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8 Great Conservation Groups To Support Before 2022 Ends

Care about the outdoors and conservation? Now’s the perfect time to get involved, especially since you can donate to environmental nonprofits during the last few days of 2022 and snag a year-end tax deduction.

Here are 8 conservation-focused charities, all vetted by the charity watchdog Charity Navigator, worthy of your hard-earned contribution.

World Land Trust

World Land Trust is an international conservation charity that protects threatened habitats all over the world. WLT funds the creation of open space while preserving and providing permanent protection for habitats and wildlife. It works through a network of partner organizations to accomplish its mission. The organization also happens to be Bear Grylls’ charity of choice.

What sets it apart? WLT was one of the first nonprofits in the world to focus specifically on the conservation of threatened habitats through land purchase. Since the organization’s founding in 1989, it has purchased and protected more than 2 million acres.

Jane Goodall Institute

Extending and amplifying the groundbreaking work of its founder, Dr. Jane Goodall, this institute fights for the survival and protection of chimpanzees around the world. The nonprofit also raises awareness about the perils of poaching and trafficking chimps for bushmeat and exotic pet trades. 

What sets it apart? Jane Goodall and her amazing, decades-long track record of saving chips. The Institute also runs a global youth leadership program in 100 countries, empowering young women through education and access to family planning, high-quality healthcare and clean water.

Protect Our Winters

POW focuses on mobilizing the snow- and outdoor-loving communities to vote for legislation around climate change. The group advocates for non-partisan policies that put climate first. 

What sets it apart? Pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones founded POW after noticing more and more winter resorts were closed due to lack of snow. 

Trust for Public Land

TPL protects public land across the United States by creating parks, trails and other outdoor spaces. Over the last 50 years, the organization has protected more than 3.7 million acres of land and cultural sites. That number includes more than 5,100 parks, trails and schoolyards. The nonprofit facilitates safe outdoor access for 9.3 million people. That total makes it one of the largest conservation champions in the US.

What sets it apart? TPL believes access to nature and the outdoors is a matter of health, equity and justice, and as a result, many of the parks it underwrites are in urban environments. These parks are for everyone—including people who might not otherwise have easy access to open space.

Surfrider Foundation

This California-based nonprofit protects the oceans, beaches and the critters that call them both home. Specifically, Surfrider fights to reduce the impact of plastics in our marine environment, to ensure full and fair beach access, to protect the health and sustainability of water and defend oceans from challenges to the ecosystem. 

What sets it apart? Surfrider understands community organization. In 2022, it hosted more than 1,100 beach cleanups, including rallying nearly 30,000 volunteers who removed more than 79,000 pounds of trash from U.S. beaches. 

Environmental Defense Fund

What began as a push to ban the toxic pesticide DDT has become a full-fledged international environmental organization that leverages science and legal action to fight for conservation. Here in the United States, the EDF focuses most of its efforts on legislation; the group was a big force behind the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which is predicted to help cut U.S. emissions 40 percent by 2030. 

What sets it apart? A long history of success — the EDF’s work to ban DDT in the 1960s saved large birds who were dying from the pesticide—the affected osprey have recovered, and the bald eagle and peregrine falcon have both come off the endangered species list.

National Resources Defense Council

The NRDC is a juggernaut in a fight against the pollution that jeopardizes clean air, clean water and healthy communities. The NRDC partners with businesses, elected officials and community groups on a variety of issues pertaining to climate and conservation. It boasts 3 million members and engages in advocacy efforts both here in the United States and around the world.

What sets it apart? NRDC helps supporters get directly involved in hot-button issues right on the organization’s website. A recent effort collected signatures to push Columbia Sportswear to make public its progress toward ending the use of PFAS chemicals in products by 2024.

Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance fights to save rainforests around the globe by raising awareness about deforestation and advocating for limiting tourism to ecologically vulnerable areas. But perhaps the organization’s most important work revolves around its independent certification of common rainforest products such as coffee, chocolate, bananas and tea. The certification program rewards ethical business operations — producers must meet strict sustainability standards to achieve the stamp of approval.

What sets it apart? Few nonprofits have had as big an influence on consumer buying habits as this one; many consumers simply won’t buy rainforest goods unless the products bear the Rainforest Alliance icon. At last count more than 5,000 companies worked with the group to source certified ingredients.

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