350.org

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350-org
Headquarters Location: Brooklyn, NY
Founded: 2007


Mission: 350.org is building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis.

350 means climate safety. To preserve our planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 394 parts per million to below 350 ppm. But 350 is more than a number—it's a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.

Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions are led from the bottom up by thousands of volunteer organizers in over 188 countries.




Tags: 2012, national, climate change, direct action, movement-building, technology, social media, grassroots


350-org
Story: After an epic campaign, the incredible coalition fighting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has emerged victorious. The pipeline—the fuse to "the largest carbon bomb on the planet"—has been delayed and effectively killed. And good thing too: NASA's top climate… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
350.org educates and organizes people all over the world around climate change issues. The organization’s name epitomizes traits that contribute to their impact. First, they have a strong emphasis on science-based policies and programs. The name 350.org refers to the goal of reducing carbon emissions from its current 392 parts per million to a more sustainable level of 350. They are also an incredibly tech-savvy organization. Their use of technology has helped them organize a very wide base of supporters; tell compelling stories through video and photos; and usher in more young people to the movement. Their direct action and organizing work is impressive and has helped publicize the movement, as well as bring about tangible victories. The organization's most notable impact to date was their role in temporarily halting the Keystone XL pipeline. They supported the collective efforts on this project through large-scale organizing and protests.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
350-org May Boeve and Bill McKibben . May Boeve is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of 350.org, an international climate change campaign. On October 24, 2009, 350.org coordinated the most widespread day of political action in history, with more than 5,200 events in 181 countries all conveying the message: 350, the safe level of CO2 in the atmosphere. Previously, May co-founded and helped lead the Step It… See full bio.


Transparency Information
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This organization has earned the GuideStar Participation Level Silver, demonstrating its commitment to transparency (learn more)


Financial Data
Total Revenue:
$3,013,995


From the Nonprofit


Aug 28, 2012
This past year, we set our sights on dramatically expanding our capacity for organizing and network development around the world. We scaled up a team of field organizers in key U.S. states who are building autonomous local teams, as well… Read More.



Contact Info
Website:
E-Mail:
Phone:
802.552.4067
Facebook:
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Address:
155 Water Street 
 
Brooklyn, NY 11201 , USA
Twitter:
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350-org Story: After an epic campaign, the incredible coalition fighting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has emerged victorious. The pipeline—the fuse to "the largest carbon bomb on the planet"—has been delayed and effectively killed. And good thing too: NASA's top climate scientist James Hansen has said that burning the oil locked in Canada's tar sands would mean "game over for the climate." In the meantime, the pipeline has become a political hot-button issue, and the Southern Leg of the pipeline is currently under construction. Vibrant organizing efforts are underway in Canada and the Northeast and Northwest of the United States to defeat other pipelines, and the movement to defeat Keystone XL is focusing on the heart of the matter: the political power of the fossil fuel industry.

Expert Reviews of 350.org

Evidence of Impact Summary:

350.org educates and organizes people all over the world around climate change issues. The organization’s name epitomizes traits that contribute to their impact. First, they have a strong emphasis on science-based policies and programs. The name 350.org refers to the goal of reducing carbon emissions from its current 392 parts per million to a more sustainable level of 350. They are also an incredibly tech-savvy organization. Their use of technology has helped them organize a very wide base of supporters; tell compelling stories through video and photos; and usher in more young people to the movement. Their direct action and organizing work is impressive and has helped publicize the movement, as well as bring about tangible victories. The organization's most notable impact to date was their role in temporarily halting the Keystone XL pipeline. They supported the collective efforts on this project through large-scale organizing and protests.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

350.org is consistently praised for its phenomenal communication skills. They use technology well, and more importantly, they use it to truly connect to people. Their language makes the science of climate change accessible and their calls to action compelling. The head of the organization, Bill McKibben, has been an outspoken champion for the cause. 350.org has a well-defined vision, and they’re great at developing the right strategies to get there. The organization is staffed and led by driven young people with a strong stake in the future. This may contribute to their non-traditional world-view, which is not constrained by politics.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

