Top 23 Global Nonprofits Protecting the Environment

Top 23 Global Nonprofits Protecting the Environment

nonprofits protecting the environment

Amongst a myriad of environmental issues the world is facing today, climate change is one of the most serious and pressing ones. It’s already having significant and costly effects on our communities, our health, and our environment.

Climate change encompasses not only rising average temperatures but also extreme weather events, shifting wildlife populations and habitats, rising seas, and a range of other impacts. All of these changes are emerging as humans continue to add heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

The impacts of climate change are plenty.

Global average sea level has risen by about 7–8 inches since 1900. Rising seas endanger coastal cities and small island nations. Changes in water temperature are causing algae to leave coral reefs. This turns the reefs white and making them vulnerable to disease and death. Over the past 30 years, the oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic has declined by a stunning 95 percent. Global floods and extreme rainfall have surged by more than 50% this decade. They are now occurring at a rate four times higher than in 1980. (wwf.org)

In this article, we’ll talk about the global nonprofits that are leading the change, their missions, and noteworthy activities. However, they aren’t in a particular order and we understand that there are hundreds of other nonprofits striving to bring a positive impact to the environment.


Top 23 Environment Protection Nonprofits

  1. LAUDATO SI’ MOVEMENT (Formerly, Global Catholic Climate Movement)
  2. WWF
  3. 350.org
  4. Climate Foundation
  5. Greenpeace
  6. Earth Island Institute
  7. Rainforest Action Network
  8. Friends of the Earth
  9. Global Footprint Network
  10. Depave
  11. Earth Day Network
  12. Natural Resources Defense Council
  13. Rainforest Alliance
  14. Earthjustice
  15. The Climate Reality Project
  16. Restore The Earth
  17. C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
  18. Fairtrade International
  19. Earthworks
  20. Environmental Defense Fund
  21. Conservation International
  22. The Carbon Underground
  23. Green Cross International


1. LAUDATO SI’ MOVEMENT (Formerly, Global Catholic Climate Movement)

“To inspire and mobilize the Catholic community to care for our common home and achieve climate and ecological justice.”

LAUDATO SI’ MOVEMENT works to take action against the injustice of climate emergency and ecological crisis with the help of 1.3 billion Catholics and all people of good. This movement started with a call from Pope Francis. They already have 8000+ certified Animators, over 800 member organizations, and several chapters to help turn this mission into a reality. Moreover, their endeavor has touched 6 continents.

The organization came into being in the year 2015. They also have educative articles and documents listed on their website to help people learn about their global movement. LAUDATO SI’ week 2022 has taken place between May 22 and May 29. It invited people from all walks of life to join hands for a healthy environment.

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2. WWF

“Our mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.”

WWF is the world’s largest conservation organization. It has over five million supporters worldwide, working in more than 100 countries. They support around 1,300 conservation and environmental projects.

WWF is an international nongovernmental organization. It was founded in 1961. They also work in the field of wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on the environment.


3. 350.org

“350 is building a future that’s just, prosperous, equitable and safe from the effects of climate change.”

350.org is one of the largest global movements addressing the issue of climate change. Their goal is to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350ppm from the current level of 400 ppm. Moreover, they work in almost every country in the world on campaigns like fighting coal power plants in India, stopping the Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S, and divesting public institutions everywhere from fossil fuels.

CharityNavigator.org tracks the honesty of nonprofit groups and rates them according to transparency. It gives 350 its highest score for accountability and conscientious use of funds.


4. Climate Foundation

“Reversing global warming in our lifetime.”

Climate Foundation is dedicated to saving the earth through food security, ecosystem survival, and carbon balance. Recently, they’ve also won the million-dollar milestone XPRIZE for carbon removal. The award was funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation. Their noteworthy projects range from marine permaculture to reversing coral bleaching to charvesting, and more.

The nonprofit website also lists volunteer opportunities so people can come forward to learn more and help with their skills.


5. Greenpeace

“Exists because this fragile earth deserves a voice.”

Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over 39 countries and an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The organization has a general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.  They use direct action, lobbying, research, and ecotage to achieve their goals and campaign on worldwide issues such as climate change, deforestation, overfishing, commercial whaling, genetic engineering, and anti-nuclear issues.


