• Business Business

Here are 12 vetted environmental organizations worthy of your support

Some financial institutions even offer you rewards for donating to a climate nonprofit.

Some financial institutions even offer you rewards for donating to a climate nonprofit.

Photo Credit: Billion Oyster Project

It's the question we get asked the most at The Cool Down — what can I do about climate change, and how can I make the biggest impact?

Supporting organizations working for a better future and getting involved in a climate group are some of the most impactful ways you can make a difference. Yet with so many worthy organizations, where should you start?

We've done the research for you and are sharing some of the organizations that we personally support with our time and money.

More than anything, the best advice is to find a particular issue or organization you're closer to or passionate about — whether it's one of these or a local group in your community — and get involved in helping to create a cooler, cleaner future. 

The Nature Conservancy 

Conservation is something we can all get behind — regardless of politics. This nonpartisan nonprofit works in all 50 states as well as 70 countries and territories around the world. Renowned climate scientist and TCD contributor Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is the organization's chief scientist, and it has earned four stars and a 96% rating on Charity Navigator. 


Environmental Defense Fund 

With over three million members, supporters, and activists and 50-plus years driving change across 30-plus countries, this nonprofit focuses on accelerating clean energy, natural solutions, and climate innovation. Over 1,000 employees help guide its work, grounded in climate justice. It has earned a four-star, 97% rating on Charity Navigator. 


The Honnold Foundation

Started by "Free Solo" climber Alex Honnold, who committed to donating one-third of his own income to climate solutions, this amazing organization is focused on advancing solar energy access across the world, supporting community-driven projects from locals on the ground. Our team has seen its work up close, and for that reason, we've frequently used our platform to highlight the work it is doing to make renewable energy more accessible and equitable.


Billion Oyster Project

A favorite of our NY-based TCD staffers, this organization restores reefs to the New York Harbor through public education initiatives. It's earned a four-star, 96% rating on Charity Navigator, and counts diverse and credible leaders among its board and leadership circle. It has also collaborated with organizations like the New York Aquarium, Oris, and Talea Brewing. 


Food and Water Watch

One of our editors personally supports this nonprofit, which fights for safe food, clean water, and a liveable climate for all of us. It uses meticulously researched reports, fact sheets, and case studies to support its advocacy with Congress, and it's earned four stars and a 96% rating on Charity Navigator.


Climate Justice Alliance

This nonprofit earned a four-star, 97% rating on Charity Navigator for empowering grassroots communities to challenge the "extractive economy" with a focus on environmental justice. It has participated in countless climate action marches and events and has received $50 million from the EPA to focus on environmental justice issues. 


Rewiring America

The leading electrification nonprofit, RA is focused on electrifying our homes, businesses, and communities, and is a trusted partner of The Cool Down. Members of our leadership team have taken its coaching program, which helps you learn how to talk to your family, friends, and community about electrification. Founder Saul Griffith is a renowned chief scientist and inventor within the renewable electricity industry. 


Climate Changemakers

This nonprofit focuses on influencing climate policies across the U.S., training volunteers (including one of our TCD staff members!) to advocate within its communities. Its wins include advocating for Minnesota's 100% clean electricity standard, New York's all-electric buildings law, and new federal regulations on smog and methane


Citizens' Climate Lobby

One of our co-founders volunteers her time with this nonpartisan group focused on empowering everyday people to work on climate policy at the local and federal level. CCL supports an annual lobbying trip to DC to connect young voters with their representatives, and all year round, it advocates for climate-friendly policies with both Democrats and Republicans. 


American Conservation Coalition

The largest right-of-center youth environmental group, ACC mobilizes young people across the country around environmental action. Founded by TCD contributor Benji Backer, ACC will participate in the Republican National Convention and works to educate and empower at the grassroots level. One of our co-founders serves on their Advisory Board. 



One of our co-founders sits on the board of MT2030, which is focused on accelerating climate solutions and actions, specifically in mountain and outdoor communities, where whole economies are dependent on outdoor recreation like skiing and hiking that are affected by a warming climate. The nonprofit helps to empower and scale solutions towards net zero by 2030 by sharing best practices and convening local and industry leaders in a high-impact annual summit.  


The Surfrider Foundation

If you're passionate about protecting our oceans, waves, and beaches, check out Surfrider, which has earned a 4-star, 97% ranking on Charity Navigator. It has lobbied the federal government to pass the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act and the REDUCE Act, which regulate and tax plastic products used, and it has over 100 active campaigns around the country with over 800 victories since 2006. 


Finally, if you do choose to make a financial donation, see if your employer makes matching donations to double your impact. 

Some financial institutions will also offer you rewards for donating to a climate nonprofit. For example, if you bank with Atmos Financial, which supports climate solutions, the bank will increase your savings rate from 1.75% to 3.5% if you make a small monthly donation to a climate nonprofit. 

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider