$1000 to donate; Suggestions, please?

I have $1000 to donate to charity. I’d like to split it among 3 or 4 charities. Could people please make suggestions?

Obviously, charities that relate to this blog’s themes (anti-racism, feminism, disability rights, cartooning, etc) are of special interest to me, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.

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35 Responses to $1000 to donate; Suggestions, please?

  1. 1
    Crystal says:

    Planned Parenthood accepts donations.

  2. 2
    Robert says:

    This is an ongoing income stream, right? Why not endow a scholarship at the local college or university for someone to study art / cartooning? You don’t have to pony up the money until the semester starts, so if your income stream dries up you can always cancel the scholarship.

    And as a leftist, you’ll be encouraging people to engage in economically foolish behavior (becoming a cartoonist). That’s like bread and butter to you guys. ;)

  3. 3
    Heart says:

    Amp, could you consider the following:

    The New Jersey Four

    Friends of Freedom and Justice — Bilin (Gaza, Palestine). They do such fine work and their requests are modest, i.e.:

    1- Three computers
    2- Photocopy Machine
    3- Stationary
    4- T-Shirts and Hats
    5- Brochure
    6- Chairs
    7- Office desk
    8- LCD projector
    9- High quality digital camera

    For more information about how to donate to our society please do not hesitate
    to contact us at:

    Tel: 972 2 248 9129
    Mobile: 972 547 847 942

    I blogged about them here.



  4. 4
    zach says:

    Bitch Magazine is great.

  5. 5
    Robert says:

    Oh! I forgot – there are sites where you can start a big charity drive with your contribution and then ask others to join you – so if you have something major, that might be an approach worth exploring.

  6. 6
    DSimon says:

    Besides all the obvious ones, I think the Electronic Frontier Foundation is a good choice. But, that’s because I’m a total computer nerd.

  7. 7
    DSimon says:

    Oh, and there’s also the Peace Corps, which I’m in the process of trying to join.

  8. 8
    Richard Aubrey says:

    Fisher House.

  9. 9
    bfp says:

    there’s a few bloggers who are trying to make it to the AMC who need extra help because of their travel situations–ms. crip chick needs to bring her Personal assistant with her–so she needs to get funding for her as well as herself and Noemi from Hermana Resist has to bring her two kids cuz she’s a single mother so that means three tickets instead of one. don’t know if you need it to be tax deductable or not—-incite! women of color against violence is awesome (of course!!! :->) as is the Allied Media Conference and Critical Moment (a local indy media publication that services south east michigan) is in need of funds because of the collapse in indy publishing last year and then loss of a major contributer this year–here’s their link: http://criticalmoment.org/issue26/donate

    btw–the blogger’s websites:
    ms. crip chick
    and noemi:

  10. 10
    Ampersand says:

    Thanks to everyone for suggestions.

    To answer BFP’s question, I think that at least two-thirds of the money needs to be given to tax-deductible charities, or else I’ll be in deep shit come April 2009 (that’s my guess, anyhow, I’m no accountant).

  11. 12
    Ampersand says:

    Another couple of possibilities (which I’m posting so I don’t forget): American Jewish World Service, and Water Missions International.

  12. 13
    Sailorman says:

    Do you prefer global or local; do you prefer direct or leveraged?

    I’m a local/direct person, largely. There’s a lot to be said for finding the closest food bank (or homeless shelter, or battered womens’ shelter, or…) and just cutting them a check.

    for global/direct, the various Myanmar organizations are a fairly obvious choice at the moment, though there are others of course.

    For local/leveraged, you may want to make political donations. Since politicians control vast sums of money, and since money tends to equate to electability, buying political influence is often a good investment.* Find a race that can be influenced with an extra $1000 and go for it.

    For global/leveraged, your possibilities are endless.

    My own preference is local food banks; i give almost exclusively to mine. They generally use 100% of the funds for food. And it’s pretty much impossible to argue against feeding hungry people.

    *The U.S. budget for 2008 is well over 1 trillion. the 2004 election spending across the board (congressional and presidential) was in the single billions. If you could have magically contributed 2 billion to the race, you could quite likely have controlled the outcome of the presidential election and both houses of Congress. Seeing as those people can obviously affect the budget by at least one percent, election contributions are often one of the most sensible investments towards a given cause.

