Charity Websites UK Top 10
The list of the UK s top 10 charity websites includes charities, not-for-profit organisations and media outlets covering the voluntary sector and is scored by their editorial content:
NSPCC is a charity campaigning and working in child protection. According to the website, they are the only UK children s charity with statutory powers which means they ‘can take action to safeguard children at risk of abuse.’
Third Sector, part of the Haymarket Media Group, is a publication that covers the voluntary and not-for-profit sector.
WaterAid is an international non-profit organisation that was set up in 1981 as a response to the UN International Drinking Water Sanitation decade. The organisation was first established by the UK water industry as a charitable trust at their main office premises in London. According to the website, the organisation reached out to 2 million people with safe water and 3 million people with sanitation last year.
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is a UK national charity that trains dogs to alert their deaf owners to sounds. The charity has placed more than 1,600 hearing dogs and there are currently more than 775 hearing dog partnerships across the UK.
Fundraising UK Ltd is an Internet fundraising consultancy founded in 1996 by Howard Lake. It helps charities in the UK and internationally to use digital tools and channels to enhance and extend their existing fundraising activities. It also advises for-profit companies that provide services and products to fundraisers, helping them use digital tools to enhance their business.
The MS Society is a charitable organisation that funds research and support for those affected by Multiple Sclerosis. The MS Society is also committed to bringing high quality health and social care within reach of everyone affected by MS.
CharityComms is the membership network for communications professionals working in UK charities. The group was set up in 2007 by communications directors from some of the UK’s biggest charities, several of whom are still on the board of trustees. The founding members felt there was no real home for charity communications professionals where they could share best practice, insight and innovation and network with their peers. CharityComms was created to fill that gap.
The Marine Conservation Society is a UK charity for the protection of the seas around the United Kingdom, and for the protection of their shores and wildlife. ‘We work to secure a future for our living seas, and to save our threatened marine wildlife before it is lost forever.’
Charity Times is the business and management magazine for UK non-profit professionals. Charity Times Online complements the printed publication, offering breaking news, a fortnightly email newsletter and in-depth features, plus jobs, factsheets, full diary listings, archives and access to the largest marketplace of services for non-profit organisations.
Across the UK today, 6.5 million people are carers, supporting a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill. Carers UK is a membership-led charity in the UK for carers. It was formed by the merger of two existing voluntary organisations on 14 May 1988. Originally constituted as Carers National Association it was renamed Carers UK in 2001.
The fundamentals of working with these websites are the same as with traditional journalists at traditional media outlets: respect their schedules; take time to read their material to learn their interests; and only contact them if/when they want to be contacted.
Vuelio’s blog ranking methodology takes into consideration social sharing, topic-related content and post frequency. Profiles of these charity websites and their authors can be found in the Vuelio Media Database.
Author: Imogen Bennett and Priyanka Dayal
Vuelio UK’s internet researcher Imogen Bennett and content manager Priyanka Dayal have worked together on this ranking. Contact them on Twitter @imogen_Vuelio and @DayalPriyanka
Struggle to Keep Up with the Latest PR, Public Affairs and Comms News?
Get a fortnightly news round-up delivered straight to your inbox
25 Emotive Charity and Non-Profit Websites
Take a journey into the Arctic and explore for yourself its natural wonders, the threat of the encroaching oil industry, and follow the struggle to Save the Arctic. The Arctic is under pressure from oil companies seeking to exploit its fossil resources. They see the melting of the sea ice, not as a warning, but as a business opportunity.
The Cost of Carbon
The Cost of Carbon is a living documentation of the price we are all paying for carbon pollution.
Names for Change
UMD is selling the naming rights to all of the items that connect their clients to food, shelter and a future.
ONE is a grassroots campaign of more than 3 million people committed to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases.
charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations.
Food Angel is a food rescue and assistance program in Hong Kong.
Head Shoulders Has A Dirty Secret
Wiping away tiger homes every time I wash my hair? Not for me, thanks. Head Shoulders needs to stop bringing rainforest destruction into my shower. They can and must protect paradise.
‘The monster that wouldn t let children go to school’ is both a website and an interactive short film in which, if you want, you can play a main role.
