Which environmental charity should I give to?

Updated June 18, 2019. Subscribe now to stay informed.


There is no doubt that our natural environment is under threat. We are starting to see the effects of climate change. Many land and ocean ecosystems and some of the services they provide have already changed due to global warming.* Australia’s biodiversity is currently in decline. More than 1,700 species and ecological communities known to be threatened and at risk of extinction.** We are generating more waste. Over the last 11 years, total waste generation in Australia increased by 6%.***

We often wonder how we can help? Which environmental charity will actually improve the outcomes for the environment?

Which environmental charity should you give to?

The Good Cause Co. have evaluated a range of environmental charities to help you make that decision. We reviewed: Australian Wildlife Conservancy, The Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth (Australia), Greenpeace Australia Pacific, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Australia, Australian Conservation Foundation and Landcare Australia.

Which environmental charity is the best?

Australian Wildlife Conservancy achieves our highest recommendation, “Donate with Confidence”. They work to conserve Australia’s wildlife, particularly threatened species and ecosystems, by acquiring land and establishing sanctuaries, and implementing practical land management. On all accounts we believe Australian Wildlife Conservancy are a trustworthy charity that demonstrates they are effective at achieving this mission.

What about the rest?

The other large Australian environmental charities that we reviewed all achieve our ‘donate’ recommendation.  This means they demonstrate a basic level of trustworthiness and display signs that they are probably effective, but they need to do more for us to have complete confidence in them.

Other considerations

When deciding on an environmental charity, it is important to consider the method the charity uses to try to protect the environment. Some environmental charities focus on government advocacy, whereas others undertake direct action (i.e. planting trees). Advocacy can have a huge impact, but has long timelines and uncertain outcomes. Direct action on the other hand will ensure change happens now, but the impact might not be as significant. We’ve compiled a table to help you understand which charities do what.

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Still not sure which charity is right for you? Contact us and we will help guide you in the right direction.


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The Good Cause Co.’s “Should I Give To…” provides independent evaluations of Australia’s largest charities. Our reviews are comprehensive and consider both the trustworthiness and effectiveness of each charity. We update our recommendations annually to ensure we provide relevant advice. We do this to help you feel confident about giving.

* The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2019). Understanding Global Warming of 1.5°C. https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/summary-for-policy-makers/


*** Department of the Environment and Energy (2018). National Waste Report 2018. https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/7381c1de-31d0-429b-912c-91a6dbc83af7/files/national-waste-report-2018.pdf