Frequently Asked Questions
How do you decide which organisations to issue grants to?
We have selected the global organisations that we believe offer donors the best possible value for money, in terms of impact per dollar. When donating to the Net-Zero Fund, you can choose to either target a specific recipient from the list above, or make a general donation (to be allocated to multiple organisations).
Why do you include international organisations in the fund recipients?
We know charity starts at home. But climate change is a global problem and requires global solutions. Developed nations created the climate crisis, and to solve it we need to provide developing countries with an alternative to following in our footprints.
Will my donation really make any difference to climate change?
Yes! Our goal with the Net-Zero Fund is to maximize the impact of every single dollar donated, by supporting a diversified set of organisations that we believe have the greatest potential to make a real difference.
What does tax have to do with donations?
In New Zealand, donations to registered charities usually qualify as being tax-deductible. This means that if you are an NZ tax resident you can deduct the total amount you donated through the year from your taxable income when completing your annual tax return, to receive either a tax rebate (for PAYE employees) or a tax bill reduction (if you are self-employed). You will receive up to 33c back from the government for each $1 donated (depending on your tax rate).
Is this the same as carbon offsetting?
No, the Net-Zero Fund is not an offset scheme, and we do not try to equate dollar donations to tons of CO2. But all the organisations we support are on a mission to reduce carbon emissions, either in the short term (e.g. by avoiding deforestation) or long term (e.g. by persuading governments to fund clean energy R&D). And some of our biggest grant recipients are supported by evidence that suggests they can avert emissions for as little as $1 USD per ton of CO2 (equivalent).
Is Carbon Critical a registered charity?
No, Carbon Critical is not a charity and does not process or handle donations. The Net-Zero Fund is a Carbon Critical initiative but is administered by our friends at The Gift Trust, which is an NZ registered charity.
Can I get a receipt for my donation?
Yes, the The Gift Trust issues receipts for all donations that NZ residents / citizens can use to claim a tax-credit in their annual tax return.
Does Carbon Critical take a management fee?
No, Carbon Critical does not receive any commissions, fees or other payments for providing the Net-Zero Fund. We freely volunteer our time to oversee the fund, communicate with donors and recipient organisations, and coordinate operations with The Gift Trust.
How much of my donation will reach the supported organisations?
Carbon Critical does not charge any fees. The Gift Trust makes some small deductions from each donation to cover their operational costs as an NZ registered charity, before passing the balance on to the recipient organisations:
- A 2% admin fee is charged to help cover costs for processing payments, issuing tax receipts to donors, conducting due diligence, maintaining the web portal, accounting, reporting, etc.
- Donations made by credit card are subject to additional charges that vary by card issuer, but are typically about 2.5% of the donation amount. Bank transfers do not carry any fees and are the preferred option for all donations.
- Grant payments to international charities incur additional charges such as foreign exchange / bank fees and annual due diligence fees. These costs total to about 1% of donations.
So for new donations made by bank transfer, approximately 97% of the donated amount will reach our supported organisations.
How can I check that my donation was correctly distributed?
For transparency, we provide all donors and recipients with access to a spreadsheet that shows all donations received, and all grants issued, by the Net-Zero Fund. This allows everyone involved to check that funds have been received and allocated correctly and with minimal turnaround times. Donors can choose whether they wish to be named in this spreadsheet, or remain anonymous.
I don’t live in New Zealand – can I still donate?
Yes, anyone can donate to the Net-Zero Fund, but non-residents might not be able to claim a tax-credit (depending on local tax law).
I know a good charity – can you add it to the Net-Zero Fund?
We are always on the look-out for new organisations that are ‘punching above their weight’ in the fight against climate change. Get in touch and tell us about the group you would like to support and we will check to see if it qualifies to be included in the Net-Zero Fund.