In the past, 350.org has been an expressly non-political organization. They have focused on developing as an organizing body rather than a political one. While this is an asset in many ways, it may be limiting the organization's effectiveness. Many experts point out that 350.org needs to organize around specific wins, which most often are policy solutions. Without moving toward goals like these, they run the risk of their constituents loosing interest. Additionally, this distance from policy and politics has sometimes made their work not grounded in political realities. 350.org could improve their outreach and communications both to increase visibility, and to work on attracting more newcomers to the movement. Experts have suggested various ways to improve their strategies, which include integrating natural resources in their agenda, and verifying their organizing practices. 350.org could also clarify its organizational focus, as they appear inconsistent at times.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

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Foundation Professionals (F)
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Researchers and Faculty (R)
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Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
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Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Powerful Direct Action

N
350.org is undertaking one of the most critical tasks necessary for success in addressing climate change, which is to directly engage the public in expressing support for action at the grassroots level. Last year organizational work by 350.org was essential to the campaign to convince the Obama administration to defer approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from Canada. Now they are working with communities threatened by natural gas development to prevent potentially destructive extraction (known as fracking) to proceed. Taking the message about climate change to the local level and showing people what is at stake and what they can do about it, is crucial.
N
No other group has been as compelling as 350.org in engaging people in the climate change fight. Their leadership on the Keystone XL issue brought climate to the public eye in a very tangible way, and helped mobilize thousands of people.
N
The clearly visible grassroots projects they have had and continue to put on, including their days of action, moving planet, and campaigns to stop the Keystone pipeline. They use social media really well, inspiring people by showing that this is a global movement.
N
They have a strong history of effective direct action. More so than simple policy and media outreach, their tangible results with demonstrations and direct action is something that makes a definitive impact.
O
Bill McKibben is putting climate into words for people and helping them envision ways that the problem can be addressed at an international, people-to-people level. He is an awesome communicator and uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions with volunteer organizers all over the globe. Their simple and heartfelt actions are visual and meaningful.
N
350.org makes an impact through science-based work, mobilization, and creative actions.
N
When 350.org pivoted away from largely symbolic, feel-good, global actions, to protests and civil disobedience, they proved their effectiveness. The large grassroots infrastructure of young people that it has created over the years finally found a powerful outlet when it helped to organize the protests at the White House over the Keystone XL pipeline -- it led to initial rejection of the permit for the pipeline.

Science-Based Solutions

N
350.org has helped to galvanize a real international grassroots movement for science-based action on climate change, and has established communication networks that will likely prove critical as grassroots pressure for action increases.
R
350.org is a grassroots organization and social movement focused on reducing carbon emissions to achieve a stable CO2 concentration no greater than 350 ppm (presently 392 ppm and growing). This goal is scientifically well-founded as necessary to maintain climate stability and avoid de-stabilizing climate feedback that has become much more likely as CO2 concentrations continue to increase.
N
They are elevating the debate around the actual goal of the climate movement. A CO2 level of 350 parts per million is what we want, and they are organizing people around that. They are creating opportunities for the true believers to engage.

Keystone Pipeline

N
350.org has played a catalyzing role in the grassroots movement against fossil fuels and climate change. Their entry into the campaign to stop the Keystone XL was critical, strategic, and indispensable. They are clearly doing similar things now with the grassroots activity against fracking in the U.S., and with the campaign to end fossil fuel subsidies.
F
350.org has had a huge impact on calling attention to the threats from the Keystone Pipeline.
N
They mobilized action to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. They make climate visible in creative ways
N
They organized protests around the Keystone pipeline.
O
350.org has created a grassroots campaign to raise awareness of the risks associated with climate change, and influence policy decisions, such as the further review of the Keystone XL pipeline.
N
350.org's campaign to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline had an impact not only in substance - persuading the Obama Administration to delay a decision on granting a permit to TransCanada (a major blow to the oil industry that is used to winning every battle) - but also generated tremendous media coverage about how global warming pollution is caused by burning fossil fuels. It helped build a "climate movement" - some have described it as a "Montgomery Bus Boycott" moment.
N
This organization has organized world-wide actions to increase awareness about the climate crisis. They are bringing more attention to the climate issue than any other organization. They played a primary role in influencing the White House's decision to reject the Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline, which would have contributed to catastrophic climate impacts.
N
They are responsible for the tremendous expansion of direct, community-based engagement in climate advocacy. 350.org has inspired mobilization that, for now, has derailed the Keystone pipeline. Their positive, plucky, agile organizing style and technique has helped to move the public, attract media attention, and also add energy and power to the work of more conventional groups.
O
350.org played a critical role in temporarily halting the Keystone pipeline - a key artery for opening up tar sands in Canada. 350.org provides vision, leadership, and an energized grassroots network in the U.S. and globally.

