9 Best Charities for Reforestation (Complete 2021 List)

9 Best Charities for Reforestation (Complete 2021 List)

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Dennis Kamprad

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Planting trees is one of the easiest and most meaningful ways you can help preserve the environment and combat global climate change. Because climate change has taken center stage when it comes to environmental issues, many charities have advertised their reforestation efforts. But which charities are the best?

The best charities for reforestation have planted many millions of trees to restore nature and employed the local communities to combat poverty and provide hope. These include Eden Reforestation Projects, Plant With Purpose, Trees for the Future, One Tree Planted, and the National Forest Foundation.

So, you want to support reforestation through a charity. Great! Choosing a charity with meaningful values and a track record of achievements is important. Keep reading to learn more about the best charities for reforestation including their backgrounds, missions, goals, achievements, and ways you can contribute. 

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

The world has lost more than 1/3 of its forest since the last ice age, which occurred about 2.6 million years ago. And we cannot afford to lose much more. Why? Because we need trees for survival. Trees combat climate change, purify the air, provide housing for millions of plant and animal species, protect against floods and water pollution, and improve mental health. And the best charities for reforestation help us combat this – and more…

Our World in Data: Deforestation and Forest Loss

The following charities were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements. They operate all over the world, from North America to Asia. And they all share the same goal of combatting deforestation. 

In combatting deforestation, these charities also have a dual mission of aiding impoverished communities. Through planting trees, they are able to educate and hopefully prevent further environmental degradation.

These Are the 9 Best Charities for Reforestation

Below are our favorite charities for reforestation (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.)

Eden Reforestation Projects: Employ to Plant 

The idea for Eden Reforestation Projects (Eden) came in 2005, when Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, invited Dr. Stephen Fitch to take over an abandoned nursery and forest restoration project along the Udo Escarpment near Hawassa, Ethiopia. Dr. Fitch. Developed the “Employ to Plant” methodology, where local people are hired to plant trees. This both combats poverty and restores the natural environment. At the end of year 1, Eden employees planted over 200,000 trees. By the end of 2012, they numbered 3,500 strong and planted over 15 million trees. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Eden 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. 

“Plant Trees. Save Lives.”

Eden Reforestation Projects

What they do: Intending to reduce extreme poverty and restore healthy forests, Eden employs local people living in the poorest of areas to plant trees. They currently operate in Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nepal, Haiti, Indonesia, Mozambique, Kenya, and Central America. 

What they’ve achieved: To date, Eden has planted over 580 million trees in 8 countries on 232 project sites, creating over 5.8 million workdays for poor and unemployed people. Their overall goal is to plant 1 trillion trees, which would have immense positive socio-economic and environmental effects. 

Ways to contribute: To aid in this effort you can become a corporate partner, a foundation partner, start a fundraiser, purchase through AmazonSmile, donate, and simply spread the word by following and engaging on their social media accounts. 

Plant With Purpose: Tackling Environmental Degradation and Rural Poverty

Plant With Purpose was founded in 1984 under the original name, Floresta. Tom Woodward traveled to the Dominic Republic for volunteer work and, upon seeing the depth of the problem, founded Floresta to meet the environmental, economic, and spiritual needs of rural communities. PWP has since expanded to include 8 countries.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Plant With Purpose 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 92% rating overall from Charity Navigator. 

“Launching a decade of reforestation.”

Plant With Purpose

What they do: Plant With Purpose combines environmental restoration, economic empowerment, and spiritual renewal in their integrated approach to tackling poverty and reversing deforestation. Their activities include tree nurseries, reforestation, and agroforestry. 

What they’ve achieved: To date, Plant With Purpose has planted over 40 million trees in Burundi, Dominican Republic, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Mexico, Tanzania, and Thailand. 

Ways to contribute: The best way to show your support is to become a purpose partner, where your donation of $22 a month brings Plant With Purpose to rural areas. You can also provide a one-time donation, plant a tree for just $1, start a fundraiser, and donate a gift.  

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: Plant With a Purpose holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency by GuideStar. It is the highest rank held by organizations that share all their results and progress. And an 89.95% rating overall from Charity Navigator. 

“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.

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.

