Philanthropy and Nonprofits
We all like to do things that make us feel good about ourselves. And what better way to feel good about yourself than to help others? Whether you're looking for a new charity to give to or want to check the legitimacy of one to which you already give, the resources you need are online. You can find a place to volunteer at home or abroad, research and apply to education programs in philanthropy and nonprofit studies, read up on the latest in nonprofit news, or even find ways to better run or start your own nonprofit.
The world of philanthropy and volunteering is made up of millions of people such as yourself, and thousands of opportunities to help out in myriad ways. These sites can help you sift through all the grains of goodwill and find the perfect way you can give, volunteer, and interact with the needy and all those others that want to help.
- There are thousands of causes and organizations out there. If you're feeling stretched thin, remember that there are other ways to help besides donating money or volunteering. Check out the community Web sites to help connect others with your causes.
- If you can't choose one specific charity but still want to help, consider giving to a larger charitable foundation, which in turn funds many various smaller charities and organizations.
- The sites here are well respected, but a good consumer is an informed consumer; it never hurts to run a quick glance over the fine print yourself. Donating doesn't have to be a one-way interaction, and building relationships with charitable organizations requires this bit of thought and education.
For volunteer and donor matching sites ...
is a well-known and respected nonprofit and volunteer resource site. Listing almost 60,000 nonprofit organizations, you can search for volunteer opportunities, nonprofit jobs, and community events and actions worldwide. Idealist's credibility and comprehensiveness are of particular note.
matches up volunteers and organizations according to their preferences, almost like a dating service. With good but simple search criteria and separate sections for volunteers, nonprofit organizations, and corporations, it offers an efficient and powerful way to start giving quickly.
also helps volunteers and organizations to come together, but with useful search criteria such as target age group to serve. Don't be put off by the somewhat dour and hard-to-read color scheme and design.
will track your donation history to help you out come tax time whether you're donating to a specific cause or to their umbrella fund. A place to coordinate all your altruism, this site lets you both find volunteer opportunities as well as manage your various monetary donations.
attaches the ".org" to the age-old bequest to sulky teenagers to, well, do something. The site provides kids with a multitude of ways to comply, hooking them up with charities and volunteer opportunities in their area that fit their needs. This site also gives out weekly mini-grants to fund youngsters' own pet projects to encourage their creativity and leadership.
USA Freedom Corps
is the White House office in charge of coordinating and promoting volunteerism among Americans. Among its associated programs are the well known Peace Corps and AmeriCorps programs. A USAFC kids' Web site has its home here as well.
For other volunteer organizations ...
is akin to a domestic version of the Peace Corps. If you want a rigorous, community-based volunteer experience but want to stay in the United States, this program might interest you. Because coordination is easier without international issues, AmeriCorps offers a greater variety of service options.
The National Park Service
has its own in-house volunteer opportunity search engine, as well as tools to find internships and jobs within the service, available to both Americans and foreigners. If you're a nature person this is a great place to find anything from short-stint volunteer positions to a full-time job.
offers an alternative way to spend your hard-earned vacation days. Its week-long volunteer trips of all sorts take small groups into the wilderness areas of the United States to assist a variety of government agencies in their conservation efforts. You can apply and browse the trips offered on this site, each of which cost $239.
To take part in one-time-gift charities and pledge sites ...
embraces the old "I will if you will" attitude when it comes to charity. Here you can post a pledge (ideally a charitable pledge) that you will fulfill only if a specified number of other pledgers will join you.
makes one-time small gifts of financial assistance to those in need with the philosophy that preventing people from falling into poverty due to temporary setbacks is paramount. You can browse and contribute to individual applications, all of which are vetted for authenticity by volunteers.
uses the same model as Modest Needs of connecting donors with small-needs receivers of charity to enable teachers and schoolchildren to get the funds they need for their projects, productions, or simply for everyday school life. After the funds are received the recipients file expenditure reports, photographs, and thank you letters to let you see how the money is being used.
To be part of an online charity community ...
is a social activism social networking site centered around "changes" people would like to see in the world. The site helps people discuss and share causes with blogs and videos, connects them to related organizations, and in partnership with justgive.org provides a place to make all your donations online and encourage others to do so using giving networks. The very informative video tour of the site makes joining and using it quick and easy to do.
enables you to share your passion for a cause and recruit others to donate and take part. Through a system of sharing "Badges," small snippets/info/ads about a cause, this growing social networking site (that includes a number of celebrity members) is all about getting the word out about what's important to you. Oh, and yes, it is one more way you can connect people to Kevin Bacon.
Nonprofit Organizations MySpace
hosts a good deal of useful philanthropic and volunteering information posted by different users. Run by one woman simply trying to bring organization and motivation to the nonprofit community online, this modest site is an effective rallying point for like-minded individuals.
has a charity community site that is a bit unwieldy and clogged with features, but click over to its shopping section and you can generate revenue to save the rainforests through the commissions Care2.com receives from e-stores when you shop online. The practical green thumbs-up tool will also tell you which sites you shop at are environmentally responsible.
To use a charitable search engine ...
has made it easy for even the biggest couch/computer-potato to help raise money for charity. This Yahoo!-powered search engine lets you direct 50 percent of the advertising revenue from your searches to the charity of your choice. The more you search the Web, the more money your charity gets.
works on the same principles as GoodSearch does, and though its charity option list is less expansive, the ability to customize the page with your own widgets makes it a nice option as your homepage portal site.
gives to just one charity a month, but it gives every last cent of its revenue to that charity, compared to 50 percent of most other charitable search engines, making it a true nonprofit. If you don't care what the cause is, but want your money used efficiently, this site might be more your style.
takes a more aggressive approach toward funding than other charity search engines, making commission deals with their advertisers. If you're planning on making a purchase online, search through this site first and if you choose an advertiser's site, most likely a commission or flat fee quite higher than any ad revenue will be given to a charitable cancer foundation.
has a massive searchable charity listing, with running stats on how much has been raised for each, that makes it stand out in terms of transparency. This UK site naturally focuses on UK charities.
The Hunger Site
is not a search engine, but it follows the general idea of these sites to let you give without giving. Here you simply need to click a button, which you can do once a day, and a donation is made from the site's sponsors. It is part of a family of similar sites for a range of causes, all accessible by tabs at the top of the site.
builds on the proven idea that small-scale loans to entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to spur development. On this well-designed site you can browse or search for specific entrepreneurs in developing countries and make a loan directly to that person. When the loan is repaid, so are you, after which you can make another loan with the money or not, knowing you helped someone take their first steps up.
lets you immediately start helping villages in the developing world, without leaving your seat. Here you can browse and take on various two- to eight-hour tasks that may involve researching various topics of development, interviewing local representatives to gain more information, or any number of other urgently needed things that require direct human assistance, all done at your desk!
Community volunteering doesn't have to mean your own community. Hordes of people young and ... read more »
The sites featured in this section have stepped in to help you ensure that your charity and ... read more »
As philanthropy and nonprofits grow both as an educational discipline and a field of study, the ... read more »
If you're already in the world of nonprofit or philanthropy, the Web has enormous resources that ... read more »
If your altruistic interests are of a more academic or professional bent, many opportunities for a ... read more »
Most Recent Guides