Inspiring Young People

F
350.org engages young people in creative actions that help make climate change understandable and meaningful. 350.org has catapulted highly scientific information into the realm of every day understanding. The organization works with cutting edge social media to tap into the zeitgeist of cultural expression across the globe. 350.org captures the enthusiasm and concern of young people, and translates that into a coordinated movement to address climate change.
F
One of my major concerns is how the movement to address climate change can better connect with the upcoming generation of citizens, advocates, and activists. Whenever I have the opportunity, I ask "young people" which organizations are the best at speaking to them on climate issues. 350.org is frequently cited.
N
While their impact may have waned a bit in the past couple of years (as have all groups trying to impact climate policy in the U.S.), they remain the most active and effective group mobilizing activists across the country, and to some degree the world. More so than any other group, they have mobilized a younger generation (college students and others) to become climate aware and active. This is manifest in their national days of action, as well as in turning Keystone into a major issue.
N
350.org is raising awareness, mobilizing youth, and connecting emission reduction with climate response and adaptation.

Large-Scale Organizing

N
They have successful, national and international, creative campaigns that keep the climate change issue in the public eye and pressure on political leaders.
N
350.org is generating public awareness of climate change around the globe, creating public excitement, and taking action.
N
They mobilize large numbers of people globally to take strong action.
N
They facilitate a very large scale outreach, and mobilization of people and communities not previously engaged in climate change issues.
N
They have the ability to inspire and organize on a global, national, and local scale, and achieve remarkable results at all levels.
N
They make climate visible in creative ways.
N
They reach the public more than any other to raise awareness of the issues, globally as well as in the U.S.A. I hope they keep it up!

Savvy Use of Social Media

N
350.org has done the most of any national organization to raise public awareness of the impact of climate change. Their recent May 5, Climate Impacts Day, was designed to bring international attention to climate change. This event really highlighted, with photos and videos, the impact of climate change around the world.
O
They have the ability to engage the younger generation, and are especially good at using social media.
N
Since it's inception, 350.org has been effective at developing action-oriented campaigns, including Step it Up in 2007, Keystone XL, and Moving Planet. They use social media and shared photos effectively to engage folks all over the globe in making timely statements about some aspect of climate change policy. Its name, in and of itself, is meaningful and impactful.
N
This organization works very hard to have a positive impact. I think their internet communications are excellent and they probably have some impact at international conferences.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

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Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Charismatic Leader

N
The head of the organization, Bill McKibben, is brilliant and extremely inspirational. They are also building an extensive on-the-ground network of activists.
N
Bill McKibben in an outspoken and progressive leader who has courage to go against the system.
N
350.org's founder, Bill McKibben, is a visionary who understands how to communicate the urgency of the climate crisis in a way that is understandable to the American media, and is willing to challenge the fossil fuel industry directly. Their staff members have used social media very effectively to build the number of 350.org supporters.
N
They have a high profile leader and global reach.
N
They have a charismatic leader and effective use of social media.
O
350.org's founder, Bill McKibben, has an elegant and visionary capacity to write and inspire people to take action. 350.org is global and has one of the best networks on the planet. Bill McKibben is the sector's greatest scribe on the climate issue. His decision to call people to action on the Keystone pipeline, including urging leaders to commit civil disobedience, was key to activating the movement in the aftermath of the terrible climate fight on Capitol Hill. The organization has a smart and nimble staff. 350 is perhaps the moral backbone of the movement at the moment, and I think many people have been deeply inspired by Bill, May, Jamie, and the entire team. Huge thanks to 350!
N
Their strength is leadership and marketing. On leadership, Bill McKibbon, is an expert in the field. He raised the specter of global warming with the first popular book on the issue, and continues to be an earnest and dogged leader of grassroots action to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. On marketing, 350.org has been particularly effective at using social media and the web, in general, to provide a forum for distributed efforts to share and experience their collective impact. It is a very empowering approach.
N
Bill McKibben is a tireless campaigner, communicator, and motivator. Other staff, like Jamie Henn and May Boeve, are also very effective and committed young professionals with a sophisticated understanding of the issues and how to move them.