National Forest Foundation: A Campaign to Plant 50 Million Trees

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) is a Congressionally-chartered organization founded in 1992 with a mission of bringing people together to restore and enhance U.S. National Forests and grasslands. They are the only Congressionally-chartered organization focused solely on the 193 million acres of U.S. National Forests, and they work closely with the U.S. Forest service to unite, restore, engage, sustain, and add value to National Forests. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The National Forest Foundation 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 94% rating overall from Charity Navigator.

“50 Million for Our Forests”

National Forest Foundation

What they do: NFF has pledged to plant 50 million trees across all of the National Forests in the U.S.. Every $1 donated plants 1 tree, and for every $1 the NFF invests, the U.S. Forest Service provides $2 of value in project support and implementation.

What they’ve achieved: In 2020 alone, NFF planted 5.6 million trees across 20 states in the U.S.. This is the most trees they have planted in a single year. They also reforested over 18,000 acres of land and executed 37 tree planting campaigns and 29 local conservation projects. To date, NFF has planted over 42 million trees.

Ways to contribute: The easiest way to contribute is to donate $1, because for every $1 donated, NFF will plant 1 tree. You can also enroll as a small business partner or corporate partner and start your own fundraiser to support the “50 million trees in 5 years” campaign.

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 its 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.

Alliance for International Reforestation: Improving Human and Environmental Health

The Alliance for International Reforestation (AIR) was founded by Dr. Anne Hallum in 1993. She found her calling to help the people of Guatemala after taking some students on a trip and witnessing the poverty and deforestation there. Over the past 25 years, AIR has expanded to include hundreds of projects and has planted millions of trees. All of their salaried staff members are Guatemalan professionals.

Their impact and transparency ratings: AIR holds a Silver Seal of Transparency by GuideStar. And a 71% rating for finance and accountability from Charity Navigator. And 92% of all donations go directly towards their fieldwork and programs.

“With every farmer we train, every stove we build, every tree we plant, we choose hope.”

Alliance for International Reforestation, Inc.

What they do: AIR specializes in programs involving farmer training, mudslide prevention, education programs, school scholarships, fuel-efficient stoves, and rural microbusinesses. All of their programs are community-based, from design to implementation. They are tackling deforestation by planting trees. And as the trees grow, AIR technicians educate local people on how to make nature-based products. 

What they’ve achieved: To date, AIR has planted over 6 million trees. They currently operate in the Guatemalan Departments of Chimaltenango and Sololá and most recently in communities in the Department of Quiché.

Ways to contribute: You can support this cause by donating or by becoming a partner. Partnerships include bronze, silver, and gold levels which are based on annual pledges of  $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 respectively. For more information on becoming a partner, you can reach out directly to Rachel Hallum-Montes

The Nature Conservancy: Boldly Addressing Climate Change and Biodiversity Crises

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) started as a grassroots organization in 1951 and was officially formed in 1954. They now directly impact 38 countries and have partnerships with 34 others. TNC has adopted the mission of combatting both global climate change and biodiversity loss. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: TNC holds a Gold Seal of Transparency by GuideStar. And an 84% rating overall from Charity Navigator.

“A Billion Begins With One”

The Nature Conservancy

What they do: TNC’s mission is to conserve lands and waters on which all life depends. They impact over 70 countries, operate over 100 marine conservation projects, and have protected over 125 million acres of land. Their main campaign is the “Plant a Billion Trees” campaign, which launched in 2008. They currently plant trees in Brazil, China, Colombia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mexico, and the U.S.

What they’ve achieved: As of October 2020, their Plant a Billion Trees campaign has planted over 84 million trees globally and is restoring U.S. forests in 9 states

Ways to contribute: The easiest way to contribute to their campaign to plant 1 billion trees is by donation, where you can either donate where it is needed most or to a specific country. You can also become a TNC member or give in a variety of other ways

Trees, Water & People: Community-Based Reforestation

Founded in 1998 in 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 (U.S.).

Their impact and transparency ratings: Trees, Water, and People 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 99% rating overall from Charity Navigator. 

“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.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities for reforestation. 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

Deforestation is a serious environmental issue that affects many aspects of our lives. One of the ways you can help in the fight against deforestation is to find a charity that you identify with, and that has a reputable mission. 

With all of the information out there, picking a charity that combats deforestation can be difficult. But with the information above, you can make an informed decision and donate to the cause today!

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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