The word philanthropy is often associated with wealthy donors giving away large sums of money, the bigger the better! But, when we only highlight large donations, we miss the impactful contributions of so many—including individuals and communities living among some of the hardest-hitting environmental challenges.
Philanthropy is about so much more than lofty one-time gifts. As all 1% for the Planet members know, collective action adds up. Collective contributions from everyday donors play a key role in ensuring that nonprofits have the resources they need to carry out their missions.
Just 3% of total giving in the United States goes to the environment.
Even though giving to the environment represents a very small portion of global philanthropy, we have seen the amount of money donated to the environment increase. From 2021 to 2022, global climate giving grew at four times the rate of philanthropy overall, with an increase of 14%. Donors from all walks of life are taking action for the planet—and it’s showing up in the numbers.
Donating to solve environmental challenges is about so much more than the amount we give—it’s also about how we give. We need to not only repair the harm we have done, but also re-envision the systems, cultural norms and institutions that have created the harm.
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”
- Albert Einstein
So, how can we approach giving in a way that builds a thriving future for people and the planet? It all starts with your individual goals—and how you choose to give. We've identified three types of highly impactful donors to help you find out your donor type and get you started on your giving journey:
Buyers are direct impact drivers. They give in order to support tangible, specific projects and seek to understand what and how much work can be done in exchange for their money. This kind of giving funds a direct action or an immediate need and its associated solution.
Builders provide the necessary funding for growth and scalability. They think strategically, invest boldly in systems and people to meet the moment and create new systems for addressing issues in the long term. Builders have helped 1% for the Planet scale our innovative model into a global movement for our planet.
Regenerators invest in the long-term impact of an organization. They are driven by results and seek financial returns for the issues and organizations that they care about. Our Planet Impact Fund was designed to create returns that will be used to drive further investments and grants into innovative environmental solutions—today and into the future.