Dedicated Staff

N
The strengths of 350.org include the passion, dedication, and energy of its staff, and a willingness to reach out and work with many different individuals and organizations.

Dynamic Communication Skills

N
They have great communications and a strong visionary leader.
N
Their marketing, web presence, and grassroots field organizing are all strengths.
N
Their strength is increasing action on climate change by motivating individuals. They are turning climate change science into understandable language that makes people care.
N
They do excellent online organizing, especially with young people.
N
They have a strong ability to use the internet to generate enthusiasm and action.
O
350.org is great at creating "event-based" activism across the globe. They also use visuals, such as photos and videos, very effectively to communicate and bring together the global community.
R
350's approach is education and activism. Their latest initiative is aimed at ending governmental fossil fuel subsidies. Their reach is world-wide, and they make effective use of social media tools on the internet. Their website is available in multiple languages, including Arabic. The organization has a good vibe and is clearly geared toward engaging the younger generation.
N
They effectively use social media and organizing methods. They have effectively communicated the impacts of climate change to ordinary citizens (i.e., effective messaging).
N
They have strong communication.
O
They have strong international communications, messaging, and visual communications. They are leading with science in straightforward ways and showing that people can organize and do meaningful things with all their strengths.
F
350.org communicates a compelling movement with a sense of urgency, drawing on charismatic spokespeople. The organization also makes good use of technology.
N
They have a terrific communications team that sends out concise and compelling email messages with strong calls to action. 350.org also has a strong national network of engaged activists all around the country (and the world). They also did a terrific job of publicizing the Keystone XL pipeline and galvanized public opinion last fall with the civil disobedience and arrests of high profile individuals.
O
Their strength is their use of social media and messaging that people can understand

Young Leaders

F
350.org is operated by young people who have a stake in the future health of the planet. They bring a passion and new brand of organizing and leadership to the environmental movement. They are working globally and have engaged diplomats, the media, and thousands of youth to creatively advocate for better policies to address climate change.
N
This organization's strengths are their agility, youth leadership, creativity, and web-based actions.
N
The organization has strong moral leadership from Executive Director, Bill McKibben. They also have a total willingness to empower and support young leaders who have demonstrated courage and a high-capacity for accomplishment.

Strong Execution of Vision

N
They have a strong vision and leadership. They've tackled some important climate change issues with foresight. They've coupled this foresight with incredible leadership and organization to pull it off.
N
The organization is very quick on its feet. They are opportunistic and have a positive leadership style with the ability to take risks, learn from mistakes, and rapidly improve. They have a learning culture. They also have an extraordinarily strong board and staff leadership.
N
This organization's strength is their place-based approach. They are good at providing opportunities for folks to engage in their communities. The 10/10/10 day of action was brilliant. They are scrappy. They are tapping into the energy of the folks who are truly committed to addressing climate change. They have harnessed the vision and energy of some of our most committed environmental leaders.
O
Their strengths are grassroots involvement and clarity of vision.

