Boing Boing Charitable Giving Guide, the 2010 edition


41 Responses to “Boing Boing Charitable Giving Guide, the 2010 edition”

  1. huntsu says:

    Let’s not forget the American Red Cross. Shop their holiday catalog at

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) is a 501c3 nonprofit that takes an outside-of-the-box approach to civic engagement by using parallels from the Harry Potter books to educate and mobilize young people across the world toward issues of literacy, equality, and human rights. Their mission is to empower its members to act like the heroes that they love by acting for a better world. By bringing together fans of blockbuster books, TV shows, movies, and YouTube celebrities they are harnessing the power of popular culture toward making the world a better place. Their goal is to make civic engagement exciting by channeling the entertainment-saturated facets of our culture toward mobilization for deep and lasting social change.

  3. JenWWP says:

    We’re honored to be included on the list with so many organizations doing such wonderful work! Thanks!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Here’s another list of gifts that give back from See the Good:

  5. fataltourist says:

    Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

  6. MrsBug says:

    I mentioned it last year, but I’ll mention it again: Sustainable Harvest, an organization that works to help small farmers in Central America grow food in a sustainable way that benefits their land, their families and the earth.

  7. Kingazaz says:

    If this be the place for plugs: Give toys ‘n games to sick kids!

  8. Anonymous says:

    In embodying the actual meaning of “charity”, nothing beats the Heifer Project.

    Heifer International is in the business of ending world hunger. And it’s actually working; today millions of people were fed thanks to 65 years of Heifer projects. And those people are standing on their own feet, and helping others to stand up. They aren’t second-class clients of wealthy people suffering from liberal guilt, living on scraps; they are as good as anyone else in the world and they know it.

    Heifer doesn’t give sandwiches to people living unsustainable lifestyles in a unproductive wasteland. Those people will starve the minute you stop sending sandwiches, and in the meantime you’ve reduced them to beggary, and that’s going to wreck their indigenous culture (if they have any left) and diminish them as individuals. Giving people food doesn’t work as a long term solution, it’s only worth doing in short term recovery situations as a part of a broader strategy.

    Heifer provides people in war-torn and disaster-wrecked communities with the tools to build a sustainable future based on livestock and agriculture carefully chosen to suit the needs, abilities, and history of the inhabitants of those communities.

    Please read about Heifer on their website at – I’m not an employee or in any other way associated with heifer, although over the years I have helped buy an elephant, dozens of heifers, and many chickens, bees, and ducks.

    Heifer is different. It’s better. Recipients of Heifer assistance aren’t asked to “pay it back” – they are required to “pay it forward” by helping somebody else get back on their feet. This means a homeless single mother doesn’t have to sacrifice her pride in order to feed her children, in fact she will get to involve the children in an worthwhile global enterprise. Once she’s paid forward, she can continue to be involved with charity work or not, as she pleases.

    Since this is the Boing, I feel that I should point out that while Heifer was started by a Christian in accordance with his beliefs, it is not evangelical and does not discriminate based on faith or lack thereof. You are welcome to believe what you like as long as you want to help world hunger.

  9. Steven Stwalley says:

    Please consider supporting The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, protecting the first amendment rights of cartoonists.

  10. Stefan Jones says:

    The only overlap with my list this year is the Sierra Club.

    Oh, and the ACLU. And I think Amnesty International . . . I need to check on that.

    Ususally I donate to the EFF (I’m member number 127), but there were so many disasters this year that I ended up donation more to Mercy Corps and the like.

  11. jpdefillippo says:

    I’d like to add to the list. That’s where 90% of all my charity goes since you can target to the actual classrooms and get feedback directly from the kids you help.

  12. Nicko says:

    The Sunlight Foundation is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency and to provide new tools and resources for media and individuals alike. We engage citizens and communities to demand policies that will enable all of us to hold government accountable. BoingBoing has kindly featured a number of our tools on the blog and even a donation of $1 would be greatly appreciated.

    Here is a link to the main donation page or get some spiffy swag with your donation here

  13. Anonymous says:

    Since you have the Wounded Warrior Project listed as a charity, why not also honor those brave men and women of our armed forces who actively oppose aggressive/illegal warfare?

