Donations 2013

Here are the organizations I'm donating to in 2013.

I used to post such a list every year, but haven't managed to do it the past couple years. Hoping to get back in the habit of posting it every December.

Most of this is repeated from 2010 (and earlier years). New items on the list (since 2010) are in italics.

The list is categorized for ease of scanning, though the categories are somewhat arbitrary in some places. Some items are listed under multiple categories.

Almost all of these organizations take donations online, either by credit card or PayPal.

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

Aid and relief

100,000 Homes
A “national movement of over 175 communities working together to find permanent homes for 100,000 chronic and medically vulnerable homeless Americans by July 2014.” Their original self-imposed deadline was July 2013, but they seem to have made huge progress in the past year, so I'm continuing to donate to them. I heard about them via a NY Times opinion piece.
American Jewish World Service
They're “the leading Jewish human rights and development organization working to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world.” They “pursue lasting change by providing financial support to local grassroots and global human rights organizations working in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.” They came to my attention when they were helping fund underground schools for Afghan girls during the reign of the Taliban.
Direct Relief International
“[P]rovides medical assistance to people around the world who have been affected by poverty, natural disasters, and civil unrest.” 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.
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 (although I'm disappointed that they seem to have recently put Christianity more at the forefront of their mission statement than they used to) (but they still have an explicit non-proselytizing policy).
International Medical Corps
A “global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs.” They seem to be a good replacement for Doctors Without Borders, which I removed from my list recently.
Mercy Corps
In conflict zones and in places where natural disasters have happened, they “respond immediately to emergencies and stick around to build food security, resilience and new economic opportunities as communities rebuild.” They “listen to locals and prioritize their most urgent needs.”
American Red Cross
Provides services including disaster relief (both in the US and elsewhere) and health and safety training. According to their website, 94 percent of their workforce consists of volunteers. Various friends of mine are strongly opposed to donating to them for various reasons, but my sense continues to be that they do enough good work to balance out the negatives.
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.
Splash (formerly called A Child's Right)
Their mission is to “change the lives of vulnerable children in impoverished urban areas [in several countries] by providing clean, safe drinking water to orphanages, schools, children’s hospitals, street shelters, and rescue homes.” For some really interesting further info about what they do, especially their plan to put themselves out of business by making local systems self-sustaining in 16 countries by 2030, see their How page.
Whirlwind Wheelchair International
“[Works] with wheelchair riders around the world to design durable and highly functional wheelchairs that perform well on rough terrain and are built in factories that contribute to local economic development.”

Art and culture

Broad Universe
A “nonprofit international organization of women and men dedicated to celebrating and promoting the work of women writers of science fiction, fantasy and horror.”
Carl Brandon Society
Their mission is “to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction.”
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.
Con or Bust
“[H]elps people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions.” I had always found the nifty LJ-auction part of their fundraising a little overwhelming/intimidating, but I recently started just donating directly.
“[B]uilding support for South Asian and diasporic writing.”
KALW public radio
The Bay Area's other public radio station. I don't listen to it as much as I listen to KQED, but I do appreciate that it's there.
KQED public radio
Actually, these days I don't listen to the radio much at all. Still, worth supporting.
Creators of the excellent show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, which has been running in Chicago for twenty-five years now.
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 longest-running professional online sf magazine; I was an editor there for twelve years.

Domestic civil liberties and civil rights

American Civil Liberties Union
Supporting civil liberties, especially freedom of speech, in the US. (Donations to the ACLU are not tax-deductible.)
American Foundation for Equal Rights
Sponsored the federal court challenge to Proposition 8 that eventually led to marriage equality in California. Is now working on Virginia.
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've put in a lot of work on 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.
Freedom to Marry
A campaign to achieve marriage equality nationwide in the US. They intend to “create the climate for a Supreme Court victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination.”
Just Detention International
A “health and human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention.“ I'm totally onboard with their program, but I don't feel like I know enough about them yet to fully recommend them, and I wish the “international” part of their name were more fully realized. (They currently list only three countries outside of the US.)

