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41 Charities to Support This Year

By Kaitlyn Farley · October 26, 2022 · 13 minute read

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41 Charities to Support This Year

When the going gets tough, the tough get giving. Or that’s what the latest data on philanthropy reveals. Despite the recent pandemic and intense inflation, Americans are donating more to charities. In 2021, the amount ticked up a sizable 4% over the past year, to a hefty $484.85 billion in funds.

If you’re among the ranks of those who want to contribute funds to support a cause you believe in or help those less fortunate, it can be hard to know where to give. Is a charity legitimate? How much of your funds will really be put to work? This is an important question to answer when deciding where to allocate funds (and possibly get a nice tax deduction, too).

What constitutes a good organization to donate to may vary depending on how much you’re donating; if you want to give money, time or other donations; and which causes are close to your heart. As a rule of thumb, though, it’s smart to research any organization you plan to support.

In order to help you do that, here’s a guide to some of the top-rated charities according to CharityWatch, an independent watchdog organization founded in 1993. CharityWatch specializes in reviewing and ranking charities based on their financial reporting, including their:

•   Audited financial statements

•   Tax forms

•   Annual reports

•   State filings

Methodology: Ranking the Best Charities to Support

The list that follows is culled from CharityWatch’s list of top charities, selected from those charities with an A or A+ ranking.

CharityWatch ranks charities based on the following calculations:

•   Program Percentage: The percent of total expenses the charity spends on charitable programming (as opposed to expenses such as fundraising, management, and operations).

•   Cost to Raise $100: How much it costs a charity to bring in $100 in cash donations from the public. Ideally, this is a low figure to do the most good with the money received.

CharityWatch then assigns charities a letter grade, ranging from A+ to F. CharityWatch’s full methodology for ranking top charities to donate to can be found online.

Of the hundreds of charities the organization has ranked, typically only a few dozen are straight-A or higher. (Worth noting: CharityWatch updates rankings regularly, which is why we’ve linked to their rankings for each of the following organizations. Each charity’s website is then linked on each of CharityWatch’s rating pages. By clicking the links, you can get the latest intel on a given organization.)

If you’re looking for inspiration about where to give, read on.

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Which Charities to Support This Year

Whether you want your donations to help children, animals, educational causes, or almost anything else, here is a list to give you a headstart. It highlights (alphabetically) some of the top-rated charities according to CharityWatch.

1. Action Against Hunger-USA

Program Percentage: 90%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

Action Against Hunger-USA ‘s mission statement is to prevent, detect, and treat under-nutrition. The organization aims to tackle the underlying causes of hunger, and they also help regions experiencing conflict or natural disasters meet their nutritional needs.

2. All Hands and Hearts

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

Concerned about the “crazy weather” you see so often on the news these days? All Hands and Hearts aims to address short- and long-term needs of communities after natural disasters. This includes helping rebuild homes, schools, and infrastructure.

3. American Kidney Fund

Program Percentage: 98%

Cost to Raise $100: $2

American Kidney Fund helps those suffering from kidney disease during every step of the process. That includes prevention, early detection, disease management, and post-transplant. The organization provides those in need with financial support and other resources they need to manage their kidney disease.

4. Asia Foundation

Program Percentage: 86%

Cost to Raise $100: $1

Asia Foundation focuses on improving lives throughout Asia, including improving environmental resilience and empowering women.

5. Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Program Percentage: 81%

Cost to Raise $100: $10

You may know the grim statistic that almost 13% of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation has earned an A for its efforts to prevent and cure breast cancer by funding promising research globally. It has raised $569.4 million to support clinical and translational research on the disease.

6. Catholic Relief Services

Program Percentage: 91%

Cost to Raise $100: $8

Catholic Relief Services assists the poor in the U.S. and across the globe. Its goal is to prevent and end poverty regardless of the races, religions, or nationalities of those in need.

7. Center for Community Change Action

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $2

By contributing to the Center for Community Change Action , you’ll help improve material conditions for people struggling to make ends meet in the United States. Through voter engagement and policy change, the Center works to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially those of color.

8. Child Find of America

Program Percentage: 89%

Cost to Raise $100: $1

Child Find of America aims to both prevent child abductions and find abducted children. Part of that work involves responding to the family conflicts and crises that may lead to potential abduction or abuse.

9. Comic Relief

Program Percentage: 80%

Cost to Raise $100: $14

Who doesn’t love to laugh? And doing good via humor is doubly nice. Comic Relief uses entertainment to eliminate poverty, improve children’s lives, and help disadvantaged individuals around the world. The organization is well known for its Red Nose Day fundraiser, in which people can buy a red clown nose to raise money to help end child poverty.

10. Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS)

Program Percentage: 90%

Cost to Raise $100: $7

Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) helps families and coworkers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. The organization provides them with resources to help rebuild their lives after enduring the loss, and it also provides training to law enforcement on how to help surviving co-workers and families.