  14. Anonymous says:

    FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) has been doing good work for 25 years and needs your help, as do all non-profits.

  15. ajbpearce says:

    You forgot the Wikimedia foundation. As I always say to friends, pick any topic and the chances are that wikipedia is the most read and most influential website in that area. Creating a Free (as in beer & speech!) – and Verifiable (as in with reliable sources that you can decide for yourself whether you trust!) Encyclopaedia of everything ( and in every language), is a noble cause that deserves the support of every geek, freak and happy mutant around! You should donate here:

  16. Strabo says:

    And just as last year, you guys left out Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders. That really surprises me given how much Xeni wrote about them earlier this year in Haiti.

    Forget the Red Cross. If you want to give to a humanitarian aid organization, give to the MSF.

    If you’re also into human rights causes, you may wish to consider the Innocence Project. The Innocence Project assists prisoners who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. They’ve managed to help exonerate dozens of people convicted wrongly, including multiple death-row inmates. Including a few sadly posthumously.

  17. Strabo says:

    And apparently I’m blind. The MSF is in the list. I guess I missed it on the first read. My apologies.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Nice list. Most of my donations go to the SENS Foundation (, for research into a bunch of diseases like Alzheimers, cancer, atheosclerosis, etc.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget Scholars at Risk (, rescuing politically inconvenient professors and sacrilegious scientists from censorship, imprisonment, and murder; preserving their good ideas for the rest of us.

  20. efergus3 says:

    May I suggest, Charity Navigator, America’s premier independent charity evaluator. They can help you with your choices. My favorites are Make A Wish and Toys For Tots. And the EFF of course.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Anti trafficking organization in India.

    More info about this organization on the TED Blog:

    You can also make a contribution to this organization via

  22. bwaterhouse says:

    In Portland you can get great discounts and freebies when you donate to any of the 60-some local charities vetted by Willamette Week for its annual Give! Guide campaign.

  23. badtux says:

    I’m going to speak out against the Sierra Club being on this list. Like the NRA, their leadership has been captured by extremists. They’ve gone far beyond their mandate of protecting the environment, into creating wilderness where none has existed in over a hundred years — i.e., “re-wilding”. You may get warm fuzzies from their past activities helping preserve real prestine wilderness areas, trail building, and such, but that’s not what their current leadership is involved in — rather, they are intent upon turning mines, ranches, and other human activity that they view as “unsightly” back into wilderness. Which sounds good if you’re a city slicker, but we’re talking about mostly small ranchers, farmers, and miners here, family businesses that have never turned huge profits, not the big guys, the big guys can afford the lawyers and lobbyists to make sure they aren’t affected. I can’t see how anybody can support taking someone’s property that has been in the family for over a century via lawsuit abuse. (Yes, I can provide you examples if you ask).

    One thing I would like to add: Support your local food bank and soup kitchen. People are getting hungry right now. Really hungry. I will try to send a donation to the EFF too, but my first priority when giving was food, because freedom’s not much use to the dead. If I have anything left over on December 31 it’s going to the EFF, but the food bank and soup kitchen came first.

    • Patrick Austin says:

      I, too, think the Sierra Club is a bad choice. As an urban planner, I’ve noticed that many of their local chapters do nothing more than help NIMBYs fight sustainable development. Nationwide, when there’s a public outcry over dense development on a brownfield site, rest assured the Sierra Club is involved. They fight development in areas with a high concentration of members, which often happens to be in cities. The net effect is that development is pushed into rural areas.

      Anyway, there are lots of great environmental causes out there. I don’t think the Sierra Club is one of them. Their attitude towards developers is way too antagonistic.

  24. Ratdog says:

    I’m surprised Child’s Play is not on here. They are a pretty solid organization. I’m glad someone has already mentioned it in the comments though.

  25. politeruin says:

    Oh hell, can’t believe i forgot these for UK folk…

    Citizens Advice
    Many people think they are government funded but it’s a charity and like many it’s struggling for resources. I volunteer for my local bureau and they do sterling work.

  26. bosconet says:

    I’d like to add Project Puffin (

  27. Gee says:

    Developing youth into global leaders skilled in partnering with diverse peoples is the aim of the Global Enterprise Experience It links participants from 59 countries and 150 universities into global virtual teams to develop business solutions for global problems – such as sustainability, women’s development, indigenous people development, and fostering unity in diversity.

