Donations 2020

Here are the organizations I’m donating to in 2020.

Much of this is repeated from 2019 (and earlier years), but since that last post I’ve removed a couple of organizations and added a couple of others.

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, relief, and housing

American Jewish World Service
“[T]he leading Jewish organization working to fight poverty and pursue justice in the developing world.” “In 2018, AJWS supported 453 grassroots organizations in 19 countries.” They came to my attention when they were helping fund underground schools for Afghan girls during the reign of the Taliban.
Community Solutions
“Our mission is to create a lasting end to homelessness that leaves no one behind.” They work with dozens of cities and counties to reduce or eliminate homelessness.
Direct Relief
“[A] humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 [US] states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies—without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay.”
Habitat for Humanity
“[A] global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.” 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.
International Medical Corps
“[A] Global First Responder. We deliver emergency healthcare and related services to those affected by conflict, natural disaster and disease, no matter where they are, no matter what the conditions. We then train people in their communities, providing them with the skills they need to recover, chart their own path to self-reliance and become effective first responders themselves.”
(They seem to be a good alternative to Doctors Without Borders/MSF. I removed MSF from my list a while back after they reacted to my friendly requests and suggestions about the required Title field in their donation form with strong hostility. I know that lots of my friends like and support MSF, and I don’t object to people supporting them, but I’m done with them.)
International Rescue Committee
“[R]esponds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. In more than 40 countries and in 26 U.S. cities, our dedicated teams provide clean water, shelter, health care, education and empowerment support to refugees and displaced people.” Several friends of mine and friends-of-friends have said really positive things about this organization.
Mercy Corps
“Our mission: to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Our 5,500+ team members work with people in the world’s most vulnerable communities across 40+ countries. 87 percent of our team is from the countries where they work.”
No More Deaths
Among other activities, “No More Deaths maintains a year-round humanitarian presence in the deserts of southwestern Arizona. We work in the remote corridors into which migration has been pushed, where people are walking 30 to 80 miles. [NMD volunteers] hike the trails and leave water, food, socks, blankets, and other supplies. Under the direction of our medical team, volunteers provide emergency first-aid treatment to individuals in distress.”
Second Harvest of Silicon Valley
A food bank, giving food to people who need it. There are affiliated organizations all over the US.
“Our mission: We clean water for kids.”

Art and culture

Broad Universe
“[A]n international, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, honoring, and celebrating women writers and editors in science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative genres.”
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 these days I just donate directly. But in 2020, I’m not sure whether they’re currently operating.
Coro Allegro
“Boston’s award-winning LGBTQ+ and allied classical chorus.” A friend of mine is a longtime member.
“[W]orks to build support for South Asian and diaspora writers.” In particular, DesiLit publishes Jaggery, “A DesiLit Arts and Literature Journal.”
Double Union
“[A] hacker/maker space for women and nonbinary people in San Francisco.”
Feminist Frequency
Provides videos that “[analyze] modern media’s relationship to societal issues such as gender, race, and sexuality,” along with related resources.
A small “literary-themed San Francisco Bay Area SF/F con in the tradition of Wiscon.” Mary Anne was a guest of honor in 2020!
KALW public radio
A Bay Area public radio station. I don’t listen to it often, but I do appreciate that it’s there.
KQED public radio
I don’t listen to KQED often either; in fact, these days I don’t listen to the radio much at all. Still, worth supporting.
Creators of the excellent ongoing-in-three-cities show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, which was recently renamed Infinite Wrench. (It’s been running for thirty years in Chicago!)
Otherwise Award (formerly the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award)
“[A]n annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender.” Renamed in 2019, though the website hasn’t been updated yet.
Speculative Literature Foundation
“[A] non-profit arts foundation, modeled on the National Endowment for the Arts, but focused specifically on serving the speculative literature (science fiction, fantasy, and horror) community.”
Strange Horizons
The longest-running professional online sf magazine; I was an editor there for twelve years. September of 2020 will mark the 20th anniversary of its launch.
“WisCon is a feminist science fiction & fantasy convention held annually in Madison, Wisconsin.” It’s my favorite convention. SF3 is its parent organization.

