9 Best Charities for Planting Trees (Complete 2021 List)

9 Best Charities for Planting Trees (Complete 2021 List)

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Dennis Kamprad

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Planting a tree can be the simplest and easiest deed you can do to not only give back to the community but help preserve and conserve our environment. With so many charities planting trees, not all have the same missions and goals. 

The best charities for planting trees to offset your carbon and fight climate change are Trees, Water & People, or Woodland Trust. Charities like One Tree Planted, Tree Aid, Trees for Life, and the International Tree Foundation are excellent for global reforestation and saving hectares of land. 

Whether you want to combat climate change, save animals or help a community, there is a charity for you. But, choosing a charity with impactful and lasting goals and missions is essential. Keep reading to learn more about the backgrounds, programs, and ways you can contribute to some of the best charities for plant trees.

Recommendation: If you are interested in finding out what trees not only mean for forests but also for us and our future, you should check out the book The Journeys of Trees: A Story about Forests, People, and the Future (link to Amazon).

Here’s What All the Best Charities for Planting Trees Have in Common

The chosen charities all work closely with the local communities and governmental organizations to ensure a sustainable and long-lasting impact of planting trees. Many of their works are a continuum and improve every year with new goals, initiatives, and solutions.

While their projects may be based in different locations across the globe – from Indonesian rainforests and cities in the UK, they all work towards a common goal. Which is to make a greener future by planting trees and reducing our carbon footprints. 

These Are the 9 Best Charities for Planting Trees

Here are our favorite charities for planting trees (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article, we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

One Tree Planted: Where Every Dollar Gets You One Tree Planted

Founded by Matt Hill in 2014 in Shelburne, Vermont, One Tree Planted makes it easy for you to plant a tree just for one dollar. This non-profit was established to create a simple and accessible avenue for individuals and businesses to give back, plant trees, and aid in global reforestation. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: One Tree Planted holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency by GuideStar. It is the highest rank held by organizations that share all their results and progress. And a 100% rating for impact and results from Charity Navigator. 

“One dollar. One tree.”

One Tree Planted

What they do: With the aim of global reforestation, One Tree Planted plants trees all over the world. Today they plant trees in 28 countries across North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and even the Pacific. Their work helps restore land affected by human and natural disasters, including supporting the communities and ecosystems in these areas. 

What they’ve achieved: Based on their 2020 report, their efforts have been nothing less than impactful. One Tree Planted has planted over 10 million trees and restored over 15,000 hectares of land. They have raised 15 million dollars in 2020 and aim to plant an extra 20 million trees in 2021. 

Ways to contribute: The best way to support One Tree Planted would be through direct donations. With every dollar donated, one tree is planted. You can also support the non-profit by joining the community, becoming an ambassador, starting your own fundraiser, or volunteer by participating in a tree-planting event.

Trees for the Future: Providing for People and The Planet

After a life-changing volunteer experience in the Philippines, Grace and Dave Deppner created the non-profit organization called Trees for the Future (TREES) in 1989, Maryland. They had learned about the severe human consequences of illegal logging and unsustainable land management systems and began helping out the community.

Their impact and transparency ratings: TREES was scored 89.95% by Charity Navigator and attained a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar – the highest rank possible.

“To end hunger and poverty by training farmers to regenerate their land.”

Trees for the Future

What they do: TREES gives back to the community by planting trees across Sub-Saharan Africa countries and through their initiative called The Forest Green Program. It’s a 4-year course where farmers are trained to plant, grow, and protect various trees. Providing families with a stable income, food, and sustainable lifestyle

What they’ve achieved: As of July 2020, TREES have helped increase the nutrition, food security, and income for 152,403 people and planted over 191 million trees. By 2025, TREES envisions breaking the poverty and hunger cycle for 1 million people. To achieve this goal, they plan to plant 500 million trees, collaborate, and expand their relationships with farmers and organizations. 

Ways to contribute: The best ways to help TREES are through donations or organizing a fundraiser. Every penny goes towards the families and our environment. You can also give a personalized tree planting certificate to a loved one, or become a brand partner and plant trees with every customer purchase. 

Trees, Water & People: Community-Based Reforestation

Founded in 1998, Colorado by two friends, Trees, Water & People is a non-profit aiming to tackle the causes of deforestation in Latin America. Their efforts are focused on the Latin American countries and the tribal lands in the United States.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Awarded 4-stars by Charity Navigator, the non-profit also holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency by GuideStar.