R volution Rose is the international campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer.
We Heart Tree
Design your own virtual tree and pledge to be more conscious of your paper usage.
The Lieber Institute for Brain Development | LIBD
Focused on understanding the neurodevelopmental origins of schizophrenia and related psychiatric disorders and translating this understanding into improved treatments that change the lives of affected individuals.
Greenpeace vs Killstarter
Stop funding projects which make GMOs, nuclear power, deforestation and others.
Life in My Shoes
Life in my Shoes is Body Soul’s pioneering and powerful multi-platform campaign that challenges the fear and misunderstanding surrounding HIV in the UK.
CUPS is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals and families overcome poverty.
Gallery Of Mo
See the Gallery of Mo, and marvel at the magnificent mo s within. Donate to get your own portrait in support of Movember, the independent charity working to impact the face of men s health.
The Dadaab refugee camp is the largest in the world. The people that live here have remarkable stories to tell they just need a place to share them.
We are changing the world through clean water.
One For The Boys
One For The Boys helps make men aware of the dangers of cancer and how to combat them.
Counterspill promotes awareness about the impact of non-renewable energy disasters through a living archive that combines best-in-class reporting, research, social media and community engagement.
Target Nuclear Weapons
Australian Red Cross needs your help to ban the use of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are capable of destroying the planet in a matter of hours. Not enough has been done to ban their use.
World Wildlife Fund | WWF
World Wildlife Fund is the leading organization in wildlife conservation and endangered species. Learn how you can help WWF make a difference.
Good for Nothing Collaborating for Good
Good for Nothing, smart folk collaborating and experimenting to solve stuff that matters.
Too Young to Wed
A multimedia partnership between the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and premier photo agency VII, seeks to raise awareness of the practice and ultimately, to end it.
Not For Sale
End Human Trafficking and Slavery
Milk and Blood
In South Sudan the Milk and Blood of cattle allows families to survive a brutal climate and often inhospitable land. Peace has brought much to this new state, but it has not ended conflict. When we came here to report on the birth of this new country we found both Milk and Blood. Help support independent journalism.
Found is our way of sharing the best articles, resources and tutorials that find their way to the eyeballs of the CSSDA crew.
How to Set up a Number to Text for Donations (with Pictures), charity text
How to Set up a Number to Text for Donations
Receiving donations via SMS text messaging has become very popular over the last few years. It is extremely easy to use and is especially convenient for people who are always on-the-go, own a high-end smartphone or tablet, and do not always have cash on them. Using a text-to-donate service, you can generate a unique code, making it possible for people to donate easily and quickly toward your cause. This donation is then added to the donor’s monthly mobile phone bill, or is debited from his or her available funds on a non-contract phone. Mobile fundraising, which especially appeals to the younger generation of users, can be enhanced with active campaigning, social media marketing and event promotion.
Part One of Three:
Planning Your Fundraising Campaign Edit
Part Two of Three:
Partnering with an Intermediary Organization or MASP Edit
Part Three of Three:
Promoting Your Text Campaign Edit
‘New age’ of charity donations by text message
By Matt Warman, Consumer Technology Editor
7:00AM BST 09 May 2011
The charity collecting tin looks set to be replaced by the mobile phone under a new initiative that will let any charity receive donations by text message. According to Cancer Research UK, the move heralds a new age of giving .
Although major charities such as Comic Relief have had access to text message donation services for some time, prohibitive costs have excluded smaller charities. Now collaboration between website JustGiving.com and Vodafone has resulted in JustTextGiving, which will allow any of the UK s 184,000 charities to set themselves up to receive donations via text, with no commission taken by suppliers.
According to a specially commissioned survey, charities have so far struggled to motivate younger donors, with just 44 per cent of 18-24 year olds making donations. This compares with 80 per cent of over 65 year olds. Think tank Respublica estimates that text donations could be worth £96 million annually by 2014, but seven in ten charities said the cost of setting up such a service was a key barrier. Cancer Research UK’s director of supporter marketing, Natasha Hill, said We believe the use of mobile devices for charitable giving has the potential to tap into a new demographic and create a new age of giving.”
