The Ocean Conservancy was created in 1972 and has become one of the leading advocacy groups working toward protecting marine habitats. They create science-based solutions to maintain a healthy ocean for the wildlife and communities that depend on it. They've created a multitude of programs to achieve their mission, including the International Coastal Cleanup and Trash Free Seas programs.
Oceana was founded in 2001 and has since protected nearly 4 million square miles of ocean. They are dedicated to protecting and restoring the world's oceans, and "seeks to make our oceans as rich, healthy, and abundant as they once were." They run campaigns targeting major sources of ocean pollution and advocate against issues related to sea life that emerged from pollution and industrial fishing.
The 5 Gyres Institute’s mission is simple “More Ocean, Less Plastic.” A ‘gyre’ is an ocean current, and the name refers to the 5 main subtropical gyres where plastic and trash accumulate. They’re leaders in the movement against plastic pollution, among the first to research plastic in the world’s oceans, and are founding members of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance working toward a world free of plastic pollution.
SeaLegacy is a relatively new organization working to create healthy and abundant oceans. Founded in 2014 by biologists and conservation photographers Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen, their expeditions produce powerful campaigns by revealing both the beauty of our oceans and the imminent threats that they are faced with. They also amplify other important projects working to protect the ocean worldwide.
Project AWARE takes action locally and globally to create change for the ocean and communities that depend on it. Their local actions are aimed at protecting the most vulnerable marine species and decreasing pollution. They’ve helped secure international protection policies for over 2 dozen vulnerable shark and ray species, removed over 2 million pieces of trash from the ocean, and much more.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was founded in 1977 with the mission to conserve and protect all marine wildlife. As the only fleet in the world with the sole purpose of protecting marine wildlife, they work with governments around the world to provide fully-equipped vessels and crews to fight illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and have successfully stopped ocean habitat destruction in many countries.
RAN was founded in 1985 and fights against industries and corporate powers that are driving deforestation and climate change. They work with indigenous and frontline communities directly to expose and fight injustice and drive positive systematic change. RAN first gained attention in 1987 when they successfully convinced Burger King to cancel $31 million worth of destructive beef contracts in Central American rainforests
The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity in the world’s rainforests as well as ensure sustainable livelihoods for the indigenous peoples that depend on them. Since 1987, they’ve secured over 2.3 million certified farmers following their standards, over 5,000 companies that work with them to source certified ingredients, and much more.
Amazon Watch has been protecting the rainforest and fighting for the rights of indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin since 1996. Their mission as stated on their website is to, "partner with Indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and the preservation of the Amazon’s ecological systems."
Rainforest Trust focuses on the purchase of land to protect the most threatened tropical rainforests and strategically conserve threatened species. In 2021, they committed $500 million to conserve 30% of the planet by 2030. So far, they have protected more than 37 million acres across more than 50 countries.
The Amazon Conservation Team has worked to protect the forests and watersheds of tropical America. They work directly with indigenous and local people and use a combination of innovative and traditional practices to protect the forests and ensure its peoples’ cultural survival and well-being. So far, they’ve partnered with 78 communities to reserve 1.9 million acres of indigenous land.
NWF is America's largest private, non-profit conservation organization. For over 80 years, NWF has been working with leaders and volunteers across the country to ensure that wildlife are able to thrive. Their far-reaching impact has brought numerous species back from the brink of extinction, including eagles, elk, bighorn sheep, and whales.
WWF's mission is to build a future where humans and nature can live in harmony. For 60 years, they have worked to stop the degradation of the earth's natural ecosystems and habitats, conserved biodiversity, advocated for sustainability, and worked to stop the mass extinction of wildlife. They have invested more than $1 billion in over 12,000 conservation initiatives since 1995.
The National Audubon Society is one of America's leading organizations (and oldest) for bird and wildlife conservation. It has almost 500 chapters across the United States and over 2,500 "Important Bird Areas," which are areas across the globe where birds are especially threatened by human activity, such as Alaska's Arctic Slope.