  13. 14
    Jasmine says:

    Queers for Economic Justice
    International Midwife Assistance
    New Jersey 4
    Sylvia’s Place
    Audre Lorde Project
    Local food bank

    No particular order.

  14. 15
    Kay Olson says:

    DREDF — Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund

    I’d recommend ADAPT, but I do not think they are set up as a 501c3.

  15. 16
    ms_xeno says:

    How about The Louisiana Justice Institute ?

    …According to the report to be officially released on Wednesday, the majority of residents living in FEMA trailers are employed. Residents living in FEMA trailers also tend to be older, with an emphasis on the elderly and disabled. 55% of residents interviewed were 50 years old or older and 22% were 62 years and older, and almost 40% reported that someone living in their trailer had “special needs” including a disability. In addition, many residents reported health problems. Fifteen percent (15%) of the residents interviewed reported they were suffering from depression, anxiety, other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues. In addition, 29% reported rashes, itchy eyes, breathing problems and other symptoms usually related to high levels formaldehyde in their FEMA trailer.

    With FEMA reporting that over 100,000 people still live in FEMA trailers across the Gulf Coast, it is even more worrisome that 55% of residents interviewed report that if they were to be evicted from their FEMA trailer in the next few months they would have no family they could turn to for help and they expected to be homeless…
    — No Way To Treat Our People, Louisiana Justice Institute, via New Orleans Indymedia, 4/29/08

  16. 17
    Penny says:

    Donorschoose.org has thousands of teachers’ projects to fund in whole or part. And when you fund a project, you know exactly what they’re going to buy (big or small: an LCD projector, a copier, a class set of a particular book, paper, software, etc.), at which school, and you’ll probably get a packet of thank yous and photos from the kids too (I did). Fund some art supplies in a New Orleans middle school, or a weather instruments for fourth graders in rural South Carolina, or tricycles for at-risk preschoolers near the military base in Fayetteville, or…. or or or. Plenty of possibilities.

    Sheesh, I shouldn’t read that site too often though–as a former urban middle school teacher, it’s poignant as hell. There’s a Chicago public pre-K teacher that just wants a big sturdy dollhouse and furniture and diverse dolls for it. Another teacher seems to just want a case of glue sticks. There’s a school out there with one TV for the whole building–they want to get a second one. And on and on.

  17. 18
    dickey45 says:

    Parents of Autistic Children of Oregon (http://poac-or.org). It is a tax deductible nonprofit that trains teachers who, in turn, train other teachers in effective teaching practices that are scientifically validated – something that Oregon does not do at this time.

    As a board member, I have supported many parents and teachers in Oregon in effective teaching practices. Although you can read books, the best way is to show people and to directly work with children. At this time, pretty much no insurance pays for treating children with autism – they leave it up to the schools. And we all know how well funded schools are…

    Please consider our nonprofit. Although we are new, we have literally no overhead. All board members are volunteers.

  18. 19
    Hugo says:

    National Network of Abortion Funds

  19. 20
    Renee says:

    I am a huge believe in Habitat for Humanity. With the current mortgage foreclosure crises more and more people will be needing decent housing. Habitat is our family charity.

  20. 21
    bfp says:

    just an update (I hope you don’t mind amp, if i open this up to other people who may have some spare money as well!! :->)–for anybody who has any cash to spare–nadia at no snow here has a list of women on her sidebar who are fundraising to get to the allied media conference (http://www.alliedmediaconference.org/about):


    It would be an awesome way to support a feminist/indy media cause!!!!


  21. 22
    Elizabeth Anne says:

    Heifer Project!

  22. 23
    RonF says:

    I’ve read through the whole list above. I’d vote for funneling the money into benefiting education in whatever the closest community to you is that needs it. Nothing breaks poverty and breaks down the problems that people in a minority face than getting an education. Help someone help themselves.

