My pal Anne is counting down to Christmas by highlighting nonprofits and charitable causes that you can help – small or large donations. I thought that was brilliant! So I’m appropriating it.
Five Nonprofits To Give To This Holiday Season
5. Third Wave Fund – formerly known as Third Wave Foundation. When I worked in nonprofit as a fundraiser, the Third Wave Foundation was the only foundation I knew that was led by people under 35. As a foundation, it gave grants out to groups that worked to empower women, LGBTQ, gender nonconforming young people under age 30. It’s now evolved to become the Third Wave Fund, now focused on supporting gender justice, funding projects led by young people that support marginalized communities.
4. Literacy for Incarcerated Teens (LIT) – This is based in New York and it’s the only one of its kind. LIT’s mission is to end illiteracy among incarcerated youth in New York, providing resources and enrichment. (I think the power of literacy empowers youth as well.) I wish there was one for every state. There needs to be one for every state.
I’ve always loved reading. It afforded me a way to escape into different worlds and “meet” new people. Reading has also allowed me to LEARN about history, social justice and offered resources that have helped me become the person I am now. I f-ing love the library. I’m not saying that ending illiteracy is going to make an juvey an angel. However I know the power of reading can make an impact. On anyone. If you know of a program like this in your city or state, please let me know!
3. Women’s Foundation of California – Disclosure: I worked here. This is a statewide grantmaking foundation that provides resources and funding to nonprofit organizations that have a policy arm to them. Ie. They don’t just give grants to a charity. They look for nonprofits and programs that do some work in changing the policy landscape to decrease the need for said nonprofit. Make sense?
If you want to see the awesome things the Women’s Foundation has funded, check it out! I continue to be amazed by the work that local and regional nonprofits have done in terms of policy and moving the needle. One of my focuses is financial literacy in young people. Young people are in so much debt today, and even I am in debt, thanks to student loans. If we can work on bringing financial literacy programs to children and teens, I believe they’ll make smarter choices when it comes to money and hopefully it won’t bite them in the ass later in adulthood.
Another highlight of the Women’s Foundation is their Women’s Policy Institute. You can apply to this fellowship and learn about the legislative process and work on getting a bill passed. To date, there’ve been 23 bills passed, thanks to the WPI!
2. House of Ruth – Sorry, non-Californians. This is another California nonprofit. House of Ruth provides resources and temporary housing for women and children who seek help away from abusive partners. Namely their a-hole spouses and partners. House of Ruth also has a children’s program, outreach/prevention program, emergency shelters and counseling. Chances are you probably know of someone dealing with domestic violence, silently or publicly. See how you can help in your neck of the woods. Money isn’t the only thing you can donate. Most nonprofits like House of Ruth have wish lists for their clients and organization.
1. Center for the Pacific Asian Family (CPAF) – Similar to, but not really, House of Ruth, CPAF serves the Asian community and survivors of domestic violence. Domestic violence is not talked about much in Asian families and communities but that shit happens a lot. CPAF provides resources and temporary shelter for people who need to leave abusive environments. They have counselors who speak different languages, which is rare.
Hiring at your company? Share a job opp: http://www.nurturingchange.org/get-involved/share-a-resource
I’ve got a few other favorites but I’ll leave you with these five.
Like any good donor, you should checkout Guidestar to see if the nonprofit you’re donating to is legit.
These are my five.