6. Earth Island Institute

“We do this work because we revere the miracle of the natural world, its beauty, and wholeness. And we believe that reversing the perilous environmental course we are on requires all of us to step up, connect, and take action.”

The Earth Island Institute is a nonprofit environmental organization founded in 1982. They are located in Berkeley, California. It supports activism around environmental issues through fiscal sponsorship that provides the administrative and organizational infrastructure for individual projects.

They have a network of more than 75 activist projects in the U.S. and around the world.


7. Rainforest Action Network

“We take action against the companies and industries driving deforestation and climate change.”

Rainforest Action Network is an environmental nonprofit based in San Francisco, California. They first gained national prominence with a grassroots organizing campaign that in 1987 succeeded in convincing Burger King to cancel $31 million worth of destructive Central American rainforest beef contracts.

RAN also pioneered the corporate campaigning model. They target the biggest players— like Home Depot, Citicorp, or Chevron. They make big statements— like dropping banners in Union Square or shutting down coal plants. Then, they try to bring the big corporate players to the boardrooms and start conversations.


8. Friends of the Earth

“We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.”

Friends of the Earth was founded in 1969 in San Francisco. It’s an international network of organizations with a meeting of representatives from four countries, namely the U.S., Sweden, the UK, and France. Moreover, the organization is highly decentralized. It is made up of autonomous organizations, with a shared analysis of the root causes of today’s most pressing environmental problems.

Roughly half of the 75 member organizations call themselves “Friends of the Earth” in their own languages. Friends of the Earth also has a secretariat (based in Amsterdam, Netherlands) that provides support for the network and its agreed major campaigns.


9. Global Footprint Network

“We envision a future where all thrive within the means of our one planet.”

Global Footprint Network has its headquarters in Oakland, California. It was founded in 2003. They are an independent think tank originally based in the United States, Belgium, and Switzerland.

They launched their Ecological Footprint Explorer open data platform in 2017, making their most recent Footprint and biocapacity data for more than 200 countries available for free. Their individual Ecological Footprint Calculator currently draws almost 3 million users per year, for a cumulative 13 million since it was launched online in 2007.

So far, they’ve engaged with more than 70 countries on six continents, got more than 15 national governments to apply the metric, and partnered with more than 80 organizations on numerous projects.


10. Depave

“To empower disenfranchised communities to overcome social and environmental injustices and adapt to climate change through urban re-greening.”

Depave thrives on the idea of constructional destruction. They strive to transform over-paved places, promote workforce development and education, build community green spaces, and also advocate for policy changes. Depave also partners with local schools, faith communities, social service organizations, and community-focused businesses to reduce pavement and increase access to green spaces.

They have volunteer requirements listed on their website for events, becoming crew leaders, and as Green Thumbs at their project sites. The nonprofit also accepts donations online from individual donors and corporate sponsors.

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11. Earth Day Network

“Earth Day Network works year round to solve climate change, to end plastic pollution, to protect endangered species, and to broaden, educate, and activate the environmental movement across the globe.”

Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network is the world’s largest recruiter of the environmental movement. They work with more than 75,000 partners in nearly 192 countries.

More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.


12. Natural Resources Defense Council

“NRDC works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a United States-based, international nonprofit environmental advocacy group. Headquartered in New York City, they also have offices in Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Los Angeles; New Delhi, India; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing, China.

Their programs focus on clean air, global warming, transportation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric-industry restructuring, and more. Their Save the Bees Initiative appeals to the President to take urgent action necessary to save the bee populations from further decline by banning bee-toxic neonics.

They also work on issues involving drinking water, chemical harm to the environment, and other environmental health threats with the goal of reducing the amounts of toxins released into the environment.


13. Rainforest Alliance

“EVERY DAY IS EARTH DAY for our alliance of farmers, forest communities, companies, and consumers working to create a world where people and nature thrive in harmony.”

The Rainforest Alliance is a non-governmental organization working to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods. Based in New York City with offices throughout North and South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, it operates in more than 70 countries.

Moreover, they work with rural communities, businesses, and governments to advance sustainable economic development through training. The organization also promotes climate-smart land management, greenhouse gas mitigation policies, and technical assessments. In addition, they support national governments’ participation in climate policies and frameworks.


