Best Wilderness Charities

Ellen Grant
• Saturday, 02 January, 2021
• 9 min read

Program names and associated costs are listed for the top programs as reported on the charity's most recently filed Form 990. In 1989, Donald Trump put on an 837-mile bike race from Albany to Atlantic City that aimed to rival the Tour de France.

(Source: www.peak-district-challenge.com)


“We’re not planning to stop pushing for stronger environmental protections in D.C., but it’s likely that those fights are going to be even harder and more forceful,” says Josh German, a spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council. German has seen an exponential increase in online action, responses to emails, and financial support since the election.

Mission: The Nature Conservancy protects ecologically important lands and waters around the world with the help of more than 500 staff scientists. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands.

Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on.

In lieu of fruitcakes, popcorn tins and kitschy socks, she sends out donations to what she considers the best non-profit organizations in our honor. Our Christmas gifts now carry much more meaning, because they’re more personally reflective than any sweater or box of chocolates I’ve ever received.

So perhaps this year, at a time when both national and international philanthropy seem increasingly crucial, we hoped that our GET readers might be interested in picking up this charitable giving habit. Whether you choose to donate to environmental charities (including wildlife-focused NGOs) or those dedicated to fighting for the rights of women, children, racial minorities, the LGBTQ community, and/or indigenous people, we can all find great causes we believe in to support.

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While I would encourage others to adopt my mother’s philanthropic approach to the holidays, I’d also advise thoroughly researching the NGOs and charities before you donate. For those who are in some way affiliated with small grassroots efforts (my mother has donated to charities I’ve worked with on multiple occasions), the decision is a no-brainer.

Not only have they done the tedious work of researching charities, but they also categorize organizations, so we can quickly pinpoint the best charities to donate to that best appeal to our individual sensibilities. As enthusiastic proponents of ecotourism and its benefits to community based tourism initiatives, we want to ensure that the world at large is looked after… not just our own backyards.

And we hope to help protect indigenous communities and cultures around the world so that we can continue to share and grow together. Here we’ll take a look at some of the highest rated environmental organizations we think nature lovers should support– a list of charities that are really making a difference.

Conservation Fund is a national organization in the U.S. that helps locally throughout all 50 states, permanently protecting over 8 million acres. Their projects range from urban landscapes to wildlife refuges, from national monuments and important forests to long-standing ranches and farms.

This organization takes up conservation in a broad sense, looking after land, water, agriculture, communities, wildlife, and more. They look for ways to blend environmental preservation with economic success, helping Americans innovate while benefiting the natural world.

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(Source: www.oceanicsociety.org)

By focusing on both community and conservation, this top-rated charity has built lasting relationships with businesses, government organizations, and nature-loving supporters. Photo by Taker courtesy Flickr via CC 2.0 The Earth Island Institute has built up an impressive network of activists, both throughout the United States and extending into the global sphere.

The Earth Island Advocates administer legal strategies for maintaining wild places and the animals in them. Started in 1982, Earth Island has been a hub from which grassroots campaigns fight to protect and restore the ecosystems upon which we depend.

Projects include everything from advocating for clean water in Alaska and protecting ecosystems of Baikal, Russia, to looking after urban streams in California. This environmental NGO fights internationally to conserve natural forests, protect their inhabitants, and preserve the ecosystems that sustain life.

They seek to change the global market, educate people, and organize grassroots movements of non-violent, but direct, action. For those who are looking to contest the destructive systems that agriculture (see: palm oil), industry, and politics have put into place, Rainforest Action Network is the right kind of NGO.

For example, they publicized the hidden injustice found in many popular Halloween candies this year due to practices of the palm oil industry. They push beyond what is “politically feasible” and do whatever it takes to preserve rainforests, combat climate change, and protect human rights.

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(Source: www.handsonevents.co.uk)

RAN fosters grassroots partnerships with communities on the front lines of conflicts, and develops strategies for successful conservation campaigns. It is fixed on helping indigenous cultures, fighting racial injustice, and protecting the vital environments in which we all live.

Photo by fishermansdaughter courtesy Flickr via CC 2.0 Pioneers is a nonprofit looking for innovative ways to address the world’s most troubling environmental and social problems. This group was formed in 1990, and has been a vital hub for innovators who appreciate the collaboration between nature’s genius and human ingenuity.

The organization also played a role in The 11th Hour (Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary) and The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Michael Pollen’s influential best -seller). If we can shift our approach, learning to honor the web of life rather than just our own interests, Pioneers sees more reason for hope then there is a fear of doom.

Charity Navigator awarded four stars to this organization, which puts 85% of its money towards the services it provides and limits its administrative expenses to just 8% of its funding. Co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White, Water.org has been working for over 25 years to give people across the planet access to safe water and sanitation.

Not only are they providing economic solutions to these problems, but they’re also emboldening communities through small loans, putting the power in the hands of those whom it is helping. Water.org has helped over 16 million people gain access to clean water and safe sanitation systems.

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(Source: www.thelanddownunder.com.au)

Photo by Mark Strobe courtesy Flickr via CC 2.0 Water keeper Alliance fights for all people in every community to have clean water for drinking, swimming, and fishing safely. The alliance is 100% focused on clean water and works through enabling and connecting grassroots organizations and affiliates in this cause.

