This Earth Day, Do Something: 17 Non-Profits Worthy of Your Donation

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This Earth Day, do something for the planet. Our suggestion: Support scientific research and advocacy by donating to an environmental nonprofit. Many are deserving of your dollars, but it can be hard to know which one does what. Below is a sampling of 17 nonprofits that do great work.

A focus on climate, and keeping the atmospheric concentration of the greenhouse gas carbon below 350 parts per million, is this group’s mission.

Conservation International

This group works to preserve vulnerable natural places — like the “reservoirs of natural capital” identified in its ocean health index — by helping governments across the world employ sustainable business practices.

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Defenders of Wildlife

Protecting biodiversity, wildlife, and habitat is this national organization’s focus, which it does by working in the field and on Capitol Hill.


With more than 100 lawyers across the country, this organization works to protect our natural heritage, promote healthy communities, and push for clean energy and a healthy climate.

Environmental Defense Fund

By focusing on economic policies based on sound science, this group helps create financial incentives to clean up the planet.

Environmental Working Group

Informing the public about toxic chemicals (you may have seen their sunscreen pesticides on produce guides) this group helps consumers make informed decisions about how to live a healthier, more environmentally friendly lifestyle.


Known for its high-profile campaigns, like scaling buildings and hanging banners in protest, this group brings attention to the world’s environmental problems and what it might take to solve them.


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National Audubon Society

This century old organization is for the birds, literally, and the ecosystems they live in. (Full disclosure: I used to work for its magazine.)

Natural Resources Defense Council

Using the law to protect some of our most valuable assets, NRDC holds the government accountable while also helping to develop policy. (Disclosure: I write for their publication, onEarth.)


Focused on the world’s aquatic resources, this international organization aims to restore the sea’s former diversity and richness.

Ocean Conservancy

Creating policy from its base in Washington, D.C., this nonprofit uses science, education, and research to help citizens advocate for healthy marine ecosystems and prevent actions that threaten our salty seas.


This is the only organization dedicated exclusively to conserving the 38 species of big cats and the habitats in which they live.

Sierra Club

The country’s biggest environmental group, founded by John Muir, has preserved wilderness, established parks, and molded policy, which it continues to do today.

The Nature Conservancy

Safeguarding space from Africa to Australia, Canada to the Caribbean, this group protects nature by working with landowners.

The Wilderness Society

Founded in 1935, this nonprofit has protected close to 110 million acres of American wilderness from the threats of development and destruction.

Wildlife Conservation Society

Originally the New York Zoological Society way back in 1895, WCS works to preserve wildlife and more than 2 million square miles of wild places throughout the world.

World Wildlife Fund for Nature

Members of WWF, known by its iconic panda bear logo, fight hard for nature — not in the ring, but in more than 100 countries.

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