“To improve people’s lives by helping protect, conserve, and manage the natural resources…”

Trees, Water & People

What they do: Trees, Water & People strongly believe in community-based development as the best model for sustainable solutions. They involve the community in reforestation and planting trees. Community projects also include designing and producing clean cookstoves and providing renewable energy sources for local families to use. 

What they’ve achieved: In their 2019/2020 summary, Trees Water & People managed to install almost 300,000 clean cookstoves in Honduras. They collaborated with organizations and indigenous tribes to plant over 12,00 native trees and 13,000 tree seedlings. They aim for an additional 24,000 seedlings to be planted in the coming year. 

Ways to contribute: The non-profit suggests calculating your carbon footprint and offsetting CO2  by planting trees through their platform. Besides making direct donations, you can also help out by embarking on a tour with their travel program or signing up as a volunteer or intern. 

International Tree Foundation: The Pioneers in Planting Trees

Originally known as Men of Trees, the International Tree Foundation (ITF) was established in 1992 by the first global conservationist Richard ‘St Barbe’ Barker. Based in the United Kingdom, the non-profit has inspired and fuelled the global environmental and reforestation movement for years.

Their impact and transparency ratings: ITF is a registered non-profit and releases their financial reports annually. As of 2019, 87% of their income was spent on charity projects, and 13% contributed to fundraising. 

“With ITF, you can plant the right trees, in the right places, and for the right reasons, everyday.”

International Tree Foundation

What they do: Planting trees all over Africa and the UK, ITF works closely with the local community to create sustainable programs and lifestyles for families. Their work includes funding for restoration and education of the African drylands and preserving and planting indigenous trees.

What they’ve achieved: ITF have supported and funded 26 environmental programs across Africa, including Ghana, Rwanda, and Uganda. In 2020, they planted 805,873 trees and aims to plant 900,000 more trees by 2021. In the UK, ITF is initiating a program to support the community’s mental well-being by bringing them together through nature.

Ways to contribute: You can support this non-profit by making direct donations to aid their work or join the trees movement by becoming a member. If there are vacancies available, you can also lend your time as a volunteer.

Woodland Trust: The Largest UK Woods & Trees Conservatory

Over a kitchen table, in 1972, a group of friends birthed the largest UK woodland conservatory charity named the Woodland Trust. Based in Grantham, Lincolnshire, the Woodland Trust has offices all across the UK and Scotland with over 500,000 members and supporters, all in the plight of saving the woods.

Their impact and transparency ratings: You’ll appreciate that the Woodland Trust shows the importance of their work’s transparency by releasing annual reports and accounts. Including reviews on the gender pay gap and ethics of their working practices.

“Our vision is a UK rich in native woods and trees, for people and wildlife.”

Woodland Trust

What they do: From planting trees to combat climate change, protecting the woods and its ecosystem, to participating in policy-making discussions with the UK parliament, Woodland Trust’s work is diverse and impactful. Woodland Trust prides itself in research and evidence for understanding the environment and has published critical reports

What they’ve achieved: Since 1972, 50 million trees have been planted, and 34,000 hectares of woodland have been brought back to life. They aim to plant an additional 50 million trees in the next 5 years to offset carbon and reach the carbon-zero target. 

Ways to contribute: There are many initiatives for you to help Woodland Trust with. You can start by making donations that will help plant trees and offset carbon. Something more unique, you can dedicate a tree, woodlands, or a park bench to friends and families. If you have time, why not volunteer or create a fundraiser?

Trees for Life: Planting Trees to Revive the Highlands

Founded in 1993 in Scotland, Trees for Life is a conversation charity focused on the restoration and revival of Scotland’s Highlands. To protect the native trees and wildlife through natural regeneration and mostly by the hard work of volunteers.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Trees for Life is a registered Scottish charity and publishes its reviews annually. Around 24% of their expenditure went towards generating income. And the remaining 76% towards the cost of propagating and restoring the forest and training and support of volunteers. 

“Rewilding the Scottish Highlands.”

Trees for Life

What they do: Trees of Life operates mostly in the Caledonian forest, which covers most of the Scottish Highlands. Their work involves planting native seedlings and naturing the trees to promote regeneration. They also researched and reintroduced native wildlife back into their habitats, such as the lynx and red squirrel.

What they’ve achieved: In 2019, Trees for Life have planted over 1.5 million trees to rewild the highlands and saved over 10,000 acres of forests. Including fencing and protecting areas to allow forests to thrive. They aim to take in more volunteers in efforts to expand their work in the highlands. 