Education and learning resources

CuriOdyssey (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 blog post describing Kam’s and my visit in 2005.
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, Peter, taught at a community college near Tacoma, WA, called Pierce College. After Peter was killed, my brother Jay worked with the college to set up a fund in Peter’s name for providing math books for disadvantaged students. Jay and I are currently working with the Foundation to figure out the best uses for the fund.
Resource Center for Nonviolence
A Santa Cruz-based “peace and justice organization promoting the practice of nonviolent social change.” John McCutcheon generally plays a benefit concert for them in Santa Cruz each January.
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 that I visit regularly. I use it all the time, for all sorts of things.

Kids and young adults

Ali Forney Center
See listing under LGBTQ.
City Year
“[B]rings together diverse, talented teams of young adults to serve in high-need schools across the country, where they support students, teachers and schools.”
Immigrants Rising
See listing under US civil liberties, civil rights, and immigration.
Lost-N-Found Youth
See listing under LGBTQ.
Room to Read
They “[seek] to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond.”
See listing under Aid, relief, and housing.
The Trevor Project
“[P]roviding crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to [LGBTQ] young people.”


Ali Forney Center
NY shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth.
Coro Allegro
See listing under Art and culture.
Lambda Legal
Their mission is “to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.”
Lost-N-Found Youth
Atlanta shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth. Also helps youth from other Southern states.
National Center for Lesbian Rights
In 2016, a friend told me: “They do a huge amount of litigation work. They handle more trans cases (male, female, and non-binary) than any other organization in the country. They are very effective.”
National LGBTQ Task Force
In 2016, a friend told me: “they play an infrastructural role in the movement (training for LGBTQ activists, large scale joint fund-raising that mostly goes to other orgs). They also do more work with faith based groups than any other LGTBQ group that isn’t specifically about a religion. They run the single largest convening of LGBTQ activists in the world (creating change), with a large number of participants going on a scholarship basis. I am in their board. The staff is very diverse (more than half are POC, with a good gender distribution).”
Transgender Law Center
In 2016, a friend told me: “they are the largest trans rights group in the country. Still tiny by LGB terms, but they do very effective work (especially impact litigation). I am also on their board. The staff is very diverse (more than half are POC, with [good] gender distribution).”
Trans Lifeline
“[A] grassroots hotline and microgrants […] organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis—for the trans community, by the trans community.”

Medical and health-related

Breast Cancer Research Foundation
“[C]ommitted to achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer. We provide critical funding for cancer research worldwide to fuel advances in tumor biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, metastasis and survivorship.”
Equal Hope (formerly Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force)
Their mission is to “save women’s lives by eliminating health disparities in Illinois, originally through the lens of breast cancer and now expanded to cervical cancer and other women’s cancers.”
HealthRIGHT 360 (formerly Haight Ashbury Free Clinics)
Provides “compassionate, integrated care that includes primary medical, mental health, substance use disorder treatment and re-entry services” in San Francisco.
March for Our Lives
Their mission: “To harness the power of young people across the country to fight for sensible gun violence prevention policies that save lives.”
Donations to this organization are not tax-deductible: “Your contribution will benefit March For Our Lives Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. Contributions or gifts to March for Our Lives Action Fund are not deductible for federal income tax purposes as charitable contributions.”
(I wasn’t sure what category to list this organization under.)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
“[P]rovides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 150 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.”
(I wasn’t sure what category to list this organization under.)
Pan-Mass Challenge
“[R]aises money for life-saving cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through an annual bike-a-thon that crosses Massachusetts.”
Planned Parenthood
“[O]ne of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care, and the nation’s largest provider of sex education. We offer compassionate care, backed by medical experts and more than 100 years of research in reproductive health.”
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
“[T]he nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.”
(I wasn’t sure what category to list this organization under.)
The Women’s Community Clinic
Another San Francisco organization providing high-quality free healthcare, this one specifically focused on women and girls. I see in 2019 that they’re now “a Program of HealthRIGHT 360,” but I still donate to them separately.