  23. 24
    Jessica says:

    I know Scarleteen is often in dire need of money and they do such an amazing job for a shitload of kids and teens and even adults, spreading the word about safe sex, respect, pro-choice sex ed, etc…


  24. 25
    ADS says:

    I second Donors Choose, Heifer International, and Habitat, and I’ll add a vote for the Fistula Foundation.

  25. 26
    Tom T. says:

    Here’s some information on donating to charities that are attempting to help the cyclone victims in Myanmar.

  26. 27
    Barbara says:

    If you want to split it up, I think you should start the process by dividing it into local, national, and international priorities. I am with RonF, educational or other empowerment organizations, are the way to go locally. Nationally, I think indy media and organizations like Scarleteen are really worthwhile. Internationally, this is a bit trickier because there are a lot to choose from and it’s hard to know how well they do. Here are some ideas:

    MercyCorps is a nondenominational aid organization: http://www.mercycorps.org/aboutus/overview

    IRC (International Rescue Committee) does good work.

    An organization that I have been looking at is FINCA, a microfinance organization. (http://www.villagebanking.org/site/c.erKPI2PCIoE/b.2394157/k.8161/Frequently_Asked_Questions.htm)

    Finally, there is “Women for Women” (http://www.womenforwomen.org/who.htm) which directly assists women in achieving self-sufficiency.

  27. 28
    Roving Thundercloud says:

    I second Heifer; a lot of their projects are directed specifically at women, and often the secondary profits that families make are used to get their kids into school.

  28. 29
    Lu says:

    Of those that have already been mentioned, Heifer and Doctors Without Borders.

    Also International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Afghans for Afghans. (A4A is largely aimed at knitters and crocheters, but they do accept cash donations as well.)

    While I agree with Ron about education, my husband and I tend to make our biggest donations to international relief organizations that help people whose poverty is inconceivable to any American. As in having literally nothing to wear in freezing weather.

  29. 30
    Ampersand says:

    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I wish I could give to all these groups.

  30. 31
    Original Lee says:

    I third (or fourth, whatever) the Heifer Project. Also Doctors Without Borders do excellent work. A late friend of mine did a stint with them every year. Habitat for Humanity is another favorite of mine, and both my parents volunteer with them every week, so of course I’m biased in their favor.

    One (relatively new to me) charity you might want to consider: Camfed (Campaign for Female Education), a nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating poverty in Africa through the education of girls and the empowerment of young women. Camfed works directly with girls and women in rural areas of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana and Tanzania, providing educational and economic opportunities.

    Camfed has a seed money microgrant and microcredit program that is run by young women for young women, creating a bond of female solidarity that is integral to its success. Young women in the seed money program receive an initial microgrant, which they do not have to repay, in order to launch a small business venture, thus benefiting themselves, their families, and their entire communities.

  31. 32
    FurryCatHerder says:

    Habitat for Humanity on the Gulf Coast. Not that I think New Orleans is okay or anything, but they’ve got a number of well-heeled people there supporting the Habitat chapter and other projects like it (Brad Pitt’s Pink Project, for example).

  32. 33
    Barbara says:

    Just FYI Habitat for Humanity: Before donating, you might want to investigate the conflicts that seem to have cropped up with this organization between its national corporate parent and local affiliates. There have also been some questions regarding the Gulf Coast relief efforts, though I have to believe that some of these are just embedded in the fact that it received more money than it could spend effectively, too early on (before it was really possible to rebuild). One of the hardest things to know is how your money will really be spent, so it’s worth investigating these kinds of issues.

  33. 34
    Valley says:

    I nominate HIPS or ISWFACE which has been doing a lot for sex workers rights and concerns, not to mention UNBUNTU. My two cents worth.

  34. 35
    little light says:

    Locally, there’s Outside In (http://outsidein.org/), which provides shelter and community for homeless, especially queer youth, and provides an amazing nonprofit, low-income/sliding-scale health clinic to marginalized people (especially queer homeless youth) in need.
    There’s the Portland Women’s Crisis Line (http://pwcl.org/), who I know do amazing work helping women dealing with sexual assault, domestic violence, and other problems.
    There’s always the Oregon Food Bank. (http://www.oregonfoodbank.org/)