Philanthropedia Announces the Nonprofits Making the Most Impact in National Climate Change and International Microfinance

Release date: August 28, 2012

Erinn Andrews
Erinn Andrews
Philanthropedia Top Nonprofit 2012 medal
Philanthropedia 2012 medal
for top-ranked nonprofits

Washington, D.C.—Philanthropedia, a division of leading nonprofit information provider GuideStar, today announced new rankings of the top 18 U.S. nonprofits working on climate change, and the top 11 international nonprofits working in the field of microfinance. The rankings are based on in-depth surveys of and conversations with hundreds of experts, including academics, funders, grantmakers, policy makers, consultants, etc., in the respective focus areas, and identify the nonprofits having the most impact in their particular mission focus areas.

"The Money for Good II research tells us that, although few people take the time to examine a nonprofit before they donate, most people really do want to give to the nonprofits that are doing the most good," said Erinn Andrews, GuideStar's senior director of nonprofit strategy and the original chief operating officer of Philanthropedia. "Our crowd-sourcing methodology allows donors and funders to easily find the nonprofits having the most impact in their particular cause areas so they can be sure to support the organizations that are meeting their missions better than others."

High-Impact Climate Change Nonprofits

The EPA reports that the Earth's average surface temperature has increased by about 1.2 to 1.4°F since 1900, according to NOAA and NASA data, and that the 10 warmest years on record since 1850 have all occurred in the past 13 years. Climate change affects people, plants, and animals in a variety of ways, and to combat these problems there are myriad nonprofits with missions focused on our environment, energy use, and sustainability.

Over the past two months, Philanthropedia surveyed 121 experts working in the field of climate change, with an average of 14 years of work experience in the field, to identify the organizations that were making the biggest positive impact in climate change on a national level. Experts were asked to recommend up to four nonprofits and up to two promising start-up nonprofits having a significant impact in the field of climate change at the national level, and were asked to comment on each nonprofit's impact, other organizational strengths, and how each organization could further improve. Recommended nonprofits could address the issue from various perspectives, and they could also utilize a variety of approaches including conservation, education, research, policy, and advocacy.

These experts reviewed 128 organizations and identified 18 as performing the best when it comes to meeting their missions:

  1. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  3. Union Of Concerned Scientists
  4. Sierra Club
  5. World Resources Institute
  6. Ceres
  7. Environmental Defense Fund
  8. National Wildlife Federation
  9. Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)
  1. Greenpeace
  2. US Climate Action Network
  3. ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability
  4. Climate Solutions
  5. Earthjustice
  6. The Climate Reality Project
  7. Friends of the Earth
  8. Center For Clean Air Policy (CCAP)
  9. Nature Conservancy

To learn more about each organization, meet the experts, and read the reviews, please visit

High-Impact Microfinance Nonprofits

The International Fund for Agricultural Development reports that most of the world's poor lack access to basic financial services that would help them manage their assets and generate income. This is especially true for the 900 million extremely poor people who live in rural areas of developing countries. Microfinance has become a powerful tool for fighting poverty through more than just lending and asset management.

To help identify the top nonprofits focusing on this mission, over the past two months Philanthropedia surveyed 77 experts working in the field of international microfinance, with an average of 16 years of work experience in the field, to identify those organizations that were making the biggest positive impact in international microfinance. Experts were asked to recommend up to four high-impact nonprofits and up to two promising start-up nonprofits doing excellent work in the field of international microfinance. They were asked to consider a range of nonprofits working in the sector. Recommendations could include direct service providers, research organizations, peer-to-peer platforms, monitoring and evaluation organizations, and other types of nonprofits. For-profit microfinance programs, such as member-owned organizations, formal financial institutions, and informal financial service providers were specifically excluded from this research.

The experts reviewed 119 organizations and identified 11 top nonprofits making an impact at the international level:

  1. BRAC
  2. Grameen Foundation
  3. ACCION International
  4. Pro Mujer
  5. Freedom From Hunger
  6. Kiva
  1. Opportunity International
  3. Fonkoze
  4. FINCA International
  5. Women's World Banking

To learn more about each organization, meet the experts, and read the experts' reviews, please visit:

"Nonprofit impact is so important," added Andrews. "We all give with our hearts, but unless we give with our heads, that money could go to waste, which in this economy is untenable. For those looking to support climate change and microfinance nonprofits, our new rankings of the top nonprofits in the field are vital resources."

For more information about Philanthropedia's ranking methodology, please visit:

About Philanthropedia

Philanthropedia,, is an online resource for donors who want to make a bigger difference with their charitable giving. Philanthropedia was founded on the belief that experts working in the field, such as foundation professionals, researchers, and nonprofit senior staff, are best suited to evaluate nonprofits in a more holistic way. In April 2011, Philanthropedia was acquired by GuideStar.

About GuideStar

GuideStar,, connects people and organizations with information on the programs and finances of more than 1.8 million IRS-recognized nonprofits. GuideStar serves a wide audience inside and outside the nonprofit sector, including individual donors, nonprofit leaders, grantmakers, government officials, academic researchers, and the media.

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