    Anybody wanting to develop their skills to be an effective global citizen may enrol for free on before March 9, 2011. You will be placed into a global virtual team of eight with members from four to six diverse countries and given a three week challenge on March 23. Donors are sought to enable this programme to continue, with many options for recognition and impact available.

  28. Anonymous says:

    MSF/Doctors Without Borders is great. You might also check out Engineers Without Borders ( for a big helping of “geeks doing good.”

    Also, they’ve got corporate funding to match all incoming donations 1:1 right now.

  29. Aloisius says:

    I’d second Creative Commons.

    They’re constantly pushing to open up fields like science and education for content/data sharing and they’ve done some great work to that regard over the last year.

  30. DloPwop says:

    Clean Water for Haiti is my favorite charity I mentioned Clean Water for Haiti in this same comments section last year. Haiti is pretty much the same in 2010 except that now the capital city is flattened and the population is in the midst of a major cholera outbreak. Clean Water for Haiti can help with the Cholera.

    In addition to looking at the website, you can get a more intimate look at what Clean Water for Haiti does on the Craig family blog

  31. Anonymous says:

    I’m a student of international development, and I have had the opportunity to meet many leaders (including ones named below) in this field. The books linked below make great gifts for anyone interested in global poverty. These are my personal, annual “must-donates”:

    Oxfam – general international development (and favorite of ethicist Peter Singer)

    Partners in Health – Founded in Haiti in 1987, working in the poorest communities of the world today. PIH and Paul Farmer’s story is told in a great book by Tracy Kidder

    Women for Women International – Particularly their current work in the “rape capital of the world”, D.R. Congo. Focuses on women in war-torn countries. Founded by Zainab Salbi (Keynote of her speaking is linked. Such an amazing woman. Grew up in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq… she also has an autobiography).

    Room to Read – Bringing libraries and schools to remote regions of the world. Founded by a former Microsoft exec (detailed in his book) this organization runs with business-like efficiency

    Non-poverty charity shout-outs: MIT OpenCourseWare and of course the EFF.

  32. Anonymous says:

    For Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) in the UK the site is here

    people from other ocuntries may want the international site which then links to each country

  33. ferdinandcc says:

    Note: I’m the executive director for the charity I’m about to talk about.

    We’re Ferdinand Center for the Creative, a nonprofit working to start a design school in the Philippines to help artists who couldn’t normally afford design school. Some of the kids we’re helping come from backgrounds of the sex industry or hazardous charcoal factory work. We’re also educating and feeding children who live on the streets. You can find out more about us at

  34. iCowboy says:

    Lots of great charities above, but how about this one. Imagine the look on a loved one’s face when you ell them you’ve bought them a rat for Christmas. A giant one at that.

    HeroRATs are a small charity who are using giant African pouched rats in Mozambique to discover land mines left over from that country’s civil war, and to identify people carrying TB.

    The rats have an acute sense of smell which can sniff out the explosive in the mines as well as chemicals given out by the TB bacterium. In exchange they get affection and an unlimited supply of goodies like bananas and peanuts.

    Rats are cheaper to train and keep than explosive detection dogs. Because of their tiny weight they are much less likely to set off a mine. They can quickly clear areas of fertile land that have been left unused because they contain the hidden mines, which not only means civilians are not going to continue to be maimed by mines, but they can use their land to become independent.

    The rats are also being used to sniff out TB in sputum samples. They are much quicker than an expensive trained lab technician and they don’t need expensive equipment – just those bananas.

    The charity is looking for people to sponsor a rat. You can pay a one off fee of €60, or twelve monthly payments of €5, or support them by buying HeroRAT merchandise.

    There’s much more information at and you can find links to their videos on YouTube including the suitably epic HeroRAT theme tune.

  35. Anonymous says:

    How about Mozillas Open Web Fund? – yes, we make Firefox, but we also engage in a bunch of other efforts to keep the web open. We’re not a given. We need your support.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for including Creative Commons. The current link doesn’t work. Please use this one instead:

    Thanks for your support!

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