11. Conservation Fund

Program Percentage: 95%

Cost to Raise $100: $4

If you consider yourself eco-minded, take a look at the Conservation Fund . It helps protect America’s land and water resources with the help of public, private, and nonprofit partner organizations. The fund also helps educate the public about sustainability, resource management, and creating environmental goals for individuals, communities, or organizations.

12. Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation

Program Percentage: 89%

Cost to Raise $100: $2

If diabetes has touched your life, you might want to donate to the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation . Its mission is to prevent and treat diabetes, which impacts one out of every 10 (or 37+ million) Americans. It helps fund new research to help cure diabetes and diabetes-related illnesses and complications.

13. DonorsChoose.org

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $4

DonorsChoose.org aims to help raise awareness about accountability issues and educational inequality in public schools. It seeks to create a world in which all American children have equal access to high-quality education by engaging the public in educational issues and reform.

14. Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Program Percentage: 91%

Cost to Raise $100: $9

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation ’s mission is to prevent pediatric HIV infections. Through education, research, advocacy, and treatment, the organization aims to help end pediatric AIDS. The organization also stresses that progress against AIDS has been unequally distributed, with marginalized groups being hit hardest.

15. Environmental Defense Action Fund

Program Percentage: 90%

Cost to Raise $100: $15

If you care about the state of our planet and its future, consider The Environmental Defense Action Fund . It seeks to educate the public about the environment and conservation. The organization also advocates for legislation and policies it believes will protect the environment.

16. Fisher House Foundation

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

The Fisher House Foundation creates and furnishes “Fisher Houses” for military and veteran families to stay at while a loved one is in the hospital. The organization also provides further financial assistance and scholarships to military families.

17. Friends of Animals

Program Percentage: 91%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

Are you a fan of furbabies? Perhaps Friends of Animals would be a good place for your donations. It aims to help animals experiencing cruelty or institutional exploitation. They put money towards funding and creating litigation for no-free shelters, protecting wild animals’ ability to roam freely, and more.

18. Government Accountability Project (GAP)

Program Percentage: 82%

Cost to Raise $100: $9

Are you motivated to help ensure that whistleblowers can be heard and navigate the path ahead of them? Take a look at the Government Accountability Project . It’s a non-profit organization that’s dedicated to protecting government whistleblowers at every step of the way, at federal, state, and local levels, to ensure that justice is served.

19. Guide Dog for the Blind

Program Percentage: 80%

Cost to Raise $100: $9

Here’s a charity that helps those with vision issues by giving them trusty companions. For 75 years, the Guide Dog Foundation has trained and placed guide dogs and service dogs. These animals help provide increased independence and enhanced mobility to people who are blind, have low vision, or other disabilities.

20. Hearing Health Foundation

Program Percentage: 88%

Cost to Raise $100: $4

Here’s a shocking statistic: One out of eight Americans age 12 or older has hearing loss in both ears. If you’d like your charitable donation to go towards remedying that, consider Hearing Health Foundation . It works to prevent hearing loss and tinnitus. It also hopes to develop a cure for both by supporting research and hearing health education.

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21. Hispanic Federation

Program Percentage: 88%

Cost to Raise $100: $5

Hispanic Federation is a Latino nonprofit organization aiming to advocate and advance Hispanic communities and families. It provides communities with a variety of services and resources for education, health, immigration, civil engagement, economic empowerment, and more.

22. Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Program Percentage: 92%

Cost to Raise $100: $1

Looking for another angle on uplifting the Hispanic community? The Hispanic Scholarship Fund provides scholarships and student services to help Hispanic students prepare for and earn their college degree. The organization provides students with support services and other resources they need to not only make it into the college classroom, but also to succeed in college and after graduation.

23. Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

Program Percentage: 92%

Cost to Raise $100: $5

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund helps military members who have traumatic brain injuries or PTSD. The organization provides them access to treatment centers to assist them in continuing to serve or enjoying life post-service.

24. Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

Program Percentage: 85%

Cost to Raise $100: $15

Multiple myeloma is a kind of cancer that develops in the plasma cells, a kind of white blood cell. An estimated $34,000+ new cases are diagnosed annually, and more than 12,000 Americans die from the disease in a given year. Want to be part of the search for a cure? Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation seeks to invest in research and education to find a cure for multiple myeloma. The organization also helps fund innovative new ways to treat myeloma and extend the lives of those affected by it.

25. National Alliance to End Homelessness

Program Percentage: 90%

Cost to Raise $100: $4

Many areas of America have seen an uptick in homelessness since the start of the pandemic. A donation to the National Alliance to End Homelessness could help. The organization aims to prevent and end U.S. homelessness, educating the public on the causes of homelessness and potential solutions.

26. National Council on Aging

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $18

If you want to put your dollars to work on behalf of our elders, The National Council on Aging could be a good recipient. The organization seeks to help older Americans who may be struggling financially, physically, mentally, or experiencing other issues. It also educates caregivers and advocates on how best to serve the elder community.