Anne-Marie Huby, Managing Director of JustGiving, said she believes that, The future success of the charitable sector depends on making giving relevant for the next generation of donors and fundraisers with mobiles a pocket essential, the ability to harness the power of a simple text is game-changing for the country s charities. Major events like Comic Relief and Children in Need have led the way in demonstrating the potential of text giving . She added that opening the technology up to smaller charities would allow them to reap similar benefits.
Vodafone is investing £5 million in the scheme. Chief Executive Guy Laurence said, Around 50 million people carry a mobile so the potential for charities and individuals to raise additional money is very real and exciting. Whether you re watching a friend run a 5k or at you re at your kid s school concert, you will now be able to give on the spot. Fundraising will never be the same again.
Charities will be able to personalise their own unique 6-digit SMS code to start receiving donations of up to £10. Cancer Research UK will use the code CRUK11. All registered charities can set up their codes from today; individuals will be able to do the same from June.
How to Donate to Charity With Your Smartphone
Mobile giving has become the big story in philanthropy recently. Now that most Americans own smartphones, it s easy to donate to favorite causes using those phones and there are many ways to do so.
For instance, since it s easy to surf the web with a smartphone, you can go right to a charity s website and donate.
You can also donate while hanging out at your favorite social site.
Facebook now makes it easy to donate right on its site or to reach a charity s website when you see a fundraising appeal. You can even team up with a charity to help raise funds from your family and friends. Just click the Donate button when you see it on a charity s FB home page, or in a post, or when a charity runs a special peer-to-peer crowdfunding fundraiser.
Even Twitter has started experimenting with a donate ability where certain charities can accept donations through the Twitter app. Twitter makes it easy to give frequently because your credit card info is stored and available the next time you want to click on a Donate button. Charities send out a receipt that you can use for tax purposes.
Donating by Text Still an Option
Although giving by text became popular when many of us only had flip phones, many charities still encourage donations through mobile texting, especially for domestic or international emergencies.
Texting works no matter what kind of cell phone you have.
The significant breakthrough for texting donations came in 2010 when the American Red Cross launched its massive campaign to raise money for the Haiti earthquake. That event set new records for fundraising.
While the adoption of smartphones in recent years, with their ease of donating through social media or just surfing to a charity s website, has overshadowed text-to-donate, it s still popular with certain generations and in specific situations.
For instance, Millennials and Gen Xers text donations more than older generations. That might be because texting a donation is popular at big events such as a football game or a big concert.
If you have not donated by text and would like to experiment the next time a text-to-give campaign beckons, just follow these simple directions.
How Do You Text a Donation?
First, find out the letters (keyword) to text and the number (short code) to send it to, depending on which charity you wish to support.
Text-to-give campaigns are ideal for all kinds of media, so you will likely hear about a particular text to give campaign and the keywords and codes, from the radio, while surfing the Internet, from your TV, or from your friends on your social media.
So, when you hear or see the information, grab your phone and start texting.
For example, you might text the word CHARITY to the number 491062 and hit send. That, in this hypothetical case, would trigger a donation to the charity.
Wait to receive a text message asking you to confirm your donation. Click yes. Your donation will not take effect until you confirm it.
Your gift (usually limited to $5 or $10) is charged to your mobile phone bill. Your donation goes to a company, such as mGive, that specializes in mobile donations.
That company may charge a small fee for the transaction, which comes out of the donation to the charity.
In some cases, such as an emergency, the processor may waive the fee. Your phone company may or may not charge you text fees depending on your mobile phone plan.
You may be able to repeat your text donation up to a set amount, again depending on your phone carrier. Your gift will appear on your mobile phone bill.
Don t expect a thank you other than a short text message automatically generated on your phone. One of the features of mobile fundraising is that the charity receiving your donation does not know your name or address.
So, save your phone bill to use as a receipt if you plan to claim a tax deduction for the donation.
Exciting Trends in Mobile Giving
QR Codes are a promising alternative to using keywords and short codes to send a donation via your mobile phone.
5 of the Best Crowdfunding Sites for Charitable Giving
Giving to charity online through crowdfunding has been a resounding success, with dozens of giving sites scattered across the web. Why? Because they help all types of donors to quickly and conveniently find worthy causes to support.
