It’s National Non-Profit Day, so I wanted to recommend some excellent charities I love that can always use some support! While for the most part, I’m a bigger fan of donating time or goods, everyone needs money at some point, and of course you want to make sure the money is being used for the actual cause, not for the CEO’s private jet. I’ve vetted all of these excellent charities to verify that most of the money is going into their programs and not into someone’s pocket.
Best Friends Animal Society
This is probably my favorite charity and has been since I was a kid. Best Friends is dedicated to helping animals find good, loving homes, rehabilitating animals from poor situations (remember the Michael Vick dogs?), and ending kill shelters across the country. They work with cities to expand Trap/Neuter/Release programs to reduce the number of unwanted pets, and they even have a conference on running an animal rescue, so that others can do so in their own areas. They spend 73 cents of every dollar on their programs and initiatives, which is normally low for my tastes, but only 8 cents is spent on administration – no private jets here! And the work they do is so amazing, I think it’s still a good value.
As you know, M has Parkinson’s disease, and when she was first diagnosed and I was trying to learn everything I could, the Parkinson’s Foundation was an AMAZING resource. I spent hours, days scouring their site – the articles, the links, the forums – and it helped in so many different ways. That very same year, we began doing the charity walk. 77 cents of every dollar goes to their programs, with only 6 cents to administrative costs, so they are keeping an eye on overhead and trying to make sure the money goes where it is most needed, which I greatly appreciate.
Pasture Pals Equine Rescue
So PPER is pretty small but they are an amazing organization. They take in unwanted horses and donkeys (and cows and pigs and goats…but those are exceptions) and rehabilitate them to find them new homes. 100% of all donations go to the animals, so you never have to worry that your money is being used for anything else. I’ve volunteered with them and can personally vouch for how determined the founder, Alex, is to help the animals as much as she possibly can.
March For Our Lives
I don’t ever want to hear how millenials or Gen-Z are apathetic or lazy again. What these kids from Parkland are doing is nothing short of amazing. A bunch of teenagers were motivated by a school shooting to enact actual legal change, and years later, they show no signs of slowing down. They are the driving force behind some stricter gun control laws, and they’ve worked hard to advocate for a number of different communities. However, all the work they do – supporting victims of gun violence and campaigning in various states or D.C. takes money, so consider sending some their way. I’m positive they’ll make the most of it.
Joyful Heart Foundation
1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men are victims of sexual assault. Those numbers suck. The Joyful Heart Foundation, founded by Mariska Hargitay, works to support assault victims through their healing, and also change the dialogue and society’s outdated and cruel views on sexual violence and domestic abuse. They educate, they provide resources, and they are part of the initiative to get rape kits off the shelf and processed. 95 cents on the dollar goes to these programs, and no one with any sense or heart can deny the cause is valid.
If you can spare something, please donate to these excellent charities – these causes rely on the kindness of others to change the world. If you can’t donate money, consider donating time!