28 Amazing Non-Profits You'll Want To Donate To This Holiday Season
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday have come and gone, and though we may find ourselves in the middle of holiday fun-times, there is no better moment than now to embrace the spirit of giving with a donation to a non-profit. A gift right now still counts as a 2017 tax write-off for the giver, and many organizations ending their fiscal year rely on this well-timed generosity to close the gaps on important projects, and to begin 2018 on a healthy note.
Making a donation is usually a simple proposition - but deciding where to make a donation might seem overwhelming. I find it helps to break down the choices by considering your motivation:
Go BIG - Global Initiatives
Sometimes it’s particularly satisfying to throw some funds in the direction of ambitiously large initiatives. FINCA, Rotary International, Partners in Health, and the Ocean Futures Society are a few of our favorites. I mean who doesn’t want to end Polio and enjoy a clean ocean? Merry Christmas.
Enhance Your Own Quality of Life
Give to the arts, a museum, or a beloved park or nature sanctuary and feel a special kind of cozy. These institutions are a huge part of our culture, and enjoying them links us and gives us a sense of place and identity. National Museum of Mexican Fine Art , Alliance for the Great Lakes, Hubbard Street Dance, International Contemporary Ensemble, and Teatro Vista are just a handful of diverse places making Chicago a world-class city.
Spread the Spirit of the Season
Bring food, toys, clothes and cheer to those who may be in a tough spot and are unable to do this for themselves. Contribute to charities that meet basic needs and support well being. Food banks, churches, toy drives, and homeless shelters are some of the most direct ways to make an immediate impact. Places like Casa Central, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, United Way or Toys for Tots are established successful options.
Chances are there’s a lot going on in your very own community. From underfunded after-school programs to those in your area advocating for affordable housing - it feels good to support the good actions of neighbors and colleagues who are working hard to make your shared little corner of the world a better place. Inquire with friends and family to find the best options. The Woolgathering Project, The Center for Changing Lives, Inspiration Corporation, Girls on the Run, and My Block My Hood My City all come highly recommended.
Put Your Social Conscious to Good Use
Worried about the state of women or refugees in the world? Anxious about natural disasters or pollution? Losing sleep over starving children, access to clean water or infectious disease? International Rescue Committee, Foundation for Puerto Rico, Vera Institute of Justice, Girls Inc, RVA, and ACLU are just a few places where your funds can act to amplify your voice.
Celebrate the Life of a Loved One
This time of year can be difficult for those of us who’ve experienced the recent loss of a friend or family member. A donation to a research organization or hospital might help relieve the sadness or at least offer a positive outlet for dealing with grief. Alternatively, consider supporting a cause or activity beloved by the individual when they were alive. Gilda’s Club, Mayo Clinic, Hospice, Make a Wish Foundation, and Shriners Children's Hospital.
Finally, tools like Guidestar or Give Well are super helpful when trying to learn about charities. Don’t hesitate to do a little extra research if the spirit moves you - you might discover a matching gift drive and double your impact!