Refreshing Perspective

N
One of their strengths is a radical innocence. Since they do not have a D.C.-centric world-view, they are not constrained by the politics of what is viewed as possible, and instead continue to advocate for what is necessary. Related, they are an organization that is very diverse in age and, outside the U.S., in race and culture.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

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Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Develop Political Sensibility

N
Because the organization does not try to work directly through the political system, its actions are not always grounded in political reality. Also, the organization is capable of having significant impact on particular issues, but it is not clear whether those actions add up to a grand strategy.
N
350.org could benefit from increasing policy knowledge, though I appreciate the fact that their primary mission is organizing, not policy.
N
They could improve by engaging more around policy and strategy, i.e. giving some substance rather than just rhetoric. Although this has been improving.
N
I'm not sure how their work swings votes.

Improve Collaboration

N
They are young, and it shows sometimes. They need to do a better job of listening to activists, particularly local community activists, on the ground. In a similar vein, they are not always great about coalition organizing - although they are clearly learning.
F
350.org could make stronger links with like-minded organizations, helping to build more robust days of action and get more visibility for its work.
N
They should increase advocacy for practical policy solutions and reach out more effectively to the nonprofit environmental network when there is an action.

Improve Outreach & Communication

N
They need to get their facts straight and not use statistics that are questionable or from questionable sources. They also seem to have too many campaigns; streamlining would be helpful.
N
I'm not sure they are reaching the folks who are not already concerned. They should explore how they can broaden the coalition and make climate change everyone's concern, not just environmentalists. Also, I'm not sure how their work swings votes.
N
Right now, they are limited to their base and not capable of reaching out to a broader audience.
N
They should work to reach a broader audience.
R
It would help to see the breakdown of financial support and expenditures on their website.
N
Perhaps they could benefit from more media visibility.
N
Unfortunately, the general public is unlikely to be familiar with their work or messages. They need to broaden their platform and scope by increasing their visibility.
O
They need to keep building that movement feeling.

Organize toward Tangible Wins

N
As it moves from a campaign to an organization, 350.org needs to coordinate with other NGOs working in the climate movement on legislative priorities. It is not enough to be against one pipeline. They need to define what 350.org stands for in terms of a clean energy policy.
N
They can work on translating the actions of a large number of people into concrete changes in policy; not an easy task.

Organize Around Tangible Wins

F
They have been successful in raising awareness and building a support base, but there is a sense that they have not delivered any tangible results on climate. The young people they are attracting are getting impatient. 350.org connects to the base of the movement, but could do more to foster effective collaboration with groups that motivate non-traditional allies.
N
While they are terrific at raising awareness of the problem, more attention needs to go to the solutions. If they could turn their national audience into a lobbying force for legislation at the state level, where we may have a greater chance of making a difference than with the current Congress, it might be successful.
O
They need to have more involvement in on-the-ground projects.
N
They need to find new things to do with their networks; days of action get old quickly and diminish in impact and enthusiasm. They need to use their networks and grassroots strength to influence more specific climate policy decisions; such as, specific bills in Congress or administrative actions related to the Clean Air Act. They did this effectively with Keystone, but not so much with other climate-related actions.
N
They can improve by sustaining and building their organizing network over time. They would also improve by connecting field work in climate campaigns to hands-on engagement in solutions.
N
I would like to see slightly more focus on getting their base involved in big campaigns around solutions to climate crisis. Currently, they have a little too much focus on the big defensive fights; which is important because it helps engage people. But, we won't win the defensive fights until there is strong political support. That energy needs to pivot to building public and stakeholder support for the solutions.

Refine Strategy

N
They could improve by integrating ecosystems and natural resources into their agenda.
O
The organization is still not structured very well. A lot of people have problems with its lack of true democratic leadership. Also, the group focuses too much on one-time media events and doesn't really build long-term political power at the grassroots level. The group has a reputation for doing too many photographic events, and their tactics are getting a bit stale. They are too online and not sufficiently rooted in communities. I think they need to find ways of genuinely creating an online and offline platform that lets the public co-create with them in deeper and more exciting ways. They need to make it easier for people to engage at multiple levels.
N
Their approach has primarily been to identify a campaign and promote it through a similar approach, which is both a strength and a weakness. A weakness because attention spans are short. I would suggest they change it up a bit. Try a few different approaches. The Keystone sit-ins were a good example of this. Bill McKibben has stepped into the background a bit, but it is important to have more of his presence too.
F
Their philosophy of encouraging a scattershot approach to tactics and strategy means that the organization is working on some of everything, but without a clear focus.