The Jane Goodall Institute was created after Dr. Jane Goodall began studying chimpanzees and saw that the survival of the species was threatened by habitat destruction and illegal trafficking. The organization works to protect chimpanzees, great apes, and other primates and inspires people to conserve the natural world we all share. She also advocates for healthcare and free education for girls in African villages and promotes "sustainable livelihood" in rural areas.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare is one of the largest animal welfare and conservation organizations in the world. IFAW was founded in 1969 when Brian Davies had the goal to stop the commercial hunt of seals on the coast of Canada. It works to rescue, rehabilitate, and release individual animals, conserve at-risk species, and preserve and protect their natural habitats.
The Xerces Society focuses on the most abundant taxa in the world: invertebrates. Named in honor of the extinct California Xerces blue butterfly, the Xerces Society protects invertebrate species through habitat conservation, scientific research, and public outreach and education. Invertebrates are essential for biological diversity and ecosystem health.
The Orianne Society focuses on research and habitat conservation of reptiles and amphibians. Although they suffer from the same effects of environmental degradation, the conservation of these species is typically overlooked due to them being a target of antipathy and wrongful persecution. Healthy ecosystems depend on reptiles and amphibians to thrive.
Founded in 1892, The Sierra Club is one of the most influential grassroots organizations in the United States. It encourages politicians to curb climate change and to protect land, air, water, wildlife, and people. The Sierra Club was originally created with a focus on conserving the Sierra Nevada Mountains but has since evolved into an organization that works to advance climate solutions and create a healthy and sustainable environment for everyone.
Conservation International has worked to protect nature for over 30 years. Since 1987, it has helped to support over 1,200 protected areas over 77 countries, totaling over 2.3 million square miles of both land and sea. Conservation International's priorities include protecting nature for climate and people, ocean conservation at scale, nature-based economic development, and innovation in science.
The Conservation Fund pursues environmental preservation and economic development with the goal of purchasing and permanently protecting the most critical land. The organization is top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness and since it was founded in 1985, it has protected more than 8.5 million acres of land and water in all 50 states.
Waterkeeper Alliance is the largest non-profit organization focused solely on the right to clean water. By connecting local waterkeeper groups worldwide, they have preserved and protected over 2.6 million square miles of waterways. Their mission is to provide drinkable, fishable, swimmable water everywhere.
Water Aid is an international non-profit that has helped over 20 million people worldwide gain access to clean water since they started 30 years ago. They focus on changing government policies and providing clean water for the poorest communities. Their mission is, "making clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene a normal part of everyday life for everyone, everywhere."
Co-founded by Matt Damon, Water.org is a global non-profit organization working to make water safe, accessible, and cost-effective around the world. They created the microfinance program WaterCredit, which is an affordable financing program that gives small loans to allow people access to safe water and sanitation. So far, 40 million people's lives have been changed with safe water or sanitation through Water.org.
Charity: Water raises money for clean water projects, finds organizations that can provide long-lasting water solutions, and funds their projects to provide clean water. 100% of public donations go toward funding water projects and GPS coordinates are provided so that completed projects can be viewed on Google Maps.
Over 1 billion people are harmed by waterborne illnesses every year, thus WATERisLIFE’s mission was born: safe drinking water to 1 billion people by December 31, 2021. The organization adopted UNICEF’s approach to the World Water Crisis by implementing WASH: water, sanitation, and hygiene. They believe that you cannot have one component without the other two. They have also created the Straw, which is a portable water purifier that can be used in any water source to provide clean drinking water.
Trout Unlimited is a non-profit organization that has chapters across the U.S. that are dedicated to preserving, protecting, and restoring North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. TU's staff and volunteers work to protect, reconnect, restore and sustain trout and salmon habitat on behalf of today’s anglers and coming generations of sportsmen and women who value the connection between healthy, intact habitat and angling opportunity.
