Dear 100 Hour Board,
What is your favorite charity to donate to (or would be, if you had more money) and why?
My favorite charities include:
The Innocence Project - They are really dedicated, they have a pretty high rate of success, I feel that they use funds effectively, and the mass incarceration crisis is one of the things I hate most about America. True crime is one of my interests, and I care about having the right people in jail and *ONLY* the right people in jail.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children - Man... these people have been working their butts off for so many decades. NCMEC is big enough and well known enough that they are effective at spreading information and aiding in missing persons cases. I know their involvement has helped immensely to get lots of kids home, and they don't give up on older cases either. I have sent them messages about creating information databases to help connect missing children to the Doe Network, that sort of thing.
Global Fund for Women - Instead of finding smaller non-profits who have a cause that I love, I like that the Global Fund For Women is dedicated to gender equality, and they currently fund (I think) around 90 grants, aimed at different goals. They have a highly effective organization and I am always glad to give some donations to them.
The National Police Accountability Project, lately. For the same reasons as everyone else here is saying.
I like to stick to tried-and-true organizations generally because I trust that my money is being used for exactly what it should be, and I am helping to champion causes that I care about in an actually productive way.
I know it doesn't count as charity work, but I have absolutely LOVED supporting local and small businesses during the COVID lockdown and will probably continue to do so after this is all over. I like to buy earrings from my... what, aunt-in-law? (who knows, man) on her Etsy shop, which she buys from these lovely artisans in Mexico. She shares their stories on her business Instagram page and I love to feel connected to their handmade goods that are *super* cute. For the sake of anonymity of my family, I won't link her shop here, but if you email me I will give it to you! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
One Acre Fund: it’s an organization that helps farmers with small plots of land by helping them get good seeds, fertilizers, training, etc. The average family they help improves their income by 50%, which is huge when you only live off <$5 a day. I believe they are also the largest employer in Tanzania and most of their leadership positions are held by Africans as well. You should definitely read about them even if you can't because they are so cool!
I really like Partners in Health. Specifically, I support their fund to improve maternal health in Sierra Leone.
I'm excited to check out some of these other charities! Thanks for the great question.
This year I made it my resolution to donate to a worthy charity every month. Here's the list of who I've donated to so far.
- January: The Australian World Wildlife Fund. Remember when virtually all of Australia was on fire?
- February: NPR. I gave in response to the President and Sec. Pompeo implying that NPR correspondent Mary Louise Kelly was lying when she correctly stated the administration's position on Ukraine. Specifically, I donated to my local station.
- March: Lifting Hands International. They're a humanitarian organization that helps refugees, and my wife is a big fan. (Actually, I misremembered the name and gave to someone else by mistake, but I meant to give to them, so I'll include them in this list here.)
- April: I gave to my local food bank. You could donate to mine if you wanted, but a local donation would probably make a bigger difference.
- May: Games Done Quick. They hold speedrunning festivals twice a year and donate all of the proceeds toward good causes (typically Doctors Without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation). They held an impromptu event this year for COVID-19 relief, so I contributed.
- June: National Police Accountability Project. After watching what feels like thousands of documented instances of police brutality over the past two weeks, the only choice left to me was not whether to donate, but which worthy charity to contribute to.
I'm looking forward to keeping this up over the rest of the year, and hopefully beyond that. It's a little startling to me that so many of these have been in response to either incompetence or intentional cruelty on the part of our government.
Don't forget local charities. If you are a Utah local, I would always encourage donations to House of Hope. They treat substance abuse issues in women, and their focus is on reunifying mothers and children. They offer therapeutic daycare services for children aged infant to eight years old while their moms are in treatment. If you want to know where I got all my skills related to kids, it was there.
For more national organizations, I personally love the ACLU, the Innocence Project, the Trevor Project, any organization which supports trans youth of color, and your local Pride center. I've also recently made a donation to the National Police Accountability Project.
- The Black Sheep
Letters Against Depression, which is a non-profit that sends letters of hope and support to people who request it via their website. They're currently in serious need of donations to purchase stamps since their annual grant fell through due to COVID-19. If you can't donate, you can also volunteer as a letter writer.
We try to follow effective altruism principles, directing most of our donations to the types of problems where money goes furthest to reduce suffering. I'm careful about screening charities for high impact and low overhead. We also make all of our donations through Laser Jock's employer who not only offers a 100% match but also allows our donations to be made anonymously so charities don't waste money on marketing to us. Here were our big contributions for the last year:
Animal Welfare and the Environment
- Mercy for Animals
- The Humane League
- Environmental Defense Fund
- ACLU Foundation
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Give Directly
- United Way (local chapter)
Internet Freedom/Freedom of Speech
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
Hope that helps!