So it's too late for this to matter for the 2013 tax year, but I wanted to ask this while it was fresh in most people's minds: If you give to environment-based charities, what are your favorites?
There are a lot of environmental charities out there, and a lot are highly rated by sites such as Charity Navigator
, but I also want to give to the most effective ones. Most of the ratings are issued for the amount of money spent on program expenses versus administrative expenses, but I'm looking for more goal-oriented metrics.
I'm wary of giving for environmental advocacy because those program expenses might just be spent on hot air. I'm also not a Luddite. I realize industry has a role to play in preserving the environment.
I've avoided giving to regionally-focused environmental organizations too because their protection efforts often mean industry is just pushed elsewhere. The environment is a tragedy of the commons problem.
In the past, I've given to the Conservation Fund
. They were highly rated, and I understood their mission -- to buy up land to lock it from being used. I had some qualms about their CEO making $431k, but I understand you need to quality pay to get quality management, especially for a large organization. The CEO pay is less than 0.5% of expenses. They also kept the junk mail to a minimum.
I started looking for the charities this year because I wanted to do something for the whole earth, and the Conservation Fund is mainly about protecting U.S. spaces.
I saw some good ideas from previous AskMeFi threads, such as Cool Earth Action
here, but I'm most interested in organizations that have been rated and have 501c3 status for the purpose of matching donations.
I wound up splitting my donation among several groups. I also know my money goes further if I concentrate on one organization though. Which organizations do you give to, and why do you choose them in particular?