As one of the world's largest conservation grant-makers, NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most demanding conservation challenges. Over the last 35 years, NFWF has funded more than 5,000 organizations and committed $6.8 billion to conservation projects.
EDF is a leading environmental advocacy group that started in the 1960s as a group of scientists and lawyers determined to fight for the environment. EDF is committed to solving some of the biggest global climate challenges in ways that benefit both people and the planet by “identifying what’s most urgent and where we can make the most difference.”
Client Earth is a leading organization that operates in London, Brussel, Warsaw, Berlin, and Beijing, and they use the power of law to protect life on earth. They bring major environmental cases to court and persecute the ones that are responsible. In their words, they “use the law to fight climate change, tackle pollution, defend wildlife, and protect people and the planet.”
CIEL uses the power of law to promote human rights, protect the environment, and ensure a sustainable society. They have a team of policy experts and attorneys that provide legal counsel and advocacy across their 3 main program areas: Climate & Energy, Environmental Health, and People, Land, & Resources.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is a non-profit organization founded over 50 years ago by scientists and students at MIT. They conduct important research on climate change and report the results in a way that non-scientists can understand. Their mission is to, “use rigorous, independent science to solve our planet’s most pressing problems.”
The Pacific Institute is a non-profit research institute created to provide independent research and policy analysis, particularly focused on global and regional freshwater issues. Their vision is to, “create a world in which society, the economy, and the environment have the water they need to thrive now and in the future.”
The Integral Ecology Research Center is a non-profit research organization dedicated to wildlife and ecosystem conservation. They do research on sensitive wildlife species, with the ultimate goal of, “providing knowledge and understanding towards the conservation of these species and their habitats.” Their research covers a huge range of habitats, from alpine settings to deserts to tropical rainforests.
Project Drawdown is a non-profit organization with scholars, scientists, and advocates around the globe who are collaborating to form a plan to reverse global warming. They are the world's leading resource for climate solutions and their analyses show that we already have the tools to tackle climate change, so today they are focusing on education and urging people to support initiatives in order to execute the plan they have formed through their research.
The National Forest Foundation is an American non-profit organization founded by Congress in 1992 to be the official partner of the U.S. Forest Service. In 2021 alone, they planted 7.3 million trees, resulting in over 21,000 acres being restored. Their reforestation campaign continues to address critical deforestation needs in our National Forests to ensure healthy forests for generations to come.
Forest Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organization that promotes responsible management of the world's forests. They have a market-based certification program and they are the gold standard in forest certification; FSC certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests and is the only system supported by groups such as WWF, Sierra Club, and National Wildlife Federation. Today, more than 550 million acres of forest are certified under FSC's system.
Eden Reforestation Projects is a non-profit organization with a mission to employ impoverished people through reforestation. They work directly alongside communities in Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nepal, Haiti, Indonesia, and more to produce, plant, and protect tens of millions of trees every month. They create jobs in these small villages to help restore their local environment and economy long-term.
One Tree Planted is a non-profit organization based in Vermont with a simple mission: one dollar = one tree planted. They collaborate with reforestation organizations around the world to fund the planting of trees that help restore forests, create habitat for biodiversity, stabilize the climate, and create sustainable jobs. Today, they have planted over 40 million trees in 43 countries.
WeForest is an NGO that was founded as a simple solution to global warming. They believe that healthy forests are the best tools for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. WeForest works to create sustainable, scalable reforestation projects and empower communities to work together to restore our degraded landscapes. Their goal is to reach over 100 million trees restored or conserved by 2024.
350.org is a non-profit organization with members in over 180 countries that was named after 350 parts per million - the safe concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They use social media campaigns, grassroots organizations, and public action to oppose new coal, oil, and gas projects and build a clean, renewable energy future. They also work to hold accountable the government and companies that are heating up the planet.