Crowdfunding sites bring together many charities in one place, so a potential donor does not have to hop around looking for individual charities. And nonprofits, whatever their size, can find a home where they can reach donors quickly.
Many small charities use these sites because they are reasonably priced, provide widgets that they can put on their homepages, and just make it easier to raise funds.
Besides accepting donations charities, many online giving sites invite individuals to set up personalized fundraising campaigns for their favorite causes or even to help other people. In turn, charities can run their peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns through these sites.
Here are several of the most popular charitable giving websites that provide information about many charities and causes. They are terrific places to start your journey towards a lifetime of charitable giving or to experience the joy of fundraising yourself.
Network for Good
Besides powering many online giving sites, Network for Good has its own website where donors can give to their favorite charities, keep all their giving records in one place, and spread the word about those charities to friends.
For nonprofits, Network for Good is a cost-effective way to process donations online. Nonprofits can set up branded pages and put donate widgets on their websites.
Network for Good provides many valuable services to its nonprofit clients, including software for donor management and peer-to-peer fundraising.
A razoo is a coin of the smallest value. This site believes that it doesn t take millions of dollars to make a difference. The greatest opportunities for change lie in the hands of everyday philanthropists who want to help others.
Donors can search for charities, donate quickly, and set up personal fundraising pages for the cause of their choice. Razoo makes it easy to spread the word through social media.
Nonprofits can use Razoo to process donations both from the Razoo site and from their websites, using the donate widget, for a modest transaction fee. They can even set up special campaigns through Razoo. More
If you d rather be safe than sorry about your charitable contributions and enjoy a bit of research, try donating through Charity Navigator.
Charity Navigator rates charities based on very strict criteria that include financial health, transparency, and accountability. Plus, there is a trove of useful information including the ratings for listed charities, ranging from one to four stars.
You can research and then donate through Charity Navigator s Giving Basket. Pick one or more charities, set up monthly giving if you wish and get a receipt, all for a modest processing fee. You can also click through to the website of any charity that gets your interest.
On the home page of Charity Navigator, find links to useful articles and guidelines, plus lists of featured charities that frequently change. These are often tied to hot charitable themes, issues, or emergencies.
Subscribe to Charity Navigator s email list so you can stay up on charitable issues and alerts.
You can search for charities by name or category. If you want to find a reputable charity that helps dogs, look for animal charities. If you have a charity in mind, check to see if it has a rating.
Not all charities are listed at Charity Navigator, only those 501(c)(3) charities that have been checked out and rated. It is not a comprehensive and exhaustive list of charities. Also, Charity Navigator focuses on larger nonprofits, so you may not find your favorite local charity on the list More
Generosity by Indiegogo
Indiegogo has become a darling of crowdfunding over the past few years. Until recently, the postings included startups raising money, individuals raising money for a new idea, and charitable causes by individuals or nonprofits.
Now, the philanthropic opportunities appear on another site called Generosity. Here you ll find fundraising for a cause by a person, groups raising money for a charity, charities that have created a campaign, and more. All of it is about helping others. You can contribute or start a campaign of your own. More
Crowdrise is the answer to Millennial fundraising. Started just a few years ago by actor Ed Norton and his friends, Crowdrise turned fundraising on its ear. No fussiness here. Just lots of fun, jazzy copy, cool photos and a horde of fundraisers.
Recently Crowdrise was acquired by GoFundMe, a crowdfunding site with massive success in raising money for people and projects. Going forward, Crowdrise will be the charity site and GoFundMe the place to go for personal fundraisers.
On either of these sites, individuals or charities can set up a fundraiser site in minutes. If you re not interested in fundraising yourself but want to find some great organizations and causes to give to, Crowdrise may be the place for you. More
Charity Ratings, America s Most Independent, Assertive Charity Watchdog, CharityWatch, charity giving.#Charity #giving
CharityWatch , founded 25 years ago as the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) , is America s most independent, assertive charity watchdog. CharityWatch does not merely repeat what a charity reports using simplistic or automated formulas. We dive deep to let you know how efficiently a charity will use your donation to fund the programs you want to support. CharityWatch exposes nonprofit abuses and advocates for your interests as a donor.