Ways to contribute: The best way to help Trees of Life would be through donations through many forms. You can gift a tree certificate or even a dedicated grove of trees to a loved one. Other ways include volunteering or simply showing support by promoting and sharing the cause with friends and family. 

Trees for Cities: Trees and Parks for Urban Greenery

Trees for Cities is the first of its kind. It is a UK charity that works on a local and international level to plant trees in cities. It was founded in 1993 by a group of friends in London to create greener cities and foster appreciation for nature in the community.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The charity claims that 91% of income is spent on its charity objectives. They publish their detailed financial reports annually and are audited and assured according to the International Standards on Auditing (UK)

“Planting trees and greening cities worldwide….”

Trees for Cities

What they do: Focusing on urban greenery, Trees for Cities plants trees and parks in the UK and Africa to increase diversity and counteract climate change. They work closely with schools to establish their award-winning ‘edible playgrounds’. The playgrounds are hands-on gardens to teach students the importance of growing and eating healthy food. 

What they’ve achieved: Trees for Cities have planted over 1 million trees across 26 cities. In 2019, they introduced an extra 41 edible playgrounds helping out 16,456 students. To fight climate change in cities, they aim to plant an additional 10,000 trees in 11 cities in the future. 

Ways to contribute: Donations would be the best way for you to help Trees for Cities continue greening our cities. The charity encourages joining their volunteer mailing list to get updates on project opportunities, or you could run for a cause and fundraise. A simple #GenerationTree on social media would also show support for their cause.

Tree Aid: Tackling Poverty While Restoring and Protecting Forests

Established in 1987 by a group of foresters, Tree Aid is an international charity organization aiming to tackle poverty in Africa’s drylands. This charity was organized in response to the famine in Ethiopia. They wanted to provide long-term solutions for the community to combat the effects of poverty and climate change.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to the charity’s 2019/20 impact report, 85% of their funds were spent directly on projects, and 15% was used for fundraising and other admin work. Their published annual reports of their financial statements can be found on their website.

“Tackling poverty and protecting the environment are inseparable.”

Tree Aid

What they do: Aiming to relieve the effects of climate change, Tree Aid works primarily in the drylands of Africa, in countries such as Ethiopia, Mali, Ghana, and Niger. Their work includes planting trees for the restoration and protection of forests. Collaborating with the local community and enterprises, providing jobs and training for farmers to grow food and generate their own income.

What they’ve achieved: To date, Tree Aid has restored 155,522 hectares of land, planted over 22 million trees while helping an overwhelming 1.8 million people across African drylands. By 2030, they aim to aid in the Great Green Wall movement by planting trees to restore 100 million hectares of land all over Africa.

Ways to contribute: To support Tree Aid, you can make a direct donation or buy a gift from their store – where all proceeds go towards growing trees. You can also make a difference by organizing your own fundraisers, becoming a corporate partner, or leaving a lasting gift in your will

International Animal Rescue: Planting Trees and Saving the Orangutans

International Animal Rescue (IAR) has been saving animals and protecting the environment since 1989. This non-profit animal protection and conservation organization aim to end animal suffering by rescuing and rehabilitating and protecting their habitats.

Their impact and transparency ratings: IAR has received a Platinum Seal of Transparency from Guidestar and their charity rating for finance and accountability is 100% on Charity Navigator.

“To improve people’s lives by helping…protect, conserve, and manage the natural resources…”

International Animal Rescue

What they do: With the aim of animal rescue, IAR saves animals all around the world, especially in countries with endangered animals and habitats. Such as Indonesia, India, Costa Rica, and more. Their work rescues exploited animals and provides them with care and rehabilitation. In Indonesia, trees are planted to protect the rainforests – the orangutans’ homes.

What they’ve achieved: IAR has planted thousands of trees over the years. Their goal is to replant 75,000 seedlings in a restoration program in Indonesia. As of now, the planting has a success rate of 99%.

Ways to contribute: The best way to help IAR plant trees would be through donations. You can also get involved by live-streaming a gaming fundraiser, volunteering at an IAR sanctuary, or even adopting your own animal. 

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities working for planting trees. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. The website is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing the progress a charity makes in reaching its targets, the chances are not making positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best charity for planting trees can be challenging. Do you want to save animals, end poverty or simply offset your carbon? It’s crucial to find a charity true to your heart. One that supports your cause and goals. So, do your research on any organization before making a decision to support them. 

Luckily, with most of the information available online and this article’s help, selecting a charity for planting trees will be simple for you and everyone.

Stay impactful,



PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist, and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

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