With Thanksgiving behind us and the holidays in full swing, it’s time to not only think about what to add to your Christmas list, but also about how you can help others have a more enjoyable holiday season. For many, that means a donation to a charity of your choice. But the problem is, there are so many options that sometimes it can be hard to choose. To make that process a little bit easier, we decided to get a few recommendations from two folks who are directly involved in the charity + non-profit world.
Sean Conley, Research Analyst at GiveWell
A Little Background on GiveWell: GiveWell finds charities that will have the highest impact per dollar to help people do as much good as possible with their donations. All of the organizations GiveWell recommends are focused on international development and studied intensively so you can get a thorough understanding of just how your money is being used.
What Charities Sean Recommends
1. Against Malaria Foundation: AMF’s mission is simple: They distribute bed nets to help fight malaria. The nets are able to shield people in affected areas from getting bit by mosquitos, and because [the nets] are treated with pesticides, they’re even able to kill those mosquitos that weren’t able to bite. In turn, the nets not only help those who have them around their beds but also everyone in the village. Sean says, “This organization is great because it’s been really well studied that these make a difference. With these nets, malaria rates have been cut about in half. When you give money to the Against Malaria Foundation, we [at GiveWell] can positively say that you are actually saving children’s lives.” You can donate to this cause here. (Photo via Facebook)
2. Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI): Don’t let this organization’s tricky name scare you away. Basically, SCI provides children and at-risk adults in Africa with preventative treatment for intestinal worms. “You can give these kids one pill per year and it treats the worms,” Sean tells us. “There is also evidence that suggests that children who have been dewormed at a young age have higher incomes as adults. And it’s really, really cheap. The cost is around 50 cents to give the pill to the children, so you can make an enormous difference with a very small amount of money.” You can donate to this cause here. (Photo via Schistosomiasis Control Initiative)
3. GiveDirectly: This charity finds some of the poorest people in the world and provides them with cash grants. Sean says, “They’ve done studies on their program where they give people cash and then followed up to see what they did with it. They found that people weren’t wasting the money and weren’t using it on things like drugs, alcohol or gambling. They were spending it on things like improving their nutrition, investments, homes or buying livestock. The idea here is basically that people know what’s best for them and know what exactly they need to make their lives better.” You can donate to this cause here. (Photo via Facebook)
Bryan Breckenridge, Executive Director of Box.org
A Little Background on Box.org: A cloud software platform whose mission is to help nonprofit organizations be more productive and collaborative in achieving their mission. It’s a new initiative that offers free and discounted licenses to nonprofit organizations around the world.
What Charities Bryan Recommends
4. Team Rubicon: Bryan tells us this organization “enlists veterans and other first responders in the service of communities struck by disasters.” Team Rubicon essentially provides veterans with two things they lose after leaving the military: a purpose (gained through aiding disaster relief) and a sense of community. If you are a qualified first responder and want to join the team, head here. If you’re not but want to help these folks get to places in need ASAP, you can donate here. (Photo via Team Rubicon)
5. Oxfam International “Box.org’s friends at Oxfam understand that many causes of poverty are linked and uses many tactics to fight poverty and inequality,” Bryan explains. By providing things like disaster relief and support to change wrongful laws and practices, Oxfam works in over 90 countries to end the battle against poverty, hunger and injustice all across the globe. Donate here or find ways be actively involved in the organization here. (Photo via Oxfam America)
What charities are you donating to this holiday? Share with us in the comments below.