Detailed information about the charities which earn Top-Rated status from CharityWatch is now available to the public.
Crowdfunding Popularity Continues to Soar Despite Risks to Donors
Several years ago most people probably had never heard the word crowdfunding Defined as the process of funding a project.
Costly and Continuous Kars4Kids Ads Disguise Charity s Real Purpose
Described by many as annoying and by SFGate com as the subject of widespread ubiquitous hate the catchy advertising jingle.
Reported Charity Salaries May Not Tell the Full Story
Donors often seek out information on charity executive salaries when considering whether or not to donate to a particular nonprofit.
The Senate Singles Out WWP For Bad Practices That Also Occur At Other Charities
Multiple media outlets including CBS News and The New York Times accused WWP of wasting donations on lavish spending such.
“CharityWatch has warned in advance of coming scandals at Feed the Children, Central Asia Institute, and Wounded Warrior Project. “
“Indeed, knowing how your dollars or donations will be used during and beyond an event is important before you give, [CharityWatch president, Daniel] Borochoff said. ‘Sometimes a charity will raise more money than is needed for the cause, which could open the door for the charity to take advantage of having the overflow money,’ he said. ‘Find out how the money will be used and earmark your donation for a specific disaster so it’s clear how you want your money allocated.’ “
The tax benefits of giving to charity
If you’re worried about the Inheritance Tax that might have to be paid when you die, giving away some of your money to charity – either now or in your will – can reduce the bill. This guide explains how.
Cutting your Inheritance Tax bill
Visit GOV.UK to find more information on which part of your estate pays Inheritance Tax, calculators and relevant forms.
Leaving a part or your entire estate to charity can reduce, and in some situations, eliminate the Inheritance Tax liability.
If you leave something to charity in your will, then it won’t count towards the total taxable value of your estate.
This is called leaving a ‘charitable legacy’.
You can also cut the Inheritance Tax rate on the rest of your estate from 40% to 36%, if you leave at least 10% of your ‘net estate’ to a charity.
To illustrate how this would work, let’s say that when you died:
- Your net estate was worth £425,000
- In your will, you left it all to your partner who lives with you
- You have your full Inheritance Tax allowance (currently £325,000 for the 2016/17 tax year)
- You weren’t married or in a civil partnership (the spouse exemption is not available if you are not married)
- Thus, the ‘net estate’ is £100,000 (i.e. £425,000 minus £325,000). And there is Inheritance Tax to pay on £100,000 at a rate of 40%
- So, your estate’s would have to pay a tax bill of £40,000 (i.e. 40% of £100,000).
But if you wanted to reduce the tax bill by making a charitable gift:
- You’d leave your partner £415,000, and
- £10,000 to charity in your will (which is 10% of your ‘net value’ of £100,000)
- The estate would then pay 36% on £90,000 worth of assets instead. This means that your estate would pay £32,400 in Inheritance Tax.
While this would mean your partner receives less when you die, in this example making a charitable legacy would shave off £7,600 from the Inheritance Tax bill.
This is worth considering if you’re keen to support a charity even after your death.
The rules on how to work out what you can give away to charity to secure the lower tax rate aren’t always as straightforward as our simple illustration above.
So, it’s a good idea to get the advice of a solicitor or accountant who specialises in estate planning.
Giving to charity while alive and tax relief
There’s nothing to stop you from giving to charity right away.
You can make a cash donation or give them anything you own and it won’t be counted as part of your estate when you die.
This could cut or even eliminate any Inheritance Tax there is to pay upon death.
You can also benefit from some relief from certain taxes such as Income Tax, when you donate to a charity while you’re still alive.
Did you know?
About £150 of every £1,000 received by charities in the UK comes from charitable legacies.
How to leave something to charity in your will
If you want to give a charity something in your will, you can leave it either as:
- A fixed amount of money, known as a ‘pecuniary legacy’
- A share of what’s left of your estate once all costs and other legacies are paid out, known as a ‘residuary legacy’.
As your will is a legally binding document, and the subject of charitable legacies can be complex, it’s sensible to seek professional help when making a legacy in your will.
What to include in your will
Make sure that you, or the person writing your will, includes all the information your executor will need to understand what you want to happen.