14. Earthjustice

“True and lasting change happens when the power of the law is on your side. That is why the earth needs a good lawyer.”

Earthjustice is a nonprofit public interest organization based in the United States dedicated to litigating environmental issues. The headquarters are in San Francisco.

They represent their clients free of charge (thanks to the continued support of individuals and foundations). Moreover, they were awarded Charity Navigator’s top rating for the past ten consecutive years. This is an achievement attained by only 2% of charities.

Their areas of casework include the following:

  • Protecting threatened wildlife,
  • Restoring clean air and water,
  • Protecting people from pesticides and other toxic chemicals,
  • Reining in our dependence on fossil fuels,
  • Strengthening the rise of clean energy,

…and more.


15. The Climate Reality Project

“Our mission is to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society.”

The Climate Reality Project is a consolidation of two environmental groups, the Alliance for Climate Protection and the Climate Project.  Both of them were founded by Al Gore. Among its activities, the Climate Reality Project hosts an annual event called 24 Hours of Reality. They also launched Reality Drop, a social media tool, in 2013.

Additionally, The Climate Reality Project gathers over 19,000 Climate Reality Leaders mobilizing communities in over 150 countries with branches in 10 critical nations and regions around the Earth. Moreover, there are 100 activist chapters (and growing) pushing for practical clean energy policies across the U.S.


16. Restore The Earth

“Our mission is to restore the Earth’s essential forest and wetland ecosystems. We envision the Earth in balance — its original vitality and natural abundance available to all, for generations to come.”

Their approach leverages private funding to access public funding for maximum impact. In addition, their founders worked alongside federal and state agencies, private, philanthropic, and community organizations to initiate landscape-scale forest restoration, along with the Gulf Coast.

Since 2008, Restore the Earth has secured over $40 million in private, federal/state funding to reforest over 50,000 acres along the Gulf Coast damaged by Hurricane Katrina.


17. C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

“A network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change. C40 supports cities to collaborate effectively, share knowledge and drive meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change.”

Mayors of the C40 cities are committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level. They also work toward cleaning the air.

Working across multiple sectors and initiative areas, C40 convenes networks of cities providing a suite of services in support of their efforts. These include the following:

  • Direct technical assistance;
  • Facilitation of peer-to-peer exchange; and
  • Research, knowledge management & communications.

Some of the C40 cities are Beijing, Paris, Stockholm, Cairo, Istanbul, London, Moscow, Lima, Chicago, and Bangkok.


18. Fairtrade International

“A world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfil their potential and decide on their future.”

Fairtrade International was established in 1997.  They are an association of 3 Producer Networks, 19 National Fairtrade Organizations, and 8 Fairtrade Marketing Organizations. They promote and market the Fairtrade Certification Mark in their countries.

Since its beginning, Fairtrade has grown to represent over 1.65 million small-scale farmers and workers. Producers now co-own the Fairtrade system, shaping global strategy and running operations across three continents.

Fairtrade International has also developed a global work plan for climate change that focuses on supporting producers in adapting to climate change and helping them mitigate its impacts, including carbon reduction plans.


19. Earthworks

“Clean air, water and land, healthy communities, and corporate accountability.”

Earthworks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the adverse impacts of mineral and energy development. They also help promote sustainable solutions.

The nonprofit partner with local affected communities and national and international advocates. They also try to respond to and solve the growing threats to the earth’s natural resources, clean water, biodiversity, special places, and communities from irresponsible mining, drilling, and digging.

It draws attention to this fracking and methane emissions. Earthworks and allies also helped push the Obama administration to initiate a methane emission reduction plan.


20. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)

“50 years of forging solutions that help people and nature prosper.”

The headquarters of EDF is in New York, with offices around the world. It’s one of the world’s largest environmental organizations. It has more than two million members and a staff of 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals.

They work on issues like global warming, ecosystem restoration, oceans, and human health, and advocate using sound science, economics, and law to find environmental solutions.

Additionally, EDF aims to reduce pollution and slow global warming. Their strategies include the following:

  • Overhauling U.S. energy systems,
  • Protecting the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s limits on pollution,
  • Training new climate/energy leaders, and
  • Slowing the deforestation in Brazil and the Amazon rainforest.


