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Donations 2007

I just finished my end-of-year donations; here are the organizations I'm donating to. Much of this is repeated from two years ago, but there are several updates too. New items on the list (since two years ago) are in italics.

I've finally categorized the list for ease of scanning, though the categories are somewhat arbitrary in some places. Some items are listed under multiple categories. (Note: The original version of this post listed the items in alphabetical order; I updated it twelve hours later to add categories.)

Almost all of these organizations take donations online, either by credit card or PayPal. I'll explicitly mention it when an organization doesn't take donations online.

Donations to almost all of these organizations are tax-deductible in the US.

Aid and relief

American Jewish World Service
They're "dedicated to alleviating poverty, hunger and disease among the people of the developing world regardless of race, religion or nationality [through] grants to grassroots organizations, volunteer service, advocacy and education." They came to my attention when they were helping fund underground schools for Afghan girls during the reign of the Taliban.
A Child's Right
"[C]ommitted to providing the very best in water purification technologies and clean water systems to desperate children in orphanages, street shelters, children's hospitals and schools in impoverished nations throughout the world." A family friend has volunteered with them, and I like what I've heard about them.
Direct Relief International
"[P]rovides medical assistance to improve the quality of life for people victimized by poverty, disaster, and civil unrest at home and throughout the world." I found out about them through Google's tsunami relief page in 2004, but like most of the organizations listed there, they also do good work worldwide and year-'round.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
See listing under Medical organizations.
Habitat for Humanity
They build houses for people, and require those people to help build other houses for other people. Some friends of mine don't like the fact that Habitat is a Christian organization, but that doesn't bother me. They seek "to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need." As far as I can tell, they don't proselytize.
One Laptop Per Child
See listing under Kids.
American Red Cross
Provides services including "domestic disaster relief [...;] community services that help the needy; support and comfort for military members and their families; the collection, processing and distribution of lifesaving blood and blood products; educational programs that promote health and safety; and international relief and development programs." And talking with Kam about her volunteer work with them has made me like them more--among other things, it turns out that 97 percent of their workforce consists of volunteers.
Sarvodaya
This is the organization that Arthur C. Clarke recommended supporting in Sri Lanka after the tsunami. They've been around for nearly 50 years. They have an American branch, Sarvodaya USA, that's registered as a 501(c)(3); Americans who donate to the US branch can deduct the donations.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
They give food to people who need it. There are affiliated organizations all over the US.

Art and culture

Broad Universe
"[A]n international organization with the primary goal of promoting science fiction, fantasy, and horror written by women."
Carl Brandon Society
"[D]edicated to addressing the representation of people of color in the fantastical genres such as science fiction, fantasy and horror."
Clarion West
An annual six-week speculative-fiction writing workshop; I attended long ago. Many attendees have gone on to have high-profile careers in sf.
DesiLit
"[W]orks to build support for South Asian and diaspora writers by enhancing public awareness [...], creating opportunities for new and aspiring South Asian writers [...], and developing a supportive community."
KQED public radio
It's one of the few radio stations I listen to these days, usually in the car. (Though since I don't drive much these days, I don't listen to the radio much. Still, worth supporting. I should probably also support the other public radio stations in the area, but I almost never actually listen to them.)
Speculative Literature Foundation
Their mission is to "promote literary quality in speculative fiction, by encouraging promising new writers, assisting established writers, facilitating the work of quality magazines and small presses in the genre, and developing a greater public appreciation of speculative fiction."
Strange Horizons
The online sf magazine I'm an editor for.
Talisman A Cappella's eXchange Program
They don't appear to have info about this on their website yet, nor a way to donate online, but I plan to send them a check. They're doing a project in 2008 to connect kids in Cape Town, South Africa and East Palo Alto, California, via dance and music.

Domestic civil liberties

American Civil Liberties Union
Supporting civil liberties, especially freedom of speech, in the US. Donations to the ACLU are not tax-deductible, though.
Center for Constitutional Rights
Public-interest lawyers "dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights"; they continue to work on improving the legal situation for the detainees at Guantánamo Bay, among other things.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Sort of the online/digital equivalent of the ACLU, "confront[ing] cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights." I sometimes disagree vehemently with their phrasing and approaches, but I strongly support most of the work they do.