This should include:
- The name of the charity, spelled correctly (so there are no arguments)
- The registered charity number of the charity and its registered address, which will be on the charity’s website or on a central register.
- A receipt clause so the charity’s trustee or treasurer can accept the ley.
- A merger clause so if the charity has merged or ceases to exist, your executor can pay the legacy to the new charity or a charity with similar charitable values.
Giving to a specific charity
To find details of a charity you wish to support, search:
If you want a legacy to go to a local branch of the charity, rather than into a central pot, check with the charity first if this is possible.
Some branches are not legally able to accept gifts themselves.
Some charities will help you to write a will for free if you include a legacy for them in it. Ask your favoured charity whether they offer a free will writing service.
Did you find this guide helpful?
Care to share?
- Share this article on Facebook
Share this article on Facebook
Share this article on Twitter
Share this article by Email
Houston Children’s Charity is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for Greater Houston’s underprivileged, abused and disabled children who have been otherwise left behind. The scope of our support is limited only by the availability of resources. Our goal is to leave no legitimate request for assistance unanswered.
It all began as a fundraiser for Laura Ward’s own children’s school – five bucks a head for a spaghetti dinner in the high school gym of a private Christian school. Over forty-million dollars and thirty years later, her drive to help children in need ranks her among the top Executive Directors of children’s charities.
For the past 20 years, through an array of capital and operating support, HCC has provided program services for over 300 agencies and more than 1,500,000 children. In addition, the Becker Emergency Fund has provided over $100,000 to assist families in an emergency crisis situation.
Through our “Chariots for Children,” we provide special purpose vehicles used to deliver mobility freedom not otherwise available. This program is dedicated to providing specifically designed handicapped accessible vans to families and equipped transportation to organizations with a similar mission. HCC has awarded 90 passenger vans, 51 handicapped accessible vehicles, 3 box trucks, 1 car and 2 vehicle modifications to 94 agencies and 53 individual families.
Thanks to the generosity of our many supporters, scholarships are being provided to enable underprivileged youth to attend college, potentially breaking the cycle of poverty in their families. HCC has awarded scholarships, totaling $240,000, to deserving Houston area students through the Houston Children’s Charity Scholarship Fund.
In 2006, Houston Children’s Charity pledged a gift in the amount of $1,000,000 to establish the “Houston Children’s Charity Family Emergency Fund at Texas Children’s Cancer Center.” This fund is used exclusively for the fulfillment of the needs of the children and the families of children under treatment in Texas Children’s Cancer Center. In 2016, HCC renewed its commitment and made another $1,000,000 pledge.
Since its inception in 2009, the “HCC Closet ” has provided gently-used clothing and shoes to over 10,000 children and their families. This program was designed to provide a positive experience for families to shop at absolutely no cost to them.
Houston Children’s Charity’s “Back2School ” program has been paving the road for success for under-served children in Houston since 2005. Beginning with just one school district, our program now encompasses a number of independent school districts, charter schools across 5 counties. Overall, this annual project has helped more than 20,000 children.
We truly believe that all children, regardless of their socio-economic status, should walk into school on day one with a backpack and the basic supplies needed to succeed.
Since 2007, HCC’s “A Better Night’s Sleep” program has been providing families with a twin mattress set, bed frame, sheets, pillow and blanket on a monthly basis. To date, HCC has provided over 11,000 children with a bed of their very own.
In 2010, Houston broke the 1980 record of 32 days over 100° temperatures and ended up with 46 days over that 100° mark. In 2011, out of need in our community, HCC launched “Kool Kidz.” This program has allowed 98 families the opportunity to stay cool during the hottest months of the year.
Each year, during our annual Easter and Christmas Parties, Christmas Toy Distributions, Adopt-A-Family programs, the Greater Houston Area’s under-served children can experience some of the joys of life. Along with these events, additional sports outings and cultural events, help disadvantaged children expand their horizons throughout the year. Helping the children of our community provides a positive outlook on their futures and the future of our community.
We are making progress, assisting one child at a time, and measure our success by the number of children whose lives are touched. Houston Children’s Charity benefits from a steadfast Executive Director and a “hands on” Board of Directors who carefully decide how to efficiently and effectively meet children’s needs.