Software and technology

Software Freedom Conservancy
“[H]elps promote, improve, develop, and defend Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects. Conservancy provides a non-profit home and infrastructure for FLOSS projects.” For more about them, see Sumana’s 2015 blog post, which includes a 3-minute video of Sumana talking about the Conservancy. Among the projects they support are Git, Mercurial, and Wine.

US civil liberties, civil rights, and immigration

American Civil Liberties Union
Supporting civil liberties, especially freedom of speech, in the US. (Donations to the ACLU are not tax-deductible.)
Autism Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN)
“[S]eeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. […] [It is] run by and for autistic people. ASAN was created to serve as a national grassroots disability rights organization for the autistic community, advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power.”
(Note that this is a different organization from Autism Speaks. Many autistic people are very unhappy with Autism Speaks, especially because that organization focuses on parents of autistic people rather than on the autistic people themselves. ASAN, on the other hand, is run by autistic people; it uses the motto “Nothing about us without us.” I support ASAN and oppose Autism Speaks.)
“[T]he digital encyclopedia of American politics and elections. Our goal is to inform people about politics by providing accurate and objective information about politics at all levels of government.”
Black Lives Matter
“[A] chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission is to build local power and to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities[…].”
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Their mission is “to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.”
Campaign Zero
They promote a comprehensive plan to “end police violence in America […] by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.”
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. CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. We do that by combining cutting-edge litigation, advocacy and strategic communications in work on a broad range of civil and human rights issues.” They’ve put in a lot of work on the legal situation for the detainees at Guantánamo Bay, among other things.
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
Sort of the online/digital equivalent of the ACLU, “defending civil liberties in the digital world. […] EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development.” I sometimes disagree vehemently with their phrasing and approaches, but I strongly support most of the work they do.
Equal Justice Initiative
A friend of mine described them as a “nonprofit organization providing legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners denied fair and just treatment in the legal system.” The website says: “EJI […] provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. We challenge the death penalty and excessive punishment and we provide re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people.”
Immigrants Rising
They “empower undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals through personal, institutional and policy transformation.” In 2016, a friend of mine wrote: “For those interested in helping young people with possible paths to documentation & residency/citizenship and college access I recommend [Immigrants Rising]. They do great advocacy & outreach on immigrant rights & social justice.”
Just Detention International
“[A] health and human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse in all forms of detention.” I’m onboard with their goals, 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 seem very US-focused.)
Their goal is to “eliminate race-based discrimination.”
National Bail Out (formerly Brooklyn Community Bail Fund)
“[A] Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration.” They “[coordinate] the Mama’s Day Bail Outs, where we bail out as many Black Mamas and caregivers as we can,” and support bail reform efforts.
National Immigration Law Center
They’re “exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of immigrants with low income.”
Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)
A “nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees.”
Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN)
Their mission is “to empower low-income immigrants and refugees through community education and organizing, leadership development, policy advocacy, civic engagement and legal services. We believe that all people regardless of legal status or nationality are entitled to essential services, human dignity, basic rights and protections, and access to full participation in society.”
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
“[D]edicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.” Despite the organization’s name, they’re not specifically focused on the American South, nor specifically on poverty; among other things, the organization monitors hate groups across the US.
Vera Institute for Justice
Their mission is to “urgently build and improve justice systems [in the US] that ensure fairness, promote safety, and strengthen communities.”


Broad Universe
See listing under Art and culture.
Feminist Frequency
See listing under Art and culture.
Global Fund for Women
“[S]tanding up for the human rights of women and girls. We campaign for freedom from violence, economic justice, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.”
Trust Women Foundation
Their mission: “To open clinics that provide abortion care in underserved communities so that all women can make their own decisions about their health care.”
The Women’s Community Clinic
See listing under Medical organizations.

Note about mailing lists

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. 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 unsolicited mail anyway.

One Response to “Donations 2020”

  1. Donations 2021 – Lorem Ipsum

    […] of this list is repeated from 2020 (and earlier years), but since that last post I’ve removed a couple of organizations and added a […]


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