The need to ensure that rising investment in nature-based climate solutions delivers expected outcomes hinges on incorporating current and future climate into design and implementation. Technical guidelines and formal planning processes serve a purpose in ensuring the quality of climate-informed strategies for local projects. The inherent complexity, cost, and time required to use these tools, however, can make them inaccessible or daunting. Taking lessons learned from a decade of funding over 100 adaptation initiatives in conservation—some of which also provide mitigation benefits—we describe a simple rapid assessment framework for use by practitioners and funders. This framework, which we refer to as the 5Ws (what, when, where, why, and who) of climate-informed action, serves as a guide to make projects more robust to future climate.