Cool Effect is a non-profit organization with the simple mission of reducing carbon emissions. You can calculate your carbon footprint and donate to offset your own personal output, where it costs about $12.20 to offset 1 tonne of carbon. Their first project in 1998 was focused on helping communities transition to clean-burning cookstoves and have since grown into a globally recognized organization that is successfully reducing carbon pollution.
Climate Action is a global network working in over 130 countries to fight the climate crisis by promoting government and individual action to limit human-caused climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. They work to pressure governments to take climate action to end the era of fossil fuels and achieve social and racial justice.
The National Resources Defense Council is a non-profit organization working to protect the earth and "the natural systems on which all life depends." NRDC is a group of lawyers, scientists, activists, and individuals collaborating to identify the root cause of climate problems and produce sustainable solutions. They work internationally to defend everyone's right to clean air, water, communities, and wild places.
The Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina is a non-profit organization that works to permanently protect land and water in western NC to ensure clean water, healthy forests, productive farmland, diverse wildlife, access to outdoor recreation, and communities that value conservation. They have protected over 62,000 acres of western NC to date.
NC Conservation Network is a statewide network of over 60 environmental, community, and environmental justice organizations focused on protecting North Carolina’s environment and public health. They work to curb NC’s emissions of pollutants that are causing climate change by reforming our electric power system to phase out fossil fuels by ramping up cheaper, cleaner alternatives and reforming our transportation system by promoting climate-friendly and energy-efficient commuting alternatives.
Appalachian Voices has been the region's grassroots advocate for healthy communities and environmental protection for over 20 years, and is a leading force in Appalachia's shift from fossil fuels to clean energy and a just future. They promote diverse local economies and thriving communities and defend the land, air, and water of their region from the worst environmental threats. They fight mountaintop removal coal mining, fracked-gas pipelines, and other harms to the people and places of Appalachia, and advance energy efficiency, solar and wind power, and other economic solutions that create community wealth and sustain Appalachia’s mountains, forests, and waters.
The Southern Environmental Law Center is the largest non-profit, non-partisan environmental advocacy organization rooted in and focused on the South. They are a group of lawyers, policy and issue experts, and community advocates and partners that take on the toughest challenges to, “protect the basic right to clean air, clean water, and a livable climate; to preserve our region’s natural treasures and rich biodiversity; and to provide a healthy environment for all.” Their focus is transforming the region away from fossil fuel to clean energy, fighting environmental injustice, stopping pollution, and protecting nature. “When we solve these issues here, we lead the way for others. That’s why we say, Solutions start in the South.”
Founded in 1976, the Colorado Native Plant Society (CoNPS is dedicated to furthering the knowledge, appreciation and conservation of native plants and habitats of Colorado through education, stewardship and advocacy. CoNPS members range from experienced professional botanists with broad ecological skills to amateurs just learning about our native flora. By offering classes, workshops, meetings, and field trips to all, they strive to share their love of native plants and Colorado’s varied ecosystems.
Conservation Colorado is at the front lines working to protect the air, land, water, and people across the state. For over 50 years, they’ve worked with communities statewide to ensure that Colorado’s quality of life and environment is protected. They work to elect pro-conservation leaders to public office and then hold the decision-makers accountable to move Colorado forward in protecting our environment.
From the Mountains to the Prairies - Wild Connections protects and restores wild nature and public lands across the watersheds of the Arkansas and South Platte Rivers in central Colorado. They recognize these as the ancestral lands of the Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho and other indigenous peoples. Connecting Wildernesses and roadless areas benefits migratory animals, rare plant communities, clean water resources for urban and mountain communities , local economies, quiet recreation, historic and cultural locations, scenic vistas and spirtual values.
The Colorado Wildlife Federation is Colorado's oldest and most effective wildlife conservation organization. They work effectively to safeguard the state’s wildlife and habitats on public lands: their winter ranges, migration and movement corridors, reproduction areas, summer ranges and waterways they depend upon to survive.