27. National Park Trust

Program Percentage: 87%

Cost to Raise $100: $11

Have you enjoyed the beauty of our national parks? Then perhaps you’d like to make a donation to (and get a tax deduction) via the National Park Trust . It protects and preserves park lands and trains the next generation of park stewards, aiming to increase both their numbers and diversity.

28. National Wildlife Federation

Program Percentage: 88%

Cost to Raise $100: $6

Love creatures, great and small? Perhaps you’d like to contribute to the efforts of the National Wildlife Federation . It’s the United States’ largest private, nonprofit conservation education and advocacy organization, with over six million members and supporters. It works to protect our wildlife, including endangered species, and the land they live on.

29. Pathfinder International

Program Percentage: 86%

Cost to Raise $100: $6

If sexual and reproductive rights matter to you, take a closer look at Pathfinder International . It works to ensure that everyone around the world has the right to a healthy sexual and reproductive life. During COVID-19, the organization is also helping vulnerable communities survive the crisis.

30. PetSmart Charities

Program Percentage: 95%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

Want to have your contribution help pets find their forever homes? PetSmart Charities helps pets find life-long homes. The organization hosts adoption events and centers, as well educational and training programs to help humans learn how to support pets in need.

31. Population Services International

Program Percentage: 92%

Cost to Raise $100: $1

Are you globally minded? Population Services International provides those in developing countries with products and services to plan families and lead healthier lives. The organization also creates programming to help address gender-related health issues, including violence against women and women’s access to health services.

32. Ronald McDonald House Charities (National Office)

Program Percentage: 88%

Cost to Raise $100: $9

Ronald McDonald House Charities (National Office) has 380+ locations that provide a comfortable, caring place for families to stay near children who are undergoing medical treatment far from home.

33. Scholarship America

Program Percentage: 94%

Cost to Raise $100: $2

Give the next generation a leg up on their studies. Scholarship America helps American students make it into college classrooms through scholarships and educational support. The organization also provides mentorship to students and emergency grants for students at risk of dropping out for various reasons.

34. Semper Fi & America’s Fund

Program Percentage: 91%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

If you want to make a donation to help those who’ve served our country, consider Semper Fi & America’s
Fund
. It helps combat-wounded, critically ill, or catastrophically injured veterans and their families with financial, family, and wellness support programs. The program also helps veterans transition back into their communities after a serious combat-related injury.

35. Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $4

Does the phrase “Never forget” resonate for you regarding 9/11, as it does for many Americans? If so, look into contributing to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation , which seeks to honor fallen firefighter Stephen Siller, who died on duty on September 11, 2001. The organization helps the families of fallen firefighters and police officers pay off mortgages, among other programs.

36. Trevor Project

Program Percentage: 84%

Cost to Raise $100: $6

For those who want to support the LGBTQ+ community, a good recipient for charitable donations could be the Trevor Project . It is the world’s largest mental health and suicide prevention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning young people. It’s goal is to create a more inclusive world.

37. Unbound

Program Percentage: 93%

Cost to Raise $100: $4

Here’s a way your contribution can uplift those in need: Unbound partners with families living in poverty to help them become self-sufficient and reach their full potential. The organization works with those experiencing poverty in 19 countries using Catholic theology to foster family and community relationship-building and self-empowerment.

38. United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)

Program Percentage: 98%

Cost to Raise $100: $3

Another faith-driven organization to note: The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) aims to alleviate human suffering around the world caused by conflicts, war, natural disasters, and other causes of suffering. The organization has helped with refugee resettlement and other humanitarian missions.

39. Waterkeeper Alliance

Program Percentage: 91%

Cost to Raise $100: $7

Make a donation that protects our precious natural resources. Waterkeeper Alliance creates a network of global leaders to help protect peoples’ rights to clean water around the globe. The organization also has several campaigns to promote clean and safe energy, clean water, and to battle pollution caused by industrial meat farms, among other causes.

40. World Central Kitchen

Program Percentage: 98%

Cost to Raise $100: $1

If you care about fighting hunger, perhaps you want to think about donating to World Central Kitchen . Their mission is WCK to provide meals when climate, community, and humanitarian crises hit. They also work to build resilient food systems.

41. World Resources Institute

Program Percentage: 91%

Cost to Raise $100: $0

Looking for other environmentally focused charities? World Resources Institute aims to help people learn how to live in ways that better protect the environment for current and future generations. It educates the public on ways to make cities, energy, food, and businesses more environmentally friendly.

Making a Difference With Your Finances

Budgeting for charitable donations can be a good way to ensure your money helps the causes you care about. It can also benefit your finances if you receive a tax deduction for your donation. You could use that deduction to invest, reach your savings goals, contribute more to your retirement, or build up your emergency fund.

Recommended: How to Make End of Year Donations

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