21. Conservation International

“Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature. Our food, our water, our health, our jobs — they all rely on the health of the planet’s ecosystems.

Conservation International employs nearly 1,000 people and works with more than 2,000 partners in 30 countries. Moreover, they have helped support 1,200 protected areas and interventions across 77 countries. They have protected more than 601 million hectares of land, marine, and coastal areas.

CI’s work focuses on science, policy, and partnership with businesses and communities. Conservation International addresses climate change on two fronts. They help communities adapt to the effects of climate change that are already happening and are expected to accelerate, such as sea-level rise. They are also working to prevent further climate change by reducing emissions, enhancing carbon storage, etc.

In 2015, CI advised more than 20 governments during the negotiations that led to the Paris Agreement — the biggest collective commitment to climate change action to date.


22. The Carbon Underground

“To coalesce the emerging science on soil’s relationship to climate change and tell the world about a possibility to not simply slow down this threat, but reverse it.”

The Carbon Underground is an umbrella organization responsible for communicating and educating the world. They educate people about the power of healthy soil to combat climate change. They also help facilitate the transition of enough farms and grasslands globally to restore a healthy climate.

According to the UN, mismanagement of soil has resulted in a loss of as much as 70% of topsoil worldwide. We have as little as sixty years left before the terrestrial foundation for feeding the planet is gone, according to a prediction by the UN. Destroying the soil is also having a massive impact on climate change.

To help solve this issue, The Carbon Underground focuses on the following key areas:

  • Corporate Impact,
  • Education & Training,
  • Policy,
  • Communications, and
  • Adopt-a-Meter.


23. Green Cross International (GCI)

“Life is precious. All forms of life have their own intrinsic value. They share our planetary home in an interdependent community.  In this, all parts are essential to the functioning of the whole. We have a moral and ethical obligation to preserve life in its integrity. We must also maintain our planet’s health and security for present and future generations.”

GCI was formally launched in Kyoto on 18 April 1993 at the invitation of Mikhail Gorbachev – the former Soviet leader. Today, the Green Cross network operates in more than 30 countries.

Green Cross works to prevent/ resolve conflicts arising from environmental degradation and the growing demand for increasingly scarce natural resources. Primarily, its focus is on addressing global water and energy challenges. They also actively support the mitigation of the social, health, and environmental impacts of conflicts, as well as nuclear, chemical, and biological contamination.

Green Cross International enjoys consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.


5 Best Practices for Environmental Nonprofits | Raise More Funds & Boost Outreach


1. Hold eco-friendly fundraising events

It is a must for every environmental nonprofit to ensure that their fundraising events are eco-friendly. This not only improves the brand reputation of the organization but also helps the environment. Some of the great ideas for such fundraising events can be recycling electronics, a clothing drive where old clothes are given away and repurposed, or a tree-planting event involving schools and universities.

When people notice that you care for the environment in every aspect of your work toward it, they will be more impressed and end up donating more. They will also recommend your name to their networks and help spread the word.

We have an article where we talk about these and more eco-friendly fundraising event ideas in much detail. Check it out here.


2. Create and maintain donor relationships

A lot of people attend your events, pay for the tickets, and leave feeling good about your work for the environment. Some even make donations. But are you doing anything to reach out and create a fruitful relationship with them? This is one of the most effective ways to acquire new donors and retain them.

You must use an online, automated system to collect and store donor information as and when they make donations or buy tickets. So, once the event or the campaign is over, you can segment these donors into groups to understand their giving abilities. Accordingly, you can reach out to them with a targeted, personalized approach for creating donor relationships.

Donorbox lets you collect donor information through its donation form. As soon as a new donor makes a donation, a record gets created on the donor management system and you can keep track of it as and when you want. You will also have the ability to add communication notes to these records.

Moreover, your nonprofit account on Donorbox will get a list of important donor moment alerts.

  • When a donor makes a first-time donation,
  • Completes one year of their first donation,
  • Cancels or makes changes to their recurring donation plan.

This list will help you reach out and communicate with that donor to strengthen your relationship.

If you create an online event with Donorbox, it stores your purchasers’ information, sold tickets, and donations (yes, people can also donate from your Donorbox event page!). This helps your staff and volunteers keep track of all the details and make arrangements accordingly.