Now, Water keeper Alliance bands over 300 organizations striving to protect over 2.5 million square miles of waterways, including rivers, lakes, and coastlines. Charity Watch has presented Water keeper Alliance with an A+ score, awarding the fact that 92% of its funds go to project work with the remaining 8% split between fundraising and management.

Take Action 350 via 350 Altered, CC 350.org reaches into over 185 countries now, with the mission of building a global grassroots climate movement and espousing the benefits of clean energy. The group’s leader, Bill McKinley, authored The End of Nature, one of the first books on global warming aimed at laypeople.

Working from the bottom up, the organization strives to hold governments and corporations accountable environmentally, socially, and economically. The charity also encourages sustainable fisheries, slows acidification brought on by carbon pollution, and promotes innovations to help with these problems.

From recreation to tourism to coastal economies, many people rely on the oceans’ beauty, diversity, and health. The ACA is devoted to protecting the Amazon Rainforest ecosystem, training future conservationists to continue the work, and collaborating with local communities to create sustainable livelihoods in our modern world.

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(Source: www.thecoolector.com)

Aside from protecting the forest, the charity focuses on identifying threats and proposing solutions, promoting sustainable jobs, and conducting field research. Via Earth Works, photo by Josh Lopez Earthworks partners with grassroots organizations in communities to help combat the troubling impact of mineral mines and energy sites.

The NGO’s main mission is to ensure clean water, land, and air, as well as keeping local communities safe from pollution. Earthworks are created in 2005 by melding two groups– the Mineral Policy Center (which was founded in 1988) and the Oil & Gas Accountability Project (established 1999).

Now Earthworks has projects all over the United States and all of North America, as well as nearly three dozen countries on five other continents. Charity Watch bestowed an A rating on Earthworks because nearly 90% of its budget goes to project work and a mere 4% is devoted to management and expenses.

Connected with world-class zoos (including the Bronx, Queens, Prospect Park, and Central Park Zoos) and aquariums (New York Aquarium), this topflight environmental charity focuses on using science, action, and education to save wildlife in wild places. The top-rated charity works to see that farms are run humanely, trying to ensure agricultural systems provide us with ethically raised meat, dairy, and eggs.

This includes addressing land for livestock, rethinking agriculture, training locals in community-based conservation, and developing ecotourism as one of many responsible sources of income. Community empowerment and economic development are organized around conservation, and concerted efforts are being made to thwart the poaching and trafficking of at-risk animals.

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(Source: www.henleyherald.com)

The effort prioritizes saving birds nearing extinction, then moves on to protect their territories as well as eliminate whatever threats are causing decreases in population. More than 500 birds in the Americas are currently threatened, including endangered species such as the Hawaiian Goose and Galápagos penguin.

Photo by Jersey Loose courtesy Flickr via CC 2.0 Currently present in over 40 countries, the organization advocates on behalf of over 100 animal species, including everything from Africa’s Elephants to Australia’s Tasmanian Devils. Part of the NGO’s efforts to save these animals is securing a future for them by protecting wild lands and building capacity for long-term sustainable conservation.

The charity doesn’t just focus on the charismatic megafauna that gets the most attention but little animals such as fish, amphibians, and insects as well. Of course, the animals will need safe habitats, so the GCC works with local communities to protect everything from small forests to national parks.

With a stellar reputation after 23 years of services, Keepers of the Wild has been featured by National Geographic, History Channel, Animal Planet, and many other media outlets. But where most organizations conduct scientific studies and finance anti-poaching efforts, Willard comes at it from a consumer-focused angle, working to reduce the global consumption of these products.

The organization partners with other activist NGOs (including our friends at Animals Asia) to protect marine reserves, build up public and political calls for anti-poaching enforcement, and diminish the damages caused by climate change. But most of their programs focus on convincing consumers to avoid harmful traditional practices such as eating shark fin soup and using animal-based aphrodisiacs.

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(Source: www.ampersandtravel.com)

Not only has Charity Navigator awarded Willard with its four-star rating, but the organization also received perfect scores for financial viability, ethical accountability, and organizational transparency. WILD aids grassroots organizations for ground-level undertakings, and it works the system at higher levels with its World Wilderness Congress.

This leads to a heightened awareness of nature’s role in human survival and the strengthening of wilderness policies from the ground up. Panther collaborates with international and grassroots NGOs, governments, and local communities to safeguard a future for wild cats on earth.

The list includes all the superstars of the cat world: cheetahs, lions, tigers, pumas, snow leopards, jaguars, and more. Charity Navigator rates Panther with four stars, noting their financial stability at over 95% and their accountability at a perfect 100%.

Photo by Mark Kent courtesy Flickr via CC 2.0 The goal is to keep primates safe from cruelty and exploitation while conserving their native habitat. Photo by earn {sea+praise} courtesy Flickr via CC 2.0 The organization has serious goals, such as abolishing factory farms in favor of humane family farms, ending the use of brutal methods for capturing and killing animals, and protecting companion animals from violence and neglect.

A huge part of what the Animal Welfare Institute does is push for relevant legislation on both the national and state levels. AWE writes to congressmen, government officials, and media outlets to garner more support of animal welfare.

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(Source: www.personalcareneed.com)

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