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Green New Deal Network: Deep Dive

This report was last updated in November 2021.

2021-11 GNDN Deep Dive
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Executive Summary

In this document, we provide a descriptive overview of the Green New Deal Network’s (GNDN) activities and describe a quantitative cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) model that assesses the organization’s marginal impact. We found that overall, GNDN is strong in both coalition-building and policy development. Combined, these two activities influence discourse over what is politically possible and apply pressure onto elected officials to pass more progressive legislation. We are also under the impression that GNDN’s internal organization is fairly strong.

According to our simple CEA model, GNDN is cost-effective in reducing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Under our Realistic scenario, GNDN removes CO2-equivalent at a cost of about $0.73 per ton, which suggests that it is among the most effective climate change organizations. Notably, our CEA model does not capture GNDN’s full potential because the model is not optimized for GNDN’s long-term goal of changing the narrative around climate and improving the likelihood of progressive bills being passed in the future. We also believe that as a new organization, GNDN has the potential to improve its cost-effectiveness over time.

Overall, we believe that GNDN is a promising organization that could help improve the likelihood of bold climate policies being passed. However, we do not include GNDN among our list of top organizations because it does not actively seek donations and there is considerable uncertainty on its impact going forward. Although GNDN is not among our top organizations, we recommend GNDN for the following cases:

  • Institutional donors – Since GNDN is not set up to receive small retail donations, we recommend contributions to GNDN for institutional donors who would like to contribute a substantial amount of money (roughly on the order of $20,000 or more). GNDN may also be of particular interest to potential donors who are committed to climate, economic, and racial justice and believe in effecting change through grassroots efforts.

  • Volunteers – For individuals who are able to donate time rather than money, we tentatively recommend volunteering for one of GNDN’s coalition members, all of which rely on grassroots support. We have not vetted each of GNDN’s coalition members and cannot recommend which provide the best volunteer opportunities. However, we believe that progressive activism is likely an effective lever for addressing climate change, and the GNDN coalition organizations provide a synced ecosystem to advocate for policy change from many different angles.


The Green New Deal Network (GNDN) is a left-progressive organization that advocates for bold climate change policies by working both within and outside political structures (e.g., an inside and outside game). For example, it develops progressive policies and lobbies for them on the Hill while also mobilizing grassroots efforts. At a high-level, its main tactics include coalition-building and changing the narrative around climate change.

GNDN’s coalition members include labor, environmental, and racial justice organizations. GNDN also aims for strong connectivity with state-based policy groups. It currently has formalized partnerships in 22 states across dozens of organizations and would like to build out to a 50-state program. GNDN coordinates its national and state coalition members to ensure that their strategies are aligned and that they are well-positioned to support one another. GNDN is also a major re-granter to other organizations.

Giving Green’s research

We researched GNDN by reviewing publicly available information on GNDN, speaking with representatives from the organization, speaking with multiple experts on decarbonization and US policy, and conducting a CEA based on data that we found. Publicly available information on GNDN included its website and various policy reports as well as media coverage of the organization.

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