Why donate to climate action?
With a problem as big as the climate crisis, do donations really make a difference?
This is the exact question we asked ourselves when we set up this charity. If we make it really easy for people to make climate donations, does it matter? Will it have an impact?
So we set about researching exactly this. We spoke to climate experts, we reviewed impact reports and we tried to understand the role that non-profits had to play in solving the climate crisis.
And the answer we found and confirmed, was unquestionably, yes.
There will always be a piece of the puzzle which is non-commercial. Where for-profit business models don’t work. There will always be a need for philanthropy in solving humanities great problems, and climate change is no different.
On our journey, we found a huge number of climate non-profits, around the world, leading vital action on the climate crisis. Each tackled a different part of the crisis, often in very different ways, but with a shared passion and yearning for impact. Crucially, these organisations did not have business models. They offered a non-commercial approach to a climate issue that was desperately important and desperately needed support.
But, to the question of impact we wanted to understand the relative impact of donations, when compared to other actions we can each take to fight the climate crisis.
Below is a graphic from the most comprehensive research report into the impact of effective climate donations, produced by Founders Pledge (an article that also considers the merits of a climate donation vs. a carbon offset). This compares the impact of effective climate donations to the impact of lifestyle changes.
This research focusses on the impact of donations to the Founder’s Pledge recommended organisations, not to climate action in general, but the research clearly illustrates the scale of the impact you can have when donating for climate action.
When we founded Climate Giving, we set out to look for exciting, inspiring organisations, that were well regarded, that presented a range of options for donors, and that were likely to deliver real world impact for our donors.
We wanted to present a diverse range of climate solutions, from planting trees, to supporting business transitions, to funding direct action, to furthering policy, but always ensuring quality and impact in every organisation we invited to join our platform.
We considered impact, past and expected, reputation, ambition and transparency, and made a rounded view on the organisations we wanted to help support. The 8 organisations we present to donors today are all amazing, inspiring and impactful, but are very different in their ways. We couldn’t be happier with the impact we know they’ll be delivering and look forward to adding more wonderful charities to our network soon!
So are donations the answer to the climate crisis?
Philanthropy alone won’t be enough. Our response, collectively, needs to be broad and comprehensive and bold and brave.
But if you’re able to, and you’re willing to, a donation to the right climate action organisation really can have an important impact, on this important issue, at this vitally important time.