Education and learning resources

Coyote Point Museum
A nature learning center here on the Peninsula; I'm most interested in their wildlife program. See my entry describing Kam's and my visit a couple years ago.
Exploratorium
Excellent and educational "museum of science, art, and human perception" in San Francisco. I rarely make it up there, but I maintain my membership anyway, to support their work.
Peter Hartman Fund at the Pierce College Foundation
My father taught at a community college near Tacoma, WA, called Pierce College. After his death, the college set up a fund in his name for providing math books for disadvantaged students. If you'd like to donate to it, fill out the online form and specify "Peter Hartman Fund" in the appropriate text box. (As with most of the items on this page, the Foundation is a 501(c)(3), so donations to it are tax-deductible.)
Project Vote Smart
Provides a huge amount of useful information about ballot measures and candidates.
Resource Center for Nonviolence
A Santa Cruz-based "thirty year old peace and social justice organization dedicated to promoting the principles of nonviolent social change and enhancing the quality of life and human dignity." As usual, John McCutcheon will be doing a pair of benefit concerts for them in Santa Cruz on January 18 and 19 (with the latter being a kids-and-family-focused concert).
Room to Read
See listing under Kids.
Swarthmore College
My alma mater, still providing an excellent liberal arts education.
Wikimedia Foundation
Wikipedia is the single website that I visit most often (aside from the ones run by my employer), and probably the most useful and informative site I visit regularly. I use it all the time, for all sorts of things.

Kids and young adults

A Child's Right
See listing under Aid and relief.
City Year
"[U]nites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service, giving them skills and opportunities to change the world."
One Laptop Per Child
Their mission is "[t]o provide children around the world with new opportunities to explore, experiment and express themselves." I hope to write more about them soon.
Room to Read
"[P]artners with local communities throughout the developing world to establish schools, libraries, and other educational infrastructure." Since 2000, they've helped local communities in Asia and Africa build 287 schools and 3870 libraries, among other things. Oh, and they've donated over 1.4 million books and funded nearly 3500 long-term scholarships for girls.
Talisman A Cappella's eXchange Program
See listing under Art and culture.

Medical organizations

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
"[D]elivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters, or exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries." They do good work, even if they do have wacky ideas about titles. This year, I decided not to donate to them 'til they stop requiring a title in their web form; I've been asking them to fix that for two years, and was told eight months ago that they were working on it. I could certainly donate by phone without giving a title, but I'm annoyed with them. Still, they do good work, and as soon as they fix their online donation form, I'll send them money.
Haight Ashbury Free Clinics
They've been providing "free, high-quality, demystified and comprehensive health care that is culturally sensitive, nonjudgmental and accessible to all in need" in San Francisco for 40 years now.
The Women's Community Clinic
Another San Francisco organization providing high-quality free healthcare: "free, respectful, quality care for women, by women." Came to my attention via a Jon Carroll column in 1999.

Women

Broad Universe
See listing under Art and culture.
Global Fund for Women
"[A]n international network of women and men committed to a world of equality and social justice. [They] advocate for and defend women's human rights by making grants to support women's groups around the world."
Pretty Bird Woman House
A small women's shelter on a Lakota Sioux reservation in South Dakota that recently got Federal funding. But then in October (?), thieves broke a hole in the wall and stole a bunch of the shelter's possessions, and then arsonists burned down the building. The shelter organization wants to buy another house (across from the police station) and a security system, so they're asking for donations. See also a Bitch Ph.D. entry about them and their work, a much more detailed and extensive Street Prophets entry, and a Culture Kitchen entry that has links to a bunch of other worthwhile Native American groups.
The Women's Community Clinic
See listing under Medical organizations.

Okay, I think that's all for now.

Reminder: if you do find yourself donating to nonprofits, I strongly recommend finding the little box many of them provide that says either "Yes, it's okay to share my name with other organizations" or "Please don't share my name with other organizations" and checking or unchecking it as appropriate. Maybe everyone knows this, but in case not: it's quite common for nonprofits to trade or sell their mailing lists, which can result in a flood of donation requests from other organizations. Many of which are also worthy, but there's only so many places one person can donate to--and I hate junk mail anyway.

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