Sharpen Focus

N
Since the Keystone protests, their mission has not been as clear. More consistency of purpose and presence would enhance the effectiveness of the group.
N
Some of their campaigns have not had focus and clarity compared to the more successful ones.


Leadership

350-org
May Boeve and Bill McKibben
Co-Founders
May Boeve is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of 350.org, an international climate change campaign. On October 24, 2009, 350.org coordinated the most widespread day of political action in history, with more than 5,200 events in 181 countries all conveying the message: 350, the safe level of CO2 in the atmosphere. Previously, May co-founded and helped lead the Step It Up 2007 campaign, which helped to change the debate about global warming policy in the United States by combining the efforts of over 200 partner organizations. May was the recipient of the Brower Youth Award in 2006 and is the co-author of Fight Global Warming Now. She lives in Brooklyn.

Bill McKibben, Co-founder and President of 350.org, is a well known environmental author and activist.When he's not busy organizing, Bill is an active writer on the climate crisis and other environmental issues. His 1989 book The End of Nature was the first book to warn the general public about the threat of global warming. Bill is a frequent contributor to various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, and Outside. He is also a board member and contributor to Grist Magazine. He has been awarded Guggenheim and Lyndhurst Fellowships, and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. He is currently a Scholar in Residence at Middlebury College and lives in Ripton, Vermont with his wife, author Sue Halpern, and daughter Sophie.

Bill's been leading the fight against global warming for 20 years, since he wrote the first book for a general audience on the subject, The End of Nature in 1989. But, let's face it, taking on the climate crisis is going to take more than a few good books: it's going to take a movement."

From the Nonprofit



Aug 28, 2012
This past year, we set our sights on dramatically expanding our capacity for organizing and network development around the world. We scaled up a team of field organizers in key U.S. states who are building autonomous local teams, as well as working on our fossil fuel subsidies campaigns and days of action. We have added further capacity to our Global Campaigns Team, which now spans every continent.  Our volunteer networks have been growing in activity level and we’ve developed better tools to support them. We also made it our goal to re-invigorate the US climate movement. It was our belief that more public grassroots mobilization was needed, and we settled on the little-known, climate-devastating Keystone XL pipeline as our target. We believe we achieved that goal with flying colors. Knowing that we can’t fight climate change pipeline by pipeline, we have been building a campaign to more directly addresses the political power of the fossil fuel industry, and have focused on the issue of ending fossil fuel subsidies. We’ve started an online petition, and we have been getting some press and framing the issue through an op-ed like this one in the LA Times. We launched this campaign with a powerful rally on Capitol Hill on May 10th that brought together environmental groups, politically moderate tax groups like Taxpayers for Common Sense, Congressman Keith Ellison, Senator Bernie Sanders, Bill McKibben, and many more. The rally showed support for a “marker” bill we’ve collaborated on to reduce fossil fuel subsidies. The bill, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ellison in the House, would strip $113 billion in subsidies from coal, gas, and oil companies over the next decade. On May 5th, we held another global day of action called Climate Impacts Day to “connect the dots” between climate change and extreme weather. This brought attention to the people and places who have been affected by extreme weather and raise awareness that climate change is a clear and present danger. We used the images and stories we collected on Climate Impacts Day to show public support for climate change at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June 2012. We continue to connect the dots between extreme weather and the climate crisis in media stories and on our website. The unfortunate heat and drought and floods that have been devastating many communities in the US and abroad provides additional opportunity for us to convey that message and try to convince climate deniers. Public attitudes about global warming are finally beginning to shift, partly due to these weather events, as this Yale poll shows. Now we are focused on an effort that builds on all these areas, and which was profiled in a recent Rolling Stone cover story. We are also building towards an international youth convening in the Spring of 2013. For more information, email organizers@350.org.


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