Through the years I have posted a number of links to charities and support organizations I felt might be worth checking out. Keep in mind that leadership changes, new and better ideas come around, but these will at least give you a good place to start. Find what echoes in your heart and help to make the world a better place to be. Each of these has been checked through my own research, what I know about what they do, and checked through Charity Navigator. If you have a personal favorite, you can check it out on that website. (PS – they could use help, too). You can also check out Give.org which provides full reports and will help you get a copy of the tax returns filed. (For nonprofits, tax returns are public record). There are other services, some charge.
First and foremost is a link to the memorial site for my beloved soul mate. Each and every day his encouragement and ever-present sense of wonder support and inspire me.
D. C. Dorrough Memorial
Charities dealing with poverty, housing, community support
- A nonprofit, Christian housing ministry that believes that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live.
- We build and repair houses all over the world using volunteer labor and donations.
- Our partner families purchase these houses through no-profit, no-interest mortgage loans or innovative financing methods.
Habitat is rated by individual chapter, a few of the chapters receive 100% on the Navigator.
Heifer currently provides over 30 types of animals to families in need in more than 40 countries, including the U.S.
Ratings are good and I feel the mission goals help build communities. Financials show Administrative costs at 5%, fund raising at 20% – pretty impressive in this sector.
The primary mission of The Rose International Fund for Children (TRIFC.org) is to improve the lives of children in Nepal, particularly those who have a disability. The Fund is not rated on by the larger search engines, however I know the director and this family-initiated nonprofit partners with organization in Nepal to help children with physical and mental challenges find fulfillment within their culture.
The Bart D. Ehrman Foundation is a not-for-profit organization with the overarching purpose to raise money for charities devoted to poverty, hunger, and homelessness. All money collected from membership fees is given over to charities devoted to helping those in need.
Also not rated, however Dr. Ehrman is a successful author and the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina. We’ve corresponded from time to time. He established the organization after a crisis of faith when he determined that praying for people to have their needs met was not enough – he chose to take steps to proactively reduce the suffering in this world.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Still one of my favorites. A place where business acumen is applied to the problems facing us in education, health care, and sustainable living.
Also not rated, which I find interesting since the organization is one of the largest funding agencies on so many fronts world wide. Their global reputation is solid and they send a lot of time forming coalitions in order to do more with available funding. They don’t just throw money at a problem, they look for effective ways to spend it.
Mission: We believe that sustainable work is locally-led. Along with implementing community-owned water projects, our local partners help facilitate comprehensive water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programming to protect everyone’s long-term health.”
100% of public donations go to the mission – that is their commitment.
Founding story is interesting as the fellow was a nightclub promotor who woke up one morning and found himself morally bankrupt. He spent two years on a hospital ship off the coast of Libera and saw the effects of dirty water. He returned to NY and started an organization on his own terms. Overall financials show 8% Administrative and 13% Fundraising. Efforts to support overhead are separate from project funding. Charity Navigator rates them as Exceptional.
Yes, this is a denominationally supported charity – but it is one I have experience with. ADRA is one of the largest relief organizations in the world. Unlike many similar organization, Adventists tend to have two priorities, Health and Education. Although they believe in testifying through actions, they belief those actions need to be the message they are trying to convey. Ratings put them at exceptional with 10.9% in Administrative and 2.6% in Fundraising. Yeah, I was one for a while, one of my happy places. I’m going to let them speak for themselves.
Through an international network, ADRA delivers relief and development assistance to individuals in more than 118 countries—regardless of their ethnicity, political affiliation, or religious association. By partnering with communities, organizations, and governments, ADRA is able to improve the quality of life of millions.
In 2015 ADRA’s program expenses totaled $190 million—made possible through private contributions from private individuals like you, corporations, foundations, and other entities. We also obtain funding and commodities from governmental and intergovernmental organizations, such as USAID and the United Nations.
ADRA does not proselytize. God’s love in ADRA’s programs is expressed when it reaches out to those in need regardless of race, gender, and political, or religious affiliation. We work in harmony with a broad array of cultures, traditions, and people of non-Christian faith, respecting the human dignity of all. The positive impact of ADRA’s contribution globally validates our heritage and belief in benevolent giving, as well as introduces the Adventist name to communities.
Veterans and their families
I also have a special place in my heart for veterans. Here are the organizations I have found that are committed to the support of our returning service members and their families.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
An organization that helps veterans find the support they needs, assess needs, and aid in access to programs established to meet those needs.
The American Legion
A program that supports veterans, manages long term care, and provides access to needed services.
These veteran organizations have a primary goal to get veterans back to work in a civilian position that makes use of the skills developed during their service.
After years of ignoring problems that veterans face when they leave the battle field and return to civilian lives, many organizations are finding the best paths to support and understanding. These are some of my favorites.
Final Salute, Inc. An organization devoted to supporting homeless women veterans and their families.
Honor Flight Network. An organization that supports veterans by reminding them they served a grateful nation (even when it was not always apparent on their return).
Operation Homefront This organization focuses on the families of active service members and the issues they have with transfers, finances, and support.
Wounded Warrior Project is devoted to helping those with PTSD (PTSS), as well as other challenges that face a mentally or physically wounded veteran returning to civilian life.
Thurston County Mental Health & Veterans Court Although this link is based in southwestern Washington State, other jurisdictions are also stepping up to do more than incarcerate those facing mental health issues and substance abuse. Check local district courts for similar programs.
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans an organization that focuses on the homeless population made up of veterans. Of all of those who are homeless or working poor on America’s streets, veterans make up the largest demographic. (As of 1/2021 they represent approximately 11% of the homeless population).
America’s VetDogs. Help out two groups in need at once by supporting the training and placement of support dogs for veterans. There are even programs for volunteer puppy trainers.
Working Dogs for Vets Another organization that works to match vets with support and companion dogs.
Veterans Families United This organization helps families sort through healthcare and financial support issues by guiding families to make the choices best suited to their needs.
MusicCorp One of my favorites, this organization provides modified musical instruments and opportunities for performances and music practice. As a therapy, it works. As an occupation, it changes lives.
Civics and political activism
One more area of interest in my links pile (for now) is political activism. Although support one party or another is not within the scope of this site, I do feel I can support organizations that are working hard to ensure our democratic system is vigorous and fair and that our civil rights are well protected.
RepresentUS is a multi-party organization that works at the state level to protect our voting rights and to ensure that the system works for the electorate (not the elected).
ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) an often vilified organization which has worked tirelessly for a hundred years to protect the civil rights of Americans regardless of gender fluidity, religion, or ethic background.
Due to recent events in Washington, I decided to add a section to this page. First, you need to understand that I am a pro-choice advocate for primarily one reason: the health of women in this country. It is absolutely none of my business why a woman finds herself in the position that she needs to make a choice, but whatever her choice is, she should have access to the best medicine this country can provide – and that will not be found in some dark room or alleyway. In addition to that, I can see from any number of squawking voices that some people have no idea of how a woman’s anatomy works, why they may need certain procedures or medications, and how the lack of that support can affect them. By seeking the heads of anyone connected to abortions, these people are effectively limiting or eliminating needed options for women to avoid any number of life-threatening issues. All that said, I’d rather readers in my world be aware of effective alternatives to posting memes about camping trips. The Jewish Fund for Abortion Access is staffed with people who know what support means, what the state laws are across the nation, and what has to happen to protect any pregnant person from assault by legislation. Help the pros do their job.