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Let’s say you want to donate $25 to fighting climate change. Where should your money go?
Since I started this newsletter, this inquiry (or something like it) is among the most common questions I’ve received from readers. And for good reason: There are at least 461 nonprofits in the United States devoted to environmental causes, according to the evaluator Charity Navigator. Not all of them approach climate change effectively, or even do what they claim to. The green-nonprofit world is a thicket, contained in a morass, reachable only by slog.
Daniel Stein, an economist who trained at the London School of Economics, learned this lesson about 18 months ago when he went looking for the best ways to maximize his climate giving. “I thought I could find the information after a couple hours of Googling,” he told me last week. “But not only could I not find it, a lot of the information that I could find was straight-up wrong.”
So he founded Giving Green, to help people ford the swamp. Giving Green advises people on how to fight climate change with their donations in the most evidence-based way possible. It emerged from beta and published new recommendations last month. Because today is Giving Tuesday—the capstone of America’s ersatz Holy Week and the only square on the calendar devoted to philanthropy—I wanted to look at those recommendations.