Education and learning resources

Curioddysey (formerly Coyote Point Museum)
A nature learning center here on the Peninsula; I'm most interested in their wildlife program. A couple of us donate in Alex's memory every year. See also my entry describing Kam's and my visit a few years ago.
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 murder, the college set up a fund in his name for providing math books for disadvantaged students. If you'd like to donate to it, mention “Peter Hartman Fund” when you make your donation (if they provide a space to do so). (As with most of the organizations I'm linking to here, the Foundation is a 501(c)(3), so donations to it are tax-deductible.)
Project Vote Smart
Provides a lot of useful information about ballot measures and candidates.
Resource Center for Nonviolence
A Santa Cruz-based “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 benefit concert for them in Santa Cruz next month, on January 17.
Room to Read
See listing under Kids.
Swarthmore College
My alma mater, still providing an excellent liberal arts education.
Wikimedia Foundation
Wikipedia is probably 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.

Environment and wildlife

Curioddysey (formerly Coyote Point Museum)
See listing under Education and learning resources.
Earth Island Institute
A “hub for grassroots campaigns dedicated to conserving, preserving, and restoring [...] ecosystems.” It acts as an incubator/umbrella organization “for start-up environmental projects, giving crucial assistance to groups and individuals with new ideas for promoting ecological sustainability [and] offering a wide range of professional services, from fiscal administration and program management to office space and equipment.”
Nature Conservancy
My donations to them are kind of roundabout, but I do support them. Even though they apparently gave out my name and address to dozens of other organizations a while back.

Kids and young adults

Splash (formerly called A Child's Right)
See listing under Aid and relief.
City Year
Mission is “to build democracy through citizen service, civic leadership and social entrepreneurship” via a year of full-time service.
Room to Read
They “work in collaboration with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the life skills they’ll need to succeed in school and beyond.” Since 2000, they've helped local communities in Asia and Africa build 1,752 schools and 16,060 libraries, among other things. Oh, and they've distributed over 13 million books.
The Trevor Project
They're “determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources including our nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy/educational programs.”

Medical organizations

HealthRIGHT 360 (formerly Haight Ashbury Free Clinics and Walden House; they merged in 2011)
Provides “compassionate, integrated care that includes primary medical, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment” in San Francisco. Unfortunately, they've decided this year to make “title” a required field for online donations, so you can't donate online without telling them your gender and/or marital status. I've written to them to ask them to change this; I've been supporting them for many years, but I won't donate again until/unless they make that change.
Planned Parenthood
Working “to improve women’s health and safety, prevent unintended pregnancies, and advance the right and ability of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices.”
RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network
“[T]he nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization.” I heard about them via Sady Doyle's #mooreandme protest. I've heard that they're not so good on trans issues, but that they're trying to improve. In particular, in 2011 or 2012 they added gender identity (though not gender expression per se) to their non-discrimination policy.  . . I wasn't sure which category to put this into; medical isn't quite right, but I'm not sure I have a better category, and these categories are pretty loose anyway.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
“[F]ueling the best science and making the biggest impact in the fight against breast cancer.”
The Women's Community Clinic
Another San Francisco organization providing high-quality free healthcare, this one specifically focused on women and girls. Came to my attention via a Jon Carroll column in 1999.


Ada Initiative
“[S]upports women in open technology and culture through activities like producing codes of conduct and anti-harassment policies, advocating for gender diversity, teaching allies, and hosting conferences for women in open tech/culture.”
Broad Universe
See listing under Art and culture.
Global Fund for Women
They “advance the rights of women and girls worldwide by increasing the resources for and investing in women-led organizations and women’s collective leadership for change.”
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
See listing under Medical organizations.
The Women's Community Clinic
See listing under Medical organizations.

Closing note

If you donate online to nonprofits, I strongly recommend finding the little box many of them provide that lets you choose whether you want them to share your name and contact info 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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