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climate charities


Do something amazing today - donate to climate! 

The Carbon Critical Net-Zero Fund provides kiwis with a convenient and tax-efficient way to make a diversified donation to the charities leading the fight against climate change.

The fund was inspired by a Vox article on how to fight climate change effectively and aims to achieve maximum impact for each dollar donated. Grants are awarded to the global organisations with the greatest potential to reduce carbon emissions, supported by evidence-based research.

The charities we support cover a diverse range of geographies and strategies, including:

  • Planting trees and protecting rainforests from deforestation.

  • Accelerating clean tech research, development and deployment.

  • Guiding government policy and raising public awareness.

The Net-Zero fund is fully administered by The Gift Trust, a not-for-profit registered NZ charity. The Gift Trust handles all payments and issues tax receipts to donors. Carbon Critical does not charge any fees or commission, or make any money, from operating the Net-Zero Fund. 


  • The average Kiwi generates 7 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

  • Some of the charities we support can offset a ton of emissions for as little as $1 USD.

  • This means that for the price of a cup of coffee you can offset your carbon emissions for 6 months!

  • A lifetime of emissions can be offset for about the same cost as a new smartphone.

International grant recipients

Climate change is a global problem and needs global solutions. We support international organisations that have a strong track record and are backed by independent evidence-based research.

Image by Vlad Hilitanu

Coalition for Rainforest Nations

A unique intergovernmental organisation of 50+ rainforest nations with a fantastic track record in reducing emissions from deforestation. The Coalition has influenced international policy with its contributions to the UN Framework on Climate Change and the 2015 Paris Agreement and is recommended by Founders Pledge as remarkably cost effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Donations so far:


Image by Nicholas Doherty

Beyond Zero Emissions

An award winning and internationally recognized Australian think tank working to inspire political leadership and accelerate policy change. Beyond Zero conducts and publishes research on climate solutions that unlock economic potential for industries, regions and communities.

Donations so far:



Rainforest Foundation US

The Rainforest Foundation works directly with indigenous communities in Central and South America to protect rainforests from deforestation by providing legal support, technology and training to help monitor and stop illegal logging and mining. A study by Columbia University has shown that the Foundation is successfully reducing the rate of deforestation in the places where it is mostly likely to occur.

Donations so far:


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Evergreen Collaborative

A new advocacy group acting as a bridge between environmental organisations and the US federal government. Evergreen includes some of the most prominent climate scientists and policymakers, and is punching well above its weight in steering US climate legislation. Recommended by Giving Green as a top-performing climate change organisation.

Donations so far:



Clean Air Task Force

This US-based non-governmental organisation is working to reduce air pollution through research and analysis. public advocacy leadership, and private sector partnership. The Task Force have coordinated many successful climate campaigns, helping to establish emissions controls and regulations in a country that has the highest per-capita emissions in the world. Recommended by Founders Pledge as an outstanding organisation achieving outsized impact on a relatively small budget.

Donations so far:




TerraPraxis is a small UK org recommended by Founders Pledge for its ongoing work to promote energy innovation at international levels. The main focus is advanced nuclear power, which is much safer and potentially cheaper than existing nuclear plants, and a highly neglected energy technology that has huge potential as a climate solution.

Donations so far:



Climate Emergency Fund

This fund aims to quickly get money to people engaged in climate activism. They accept donations large and small and fund everything from school trips and grassroot movements to flagship organisations such as and Extinction Rebellion. Raising social awareness about climate change, challenging the fossil fuel industry and changing climate politics are critical steps to achieving deep cuts in emissions.

Donations so far:



Cool Earth

Cool Earth combats deforestation in a variety of rainforest locations by establishing sustainable agreements with local communities to improve lives and enable them to withstand pressure to sell to loggers. Giving What We Can estimates that Cool Earth reduces GHG emissions through direct protection of forests at a rate of $1.34 (USD) per tonne CO2e.

Donations so far:



ITIF Clean Energy Innovation Program

ITIF aims to accelerate the transition of US and global energy systems to low-carbon resources. By 2040, about 75% of all emissions will come from emerging economies such as China and India. Innovations that make cheap clean energy available to everyone create strong incentives for developing countries not to burn fossil fuels. The ITIF Clean Energy Program is one of the most effective funding opportunities in the climate change policy research space.

Donations so far:




Carbon180 is a climate-focused NGO on a mission to remove carbon from the atmosphere - a largely neglected area of climate research. They have already achieved outstanding success in lobbying for tax credits for carbon capture and helping to win increased funding for carbon removal research. Founders Pledge recently recommended Carbon180 as a top option for anyone looking for maximum impact from their donation.

Donations so far:



Eden Reforestation Projects

A nonprofit that works in developing countries to rebuild natural landscapes destroyed by deforestation. Eden employs thousands of local villagers and provides them with the education and tools to plant, grow, and protect millions of trees each year. Eden currently plants approximately 15 million additional trees a month, and in 2020 planted over 423 million trees.

Donations so far:


New Zealand grant recipients

We are also proud to support Kiwi organisations leading the local fight against climate change.


Lawyers for Climate Action NZ

A team of 300 solicitors, barristers and academics who give their time freely to ensure NZ meets its international climate obligations. The group recently made international headlines for suing the NZ Climate Change Commission for alleged errors in its advice to government. LCANZ aims to raise awareness and advocate for new legislation and policies.