Our supporters come from all walks of life. They are people who understand that caring means giving of themselves. You will often see members of the Board of Directors, which provide over 40% of the total funding, working hand-in-hand among volunteers chaperoning children at our Annual Children’s Events. More often than not, our volunteers feel they receive much more than they give. Thank you for your generosity over the past 20 years at each event. We could not do it without your help!
Remember our goal is to leave no legitimate request for assistance unanswered. We are always seeking an ever-broadening base of support, dedicated sponsors and committed volunteers to expand our ability to help children. There are numerous avenues of participation available for any individual or corporation willing to provide resources to assist children.
10 Children s Charities to Support
Consider helping these little-known causes that are making a big difference in the lives of needy kids.
By Reshma Memon Yaqub from Parents Magazine
Kids in Need
Most people are happy to help the less fortunate, especially at holiday time. But with close to a million nonprofits in America, each with its own compelling cause, it can be hard to tell who deserves your contribution the most. Because it takes so much time to sift through detailed information about a charity, we tend to either give to the one who asks first or to the same groups every year.
Unfortunately, some children’s charities that do incredible work never make it onto our radar screen because they simply don’t have the manpower or the money to publicize their efforts. We’ve identified ten such gems. You may never have heard of these organizations, but we hope you’ll be inspired to add them to your holiday list.
Newborns in Need
Clothing for the tiniest children
Four years ago, single mom Sue T. delivered her son Daron 14 weeks early. She was poor, alone, and by her own admission, “jaded and cynical.” After searching everywhere for affordable clothing that would fit her preemie, she learned about Newborns in Need, which provides clothing and blankets for poor and premature babies.
“When the boxes arrived with the supplies I needed, it restored my faith in humanity,” Sue recalls. Her situation improved, and today, she is a volunteer with the organization, helping other women and infants.
Last year, Newborns in Need volunteers distributed more than 350,000 pieces of clothing and baby gear to 2,000 hospitals, shelters, and families across the country. The organization is looking for donations of blankets, sleepers, gowns, all-in-ones, hats, booties, bottles, pacifiers, and disposable diapers.
Share Our Strength
More than food for hungry kids
We’ve all seen the images on the television news: starving children in faraway places like the Congo, Ethiopia, and Liberia. But the fact is, kids in America are starving too. Close to 13 million children in our own country are at serious risk of being undernourished.
Share Our Strength supports food banks and emergency-relief organizations, and works to address hunger’s root causes. It teaches low-income families about nutrition and budgeting, helps enroll poor children in federal nutrition programs, and funds groups that teach job and life skills to impoverished families. One of its programs encourages people to donate one hour’s wage to battle childhood hunger. Another initiative helps communities hold fund-raisers to benefit hungry kids.
Safe playgrounds for everyone
When 3-year-old Faith Tinoco was starting school back in 2002, her parents were worried that their daughter, born with Down syndrome, wouldn’t be able to play along with the other kids at Melody Park Christian School, in Salinas, California. A year earlier, there would have been cause for concern: The school’s playground equipment was outdated and inappropriate for Faith’s needs.
But thanks to an organization called Kaboom!, Faith’s school had just acquired a new playground — one that was completely safe and handicapped-accessible. Since 1995, Kaboom! has teamed up with corporate partners to create 546 playgrounds in cities and towns across the country at an average cost of $55,000 each. It has also improved 1,500 existing playgrounds to make them safer.
Health and Education Needs
SOS Children’s Villages
A place to call home
Not long ago, eight siblings in Chicago found themselves alone when their mom went to jail on drug charges and voluntarily terminated her parental rights. An aunt took in the children, then ages 10 months to 12 years, but the arrangement didn’t last. Thanks to SOS Children’s Villages, the brothers and sisters were able to stay together.
The charity provides homes for 52,000 orphaned or abandoned children in 131 countries, including the U.S. Recently, it expanded its operation in Africa, where the AIDS epidemic has left many kids without parents. Every SOS “village” consists of about ten group homes, each with six to eight children and two adults. The goal is to make each village feel like a community, and each home feel like a family.