Finally, the ideal way to create and maintain donor relationships is to use moves management and create a step-by-step process with stages like cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.


3. Use crowdfunding to fundraise for your environmental projects

Saving earth or reversing the effects of global warming cannot be confined to one activity or project. It may range from protecting endangered species to creating green spaces to maintaining carbon balance, and many more. For each project, environmental nonprofits require a separate fund. In many cases, the need can be urgent while the fundraising goal, huge.

Crowdfunding is the ideal way to go for these projects. These campaigns are best for time-bounded projects. Ideally, your crowdfunding page will have a goal thermometer to let people know how much you need to raise. It must also have social media sharing buttons so that supporters can spread the word easily. In addition, you should post updates to these pages on a regular basis to keep the donors updated.

Since you have less time on hand, it is advisable that you up your marketing efforts. Send out emails, post on social media, and use paid Facebook advertising to boost the campaign outreach. You should also encourage team members and volunteers to reach out to their networks and help raise more donations. Above all, remember that this is the time to thrive on your donor relationships!

Tree-Plenish has started the below crowdfunding campaign using Donorbox to raise money for their tree-planting events.

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4. Encourage supporters to help you raise more funds

As you keep on building donor relationships and creating a network of dedicated volunteers, you can be confident that you’ve got people to rely on. These are the people who trust you and believe in your mission. Therefore, it is time to give them an opportunity to become more involved and help you raise more funds. Use the power of peer-to-peer fundraising and turn your supporters into fundraisers for your nonprofit.

With Donorbox, it’s as simple as toggling a switch on the dashboard. Moreover, you can even turn your crowdfunding campaign into a peer-to-peer one to boost its effect. Thereafter, you can invite your supporters (volunteers, donors, board members, family, and friends) from the tool itself. After that, they will receive email invitations and will be guided on the tool to easily create their own fundraising campaigns. This is the best way to acquire new donors, boost outreach, engage donors, and increase donations for your nonprofit.

Look at how Gilbert Gammad is helping the Liyang Network raise funds for their relief work in Phillippines in the wake of a climate calamity.


5. Create partnerships and promote your environmental nonprofit

People need to know about your work for the environment. It may so happen that you’re quite popular within the community but people outside do not know much about your work. The first step to making this happen is to make partnerships outside of your community with bigger organizations and businesses (especially, when you have an upcoming event or are starting a big project). It can be a win-win as you’ll help market their programs and services to your audience, too. However, it is advisable to run a background check on the business or organization you’re partnering with to ensure there is no conflict of interest.

Secondly, you should promote your environmental nonprofit through as many channels as possible. Leverage social media, use email marketing and paid advertising, and reach out to local media to help boost your outreach. In other words, your community and people on the internet must know what projects you’re taking up and how you’re making progress with them.

Finally, tell inspiring and heartwarming stories in line with your work to attract people’s attention on social media. Add CTAs to ensure they have a way to respond to your stories. Consequently, many would decide to stop by and make a donation.


Conclusion

Long-term changes in the Earth’s climate system are already significant and are occurring more rapidly than ever before. Continued emissions will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible effects on every continent.

Delayed efforts to mitigate either carbon dioxide or climate pollutant emissions will have negative, and potentially irreversible, consequences.  Some of them are global warming, rising sea levels, agricultural yields, the health of the ecosystem, and public health. It is time to take urgent action! These 23 global nonprofits along with many others are doing their part.

At Donorbox, we strive to make your nonprofit experience as productive as possible, whether through our online donation system or through resources on our Nonprofit Blog. Check out our simple-to-use, powerful, and affordable features like Crowdfunding, Text-to-Give, Peer-to-Peer fundraising, Events, Memberships, etc. on the website.

If you’re looking for expert fundraising coaching to give your fundraising a boost, Donorbox Premium is here to help – get a dedicated account manager, an expert fundraising coach, priority tech support, and a dynamic set of high-performance tools.

Wagisha J. is the content overseer and writer at Donorbox. She is a marketer specializing in early to mid-stage startup growth. In her free time, she can be found writing, caring for animals, or indulging in fine arts. Say hello to her on Linkedin or Instagram.

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