Charitable Giving Guide 2016

Originally published at:

A guide to the charities we support in our own annual giving.

1 Like

I recently made my biggest charitable contribution ever, to SPLC. Great list!

a href="
should be:
a href=""
1 Like

I never have trouble finding worthy organizations to give to, but I’ve always struggled with the correct amount to give in any particular year. If anyone has any good rules of thumb on the subject, I’d appreciate some insight.


I would like to suggest charity:water, on the principal that no matter how important privacy and copyright are, they remain a tertiary human need; they’re never going to trump (for lack of a better term–or not) basic human needs. I have quite a bit to say about charity tiering actually, but I currently have limited access to an actual keyboard. So to sum up, I really think that way in which we give should really be re-examined.

Not to get all manifesto-ish, but you know…needs to be said I think.


I give to some of the listed organizations but I wish there had been some LGBT organizations listed. I know of several but I don’t know what percentage actually reaches the target population> Anyone have suggestions?


The ones on my monthly donor list are SPLC, ACLU and Amnesty International. We usually give to St Jude Children’s Hospital and Heifer International around the holidays. I like the Sierra Club too.


I recommend World Land Trust:

They buy land for conservation. It is recommended by David Attenborough and that’s good enough for me.

Tip: If you like Humble Bundles, you can choose the charity you support (including World Land Trust)

1 Like

For me it’s just a matter of giving what I can afford…even a small amount has to help when it’s multiplied by all who give.
Years ago I sort of got adopted by a family in Peru. They have shown me the rainforest through their eyes, fed me from their table and sheltered me under their roof. I cannot return in kind but I can help with school clothes and supplies, money for medicine when it’s needed and kid birthdays. On Monday the 12th I’m heading down for Navidad. I’ll have the fun of spending Chrismas with a bunch of beautiful kids I’ll spend most of my 6 weeks under their roof…The curious part of it is sorting out who is the recipient of this act of charity.


I’m pretty secular in the targets of my donations, but I decided I like the principle of “tithing” - giving 10% of my pre-tax, pre-everything income to charities every year - and I’ve adopted that as a goal.

This year and last year I worked up to 10% of my personal income, but I’d like to bring it up further to 10% of our joint household income. It’s a challenge, but I feel remarkably good about it.

Edit: I can’t find it, but there was an Op Ed essay in the NYT, maybe a few years back, IIRC suggesting that if everybody in the middle income range in the US gave about 15% of their income to appropriate charities, that would be enough to wipe out most severe contagious diseases and poverty worldwide.


Here’s my 2016 list, roughly in descending order of total donation:

  • Hawaii Foodbank
  • IHS (a group providing services for the homeless in Hawaii)
  • ACLU (split between the national and local chapter; kicked this donation way up this year)
  • Americares (good group - provides healthcare services and medical supplies worldwide, especially in disasters and emergencies)
  • Doctors Without Borders (a.k.a Medecins Sans Frontieres)
  • Partners In Health (healthcare in Haiti)
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Anti-Defamation League
  • EFF
  • Cornell University (my wife’s alma mater)

I’ll probably make a few other small donations by year end, but those are the main ones.

(I’m not counting my zen group in this list, even though it’s a charity, because giving there feels like more of a self-interested thing.)


Because it came up in another thread, I’m gonna go ahead and keep shilling for EveryLibrary. Full disclosure, it is a PAC, not a c3, but it’s a PAC that helps libraries secure funding. They also help when opposition groups like AFP decide to come after community libraries. The folks that want to cut public funding for public good is coming to the table with a boatload of money, and I’m for any group that’s willing to stand up to them.


I would like that too.

I’d also like to have an organization to give to that really focuses on reducing and mitigating climate change. Some years I give to Union of Concerned Sciences which has that as one of their focuses, but it’s one of several.

I’m considering making a donation to

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.