Reach Out and Read
A prescription for books
Most kids dread going to the doctor’s office, but Mikela, 2, who lives in a shelter with her mother in rural Vermont, isn’t one of them. That’s because this little girl’s pediatrician participates in Reach Out and Read, a unique literacy program that distributes books to needy children at each of their regular checkups.
The organization, which trains doctors and nurses to educate parents about the value of reading, provides books to an estimated 1.7 million kids each year. It accepts donations of money and of gently used books, and it is currently seeking volunteers to staff doctors’ waiting rooms, to help kids with reading.
Youth Law Center
Protecting children’s rights
Laws require that children’s shelters provide abandoned kids with a safe and healthy environment, but some shelters fall short of even the minimal standards. When that happens, advocates from the Youth Law Center (YLC) are on the case. Recently, they discovered serious deficiencies at several California kids’ shelters: They were overcrowded and staffed by untrained workers. YLC forced regulators to crack down, and as a result, the shelters were either improved or closed.
The mission of the YLC is to make sure that the legal rights of children in the foster-care and criminal-justice systems are being upheld and that kids have easy access to the services they need.
I Have a Dream Foundation
The promise of education
In 1981, businessman Gene Lang made an extraordinary vow to the sixth-grade class of P.S. 121 in Harlem, the same elementary school he’d attended 50 years earlier. He told the kids that if they finished high school, he would pay their college tuition. More than 90 percent of them graduated, and some 60 percent went on to college — compliments of Mr. Lang.
The program was so successful that it has been replicated in 64 cities around the U.S. Today, there are more than 180 I Have a Dream projects, pledging college educations to more than 13,500 students. Studies have shown that students in these programs are less likely to be in trouble with the law, better able to resist peer pressure, and more likely to attend college than their peers.
Doctors of the World
Providing humanitarian aid
Conflicts around the globe have ruined the lives of millions of families. The war in Kosovo led to the deterioration of the nation’s health-care system, creating a dramatic rise in infant mortality rates. The economic collapse of the former Soviet Union resulted in the breakdown of families and a rise in cases of child abuse and neglect. Today, in the city of St. Petersburg alone, an estimated 50,000 kids live on the streets.
In those countries and some 20 others around the globe, volunteers from Doctors of the World (DOW) are providing medical and humanitarian assistance. DOW’s programs provide medication to combat epidemics, offer prenatal care for pregnant women and their babies, and fight to help protect children’s rights.
Blanketing kids with care
Every child needs a security blanket — especially kids who are seriously ill or who’ve undergone some kind of trauma. Project Linus makes sure that these children have something to snuggle up with. Volunteers create homemade, washable blankets of all sizes and styles and distribute them to kids “in need of a big hug.” Since 1995, Project Linus has given 673,000 blankets to children in countries around the world.
If you want to contribute a homemade blanket, the organization offers patterns on its Website and provides links to local chapters. Blankets can be quilts, comforters, fleece throws, afghans, or receiving blankets, in child-friendly colors. Cash donations to help defray distribution costs are also welcome.
Parents As Teachers
Support for moms and dads
Kids don’t come with an instruction manual, but Parents as Teachers provides the next best thing: Its staff regularly visits needy families at home, helping parents feel more confident about their caregiving skills, teaching them how to better interact with their children, and connecting them to community resources that serve families. It also provides screenings to identify developmental problems early. PAT believes that early interventions can help stave off child abuse and other problems.
Help Fund Research for Mark and Rachel
Having a child with a terminal illness is heartbreaking enough, but the grief is compounded when the disease is so rare that scientists haven’t even gotten around to studying it. Debby Bookman’s two children have such an illness: a variant of Glycogen Storage Disease Type IV, a metabolic disorder that affects only seven children in the United States.
Bookman is desperately trying to raise $500,000 to pay for research so doctors can learn more about the disease. The Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, mom hopes that some kind of gene therapy can be identified before it’s too late for her son, Mark, 12, and her daughter, Rachel, 10. (Kids with this disease have heart defects and muscle malfunction, and they rarely live past age 14.)
The Save-a-Heart Fund has already raised $100,000 for the cause. Donations can be sent to the fund, care of the Philadelphia Foundation, 1234 Market Street, Suite 1800, Philadelphia, PA 19107.