supporting the organization’s action.

12. Energy for Growth Hub

Since its creation in 2013, Energy for Growth Hub has focused on remedying what it refers to as “energy poverty.” It’s a self-described global think tank that aims to make electricity reliable and affordable for people worldwide. It also hopes to end energy poverty overall by creating a sustainable and climate-resilient system that will hold up well into the future. 

While it’s not strictly a climate change nonprofit, Energy for Growth Hub undoubtedly shares many goals with other charities in the clean energy space. Your donations will support projects that help businesses and policymakers find new ways to create clean energy that’s accessible, affordable, and climate-friendly.

13. Rainforest Alliance

As its name implies, the Rainforest Alliance focuses on protecting biodiversity and the livelihoods of our rainforests. Through goals like promoting sustainable agriculture, transforming land-use practices, and altering consumer behavior, the Alliance spearheads both systemic and social change. It hopes to reduce deforestation, carbon emissions, harmful tourism practices, and the destruction of valuable ecosystems across the planet. 

Support Top Environmental Nonprofits with Groundswell

Finding a charity to work with is only half the battle – next, you’ll have to decide how and when to contribute. Build and launch giving and volunteerism campaigns in minutes with the help of Groundswell. Our mobile-first platform makes it simple to search for the best climate change nonprofits for your organization. Track donations, match employee contributions, reward participation, and more within minutes.

Request a personalized demo today to see how you can get started.

Related resources

All Posts
Corporate Philanthropy
3 Steps to Create an Impactful Year-End Fundraising Campaign with Groundswell
3 Steps to Create an Impactful Year-End Fundraising Campaign with Groundswell

All Posts
Groundswell News
Groundswell Tops 20 Categories in G2's Summer Awards
Groundswell Tops 20 Categories in G2's Summer Awards

All Posts
Cause Spotlights
11 of the Best Nonprofits in San Francisco Creating Real Change
11 of the Best Nonprofits in San Francisco Creating Real Change

Subscribe to our newsletter