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Green is the new Black (Friday): Give the Gift of a Better Place 

Green is the new Black (Friday)! For those of you getting into the #GivingTuesday mood and wanting to divert your spending away from material goods, perhaps especially in light of the tumultuous political climate regarding various sustainability issues, we have compiled a list of highly-impactful NGOs tackling critical global urban and environmental issues, organized by topic (feel free to check out our analysis of walkable small business saturday options too...even if you are foregoing shopping, physical activity is good for the soul too!). 

Whether it is climate change, global warming, nature conservation or community development, you can find an organization battling issues about which you are passionate - and concerned. We hope you will consider donating to one or more of the organizations listed below and make a difference this holiday season, and beyond! You may also download a Google Sheet of this list for your convenience (it will reflect any changes we make to this webpage). Thanks!



The Natural Resources Defense Council works to safeguard the earth and the natural systems on which all life depends. NRDC addresses a variety of issues, such as climate change.

Nature Conservancy

Stand up for nature world with The Nature Conservancy. Your support will help take action on-the-ground in all 50 states and 69 countries!


Greenpeace is an independent organization that does not take money from corporations or government. The NGO relies entirely on financial support from people to do the important work of  preserving the earth since 1971.

Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth understand that the challenges facing our planet call for more than half measures, so they push for the reforms that are needed, not merely the ones that are politically easy. 


The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than one million members in the United States and close to five million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. 



Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring smart growth practices to more communities. Americans want to make their neighborhoods great, and smart growth strategies help make that dream a reality. Smart growth is about creating local jobs and protecting the environment; being able to safely walk to a park close by; spending less time in traffic and more time doing what’s important to you.

Strong Towns

For the United States to be a prosperous country, it must have strong cities, towns and neighborhoods. Enduring prosperity for our communities cannot be artificially created from the outside but must be built from within, incrementally over time. The mission of Strong Towns is to support a model of development that allows America's cities, towns, and neighborhoods to become financially strong and resilient. In Addition, Strong Towns features a great podcast about cities and resiliency!



663 million people still live without clean water in developing countries around the world. Many walk 2-4 hours a day to swamps and rivers to gather dirty water for their families. You can donate anytime or start a birthday donation campaign. 84,894 people have already pledged, including Depeche Mode and Tony Hawk, so can you!

The Ocean Conservancy

The Ocean Conservancy works with partners and donors to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. They help to create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.

Urban Waters Federal Partnership

This partnership reconnects urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts to improve our Nation's water systems and promote their economic, environmental and social benefits.


Sustain Charlotte  

Sustain Charlotte is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, engaging and uniting citizens to solve Charlotte’s sustainability challenges. They inspire choices that lead to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come.

DC UrbanGreens 

At DC UrbanGreens, their mission is to feed bodies and nourish minds by increasing accessibility of affordable healthy foods to residents of food desert neighborhoods. They employ innovative and scalable methods, techniques and business models to implement small-scale urban agriculture in a fiscally and environmentally sustainable way. By reducing reliance on industrial food sources, we lessen household food insecurity, strengthen community self-reliance and increase our children’s ability to grow and learn. Operating as a non-profit organization east of the Anacostia River in DC's Ward 7, we strive to produce chemical-free fruits and vegetables on underutilized urban land. Our food is grown right in the neighborhoods that need it most - low income areas lacking easy access to grocery stores.

Sustainable Northwest

Sustainable Northwest is a non-profit based in Portland, Oregon. Our work to forge solutions for people and natural systems places Sustainable Northwest at the intersection of community, economy, and ecology. Successfully bringing local interests together to pioneer balanced community-driven solutions in the face of change and conflict requires extraordinary patience, grit, and commitment.

Green Chamber of the South

The Green Chamber connects sustainable businesses, clean technology companies, corporations with sustainability programs, nonprofits and government organizations throughout the Southeast so that they may create enduring business connections, share best green practices, learn from one another and grow both their own bottom lines as well as create new green jobs.

Invest in Place

 Investing in Place advocates for safer and livable communities in LA area. They work to promote aligning public investments and policy goals to create walkable, bikeable streets and sidewalks with access to high quality transportation options for people of all resources and abilities.

And More 

The Urbanist

Sierra Club




Oxfam International

We will continue to add to this list. Please feel free to suggest other great organizations that deserve to be profiled. Thanks!