Monkey See, Monkey Do

Set The Right Example By Giving To These Nonprofits This Holiday Season

Charity: water’s Scott Harrison says he learned empathy, compassion and generosity from his own father, and that the holidays are the perfect time to instill those values in your own kids. Set an example by giving in their name to one of these 7 organizations, which are considered category leaders in innovation and effectiveness by nonprofit experts. It will come back to you 10-fold the first time your son or daughter asks to forgo another set of Legos in favor of a charitable donation at the holidays. Because the only thing more gratifying than helping those in need is raising a kid who makes you look good by helping those in need

DonorsChoose.org

Category: Education

What They Do: Crowdfunding for public school teachers in underfunded classrooms. It’s like Kickstarter, only instead of injection molded plastics your money goes to educationally injecting disadvantaged youth.

Why It Matters: The National School Supply And Equipment Association estimates that public school teachers average $2,000 in out-of-pocket expenditures each year to properly supply their own classrooms. And they mostly get paid crap to begin with.

GuideStar Charity Rating: 4 stars

Donate Here

Defy Ventures

Category: Justice

What They Do: Entrepreneurial and executive mentorship for ex-convicts, as well as an incubator that funds and develops business models. It’s like The Apprentice if the founder was an accomplished venture capitalist and not a narcissistic blowhard.

Why It Matters: Sixty percent of ex-convicts remain unemployed a year after their release from prison, which creates persistent recidivism rates for a massive, overlooked potential talent pool – seriously, didn’t you see The Wire?

GuideStar Charity Rating: Not yet rated

Donate Here

The Xerces Society

Category: Environment

What They Do: Wildlife conservation through invertebrate protection – everything from bees to mussels to butterflies. Think of it as penance for every ant you ever stepped on.

Why It Matters: Invertebrates constitute the building blocks of huge swaths of our biosphere (through plant pollination, coral reef building etc.); if they go, everything else goes. Also, mussels are delicious.

GuideStar Charity Rating: 5 stars

Donate Here

The Mission Continues

Category: Military Veterans

What They Do: Aid veterans returning from wars in acclimating to civilian life by pairing them with local nonprofits in need of their specific military training. It’s like every movie or TV show that ever celebrated military service, only it actually serves soldiers in return.

Why It Matters: At least 2.5 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan report struggling to apply their military skills in civilian life. Meanwhile, many nonprofits could use the kind of resourcefulness that’s developed when deadlines get met at gunpoint.

GuideStar Charity Rating: 5 stars

Donate Here

Made In A Free WorldCategory: Slavery And Economic Exploitation

What They Do: Consumer engagement, production consulting and on-the-ground projects in Africa and India, with the goal of removing slavery from the global supply chain. It’s like the scandal around Nike sweatshops in the 90s, only persistent and effective.

Why It Matters: There are an estimated 27 men, women and children effectively enslaved worldwide, producing everything from the clothing in U.S. retail stores to the precious metals in smartphones and computers. Whether you know it or not, slaves are working for you.

GuideStar Charity Rating: Not yet rated

Donate Here

A Home Within

Category: Foster Youth

What They Do: Pair foster youth with therapists, who provide open-ended treatment, pro-bono, through a network of 52 chapters around the country. It’s like if every foster kid had their own Dr. Phil, only Dr. Phil is focused on them and not his TV ratings.

Why It Matters: There are nearly a half-million foster kids in the U.S., and 50 percent of them suffer from psychiatric disorders triggered by abuse and neglect in early life.

GuideStar Charity Rating: 5 stars

Donate Here

FareStart

Category: Homelessness And Poverty

What They Do: Train and place homeless and economically disadvantaged people in food service jobs in and around Seattle, WA. So, basically, if you live in or visit the area, they’re feeding you.

Why It Matters: There are no shortage of national organizations attempting to give the homeless a financial leg up, but the problem is proven to be most effectively handled at the local level. FareStart is among the most highly regarded regional operations in the country.

GuideStar Charity Rating: 5 stars

Donate Here

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