Donations so far:




A social enterprise that sets up forest conservation projects and then sells carbon credits to businesses and individuals to offset their carbon emissions. Donations to EKOS help fund new indigenous forest projects by contributing to the non-commercial costs, such as conservation management and accreditation.

Donations so far:



Generation Zero

A youth-led organisation committed to cutting carbon pollution in NZ by promoting smarter transport, liveable cities and independence from fossil fuels. Gen Zero focuses on local body elections and campaigning and was instrumental in drafting the NZ Zero Carbon Act.

Donations so far:



350 Aotearoa

This is the NZ arm of the international movement which aims to unite the world around climate change solutions. Their local campaigns challenge the cultural acceptance of fossil fuels by providing education, practical tools and support for community leadership.

Donations so far:



Te Ara Whatu

An indigenous- and youth-led group working for climate action and indigenous sovereignty. Te Ara Whatu represented Maori and Pasifika communities at the 23rd Session of the UN Climate Talks and continues to advocate for climate justice for indigenous communities around the world.

Donations so far:



Trees That Count

A conservation charity that brings together business, community and ordinary people, with the vision of helping to plant 200 million native trees across the country. Trees That Count connects donors with planters who are restoring and growing native forest, to combat climate change and protect our beautiful landscapes.

Donations so far:


Frequently asked questions

How do you decide which organisations to issue grants to?

We have selected the global organisations that we believe offer donors the best possible value for money, in terms of impact per dollar. When donating to the Net-Zero Fund, you can choose to either target a specific recipient from the list above, or make a general donation (to be allocated to multiple organisations).

Why do you include international organisations in the fund recipients?

We know charity starts at home. But climate change is a global problem and requires global solutions. Developed nations created the climate crisis, and to solve it we need to provide developing countries with an alternative to following in our footprints.

Will my donation really make any difference to climate change?

Yes! Our goal with the Net-Zero Fund is to maximize the impact of every single dollar donated, by supporting a diversified set of organisations that we believe have the greatest potential to make a real difference.

What does tax have to do with donations?

In New Zealand, donations to registered charities usually qualify as being tax-deductible. This means that if you are an NZ tax resident you can deduct the total amount you donated through the year from your taxable income when completing your annual tax return, to receive either a tax rebate (for PAYE employees) or a tax bill reduction (if you are self-employed). You will receive up to 33c back from the government for each $1 donated (depending on your tax rate).

Is this the same as carbon offsetting?

No, the Net-Zero Fund is not an offset scheme, and we do not try to equate dollar donations to tons of CO2. But all the organisations we support are on a mission to reduce carbon emissions, either in the short term (e.g. by avoiding deforestation) or long term (e.g. by persuading governments to fund clean energy R&D). And some of our biggest grant recipients are supported by evidence that suggests they can avert emissions for as little as $1 USD per ton of CO2 (equivalent).

Is Carbon Critical a registered charity?

No, Carbon Critical is not a charity and does not process or handle donations. The Net-Zero Fund is a Carbon Critical initiative but is administered by our friends at The Gift Trust, which is an NZ registered charity.

Can I get a receipt for my donation?

Yes, the The Gift Trust issues receipts for all donations that NZ residents / citizens can use to claim a tax-credit in their annual tax return.

Does Carbon Critical take a management fee?

No, Carbon Critical does not receive any commissions, fees or other payments for providing the Net-Zero Fund. We freely volunteer our time to oversee the fund, communicate with donors and recipient organisations, and coordinate operations with The Gift Trust.

How much of my donation will reach the supported organisations?

Carbon Critical does not charge any fees. The Gift Trust makes some small deductions from each donation to cover their operational costs as an NZ registered charity, before passing the balance on to the recipient organisations:

  • A 2% admin fee is charged to help cover costs for processing payments, issuing tax receipts to donors, conducting due diligence, maintaining the web portal, accounting, reporting, etc.

  • Donations made by credit card are subject to additional charges that vary by card issuer, but are typically about 2.5% of the donation amount. Bank transfers do not carry any fees and are the preferred option for all donations.

  • Grant payments to international charities incur additional charges such as foreign exchange / bank fees and annual due diligence fees. These costs total to about 1% of donations.

So for new donations made by bank transfer, approximately 97% of the donated amount will reach our supported organisations.

I thought that 100% of all donations went to charity?

For the first two years of operation the Carbon Critical directors personally covered all admin and bank fees, to ensure that 100% of every donation received reached the end organisations we support. However as the Net-Zero Fund grew it became unsustainable for the directors to continue providing this sponsorship. As of 1 July 2022 any new donations received will have a small amount deducted by The Gift Trust to cover admin and banking fees (as above).

How can I check that my donation was correctly distributed?

For transparency, we provide all donors and recipients with access to a spreadsheet that shows all donations received, and all grants issued, by the Net-Zero Fund. This allows everyone involved to check that funds have been received and allocated correctly and with minimal turnaround times. Donors can choose whether they wish to be named in this spreadsheet, or remain anonymous.

I don't live in New Zealand - can I still donate?

Yes, anyone can donate to the Net-Zero Fund, but non-residents might not be able to claim a tax-credit (depending on local tax law).

I know a good charity - can you add it to the Net-Zero Fund?

We are always on the look-out for new organisations that are 'punching above their weight' in the fight against climate change. Get in touch and tell us about the group you would like to support and we will check to see if it qualifies to be included in the Net-Zero Fund.