Return to Boing Boing

Here's a guide to the charities the Boingers support in our own annual giving. As always, please add the causes and charities you give to in the forums!


Electronic Frontier Foundation

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's mission grows more urgent with every passing year. As the FBI calls for mandatory back-doors in all our devices, even while Congress fails to take any meaningful action to control mass surveillance, EFF remains the most effective, best hedge against a surveillance and censorship dystopia. —CD


Creative Commons
CC continues to make a difference -- now, there are nearly a billion CC-licensed works on the Internet -- more than half of which are available for commercial re-use. CC licenses are at the center of open government, open science, open education and open culture efforts all over the planet. —CD


Wikimedia Foundation (Wikipedia)
Imagine a world without Wikipedia! Is there any other organization that does more to preserve the original, amazing spirit of the Internet, the sense that we're all on a shared mission to make the whole world a better place through communication and freedom? —CD



Freedom of the Press Foundation
Launched in December 2012, with a board that includes Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, and actor-activist John Cusack, Freedom of the Press Foundation provides you with an easy way to donate to journalism organizations dedicated to transparency and accountability. (I'm on the board, too.) — XJ


Great Pyrenees Rescue of Northern California

The Great Pyrenees Rescue of Northern California is one of the hardest working dog rescues in America. They help save and place dogs here in California, even working the livestock guys. GPRNC never gives up on a dog in distress, the lengths they go to are pretty amazing. Please help support the folks who brought Nemo, my pyr, and I together.

The National Wildlife Federation

National Wildlife Federation is a voice for wildlife, dedicated to protecting wildlife and habitat and inspiring the future generation of conservationists. — RB


The ALS Association

My father died in 1980 from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. A number of my family members have also died from it; we have a very rare familial strain. While there have been many scientific advances surrounding ALS in the decades since my dad died, little is known about how and why this disease manifests (particularly in familial strains), and what approaches may offer hope for a cure. The ALSA was founded in 1985, and leads the way in global research, "providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships." The Association helps people with ALS maximize quality of life while enabling research for new treatments and, one day we hope, a cure. —XJ


The Participatory Culture Foundation
PCF keeps on growing and making me proud to serve on its advisory board. In
addition to Miro, its brilliant Internet video client, they're bridging language barriers with Amara, the universal subtitling project that crowdsources the creation of multilingual subtitles for Web video from TED to the Reset the Net campaign. —CD


METAvivor
Funding vital metastatic breast cancer research, METAvivor's programs sustain the power of hope for people with advanced disease. The non-profit "rallies public attention to the needs of the metastatic breast cancer community, help patients find strength through support and purpose, and make every dollar count as we work with researchers to regain longevity with quality of life."—XJ


Marine Mammal Center

Compassionately healing seals from diseases they did not want to contract the Marine Mammal Center then releases them into their native habitat -- if you are a marine dwelling mammal in trouble, and they can find you -- its proof positive the MMC will do their all to ensure your return to health. This tireless and heroic group of full-time staff and army of well trained volunteers need our help to continue helping beautiful creatures who can not help themselves. —JW


Doctors Without Borders:
In global disaster zones, few groups make as much impact as quickly as do Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders. The international medical humanitarian organization was created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971. Today, MSF provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. We've published items about their work in Congo, Haiti, and I've met with MSF staff in Guatemala, where they have a project dedicated to violence against women and girls. The do good work. They get things done in places where it is dangerous and difficult to get things done. —XJ


Breast Cancer Action

Breast Cancer Action "carries the voices of people affected by breast cancer to inspire and compel the changes necessary to end the breast cancer epidemic," and operates as a national, feminist grassroots education and advocacy organization. The group was founded in 1990 by women who realized the power of community, and the need for a grassroots organization with a unique understanding of the political, economic, and social context of breast cancer. BCAction’s members are women with breast cancer and their supporters — ordinary people who, by educating themselves on the facts and the issues related to breast cancer, have empowered themselves and others to create needed change to end the epidemic.—XJ

Friends of Gettysburg
From Gen. Buford's heroic first day defense to Pickett's disastrous charge -- no three days more define the struggle we now call the American Civil War. Viewed as the turning point of the war and the high-water mark of the confederacy, walking the roads, fields and hills of Gettysburg truly allows you to feel a deep connection with men and women who struggled here. Sadly, developers and other creeps continually try to modify, encroach upon and invade this monument; luckily we have an organization that still fights to preserve and continually improve access and education in and around the park - the Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg. They tirelessly work to preserve my favorite National Park, which is saying a lot as I live inside another. —JW


Youth Radio
Youth Radio is an afterschool program that teaches journalism, media, and audio production skills to underserved young people, mostly high school age You can hear their stories on National Public Radio, local airwaves, and of course online. A lot of the graduates stick around for a while as paid writers, producers, engineers, and teachers. —DP

Child's Play

Since 2003, this game industry charity has worked to improve the lives of children in hospitals with toys and games in a network of over 70 hospitals worldwide. Child’s Play works in two ways: with the help of hospital staff, they set up gift wish lists full of video games, toys, books, and other fun stuff for kids. By clicking on a hospital location on a map, you can view that hospital’s wish list and send a gift. Child’s Play also uses your cash donations to purchase new consoles, peripherals, games, and more for hospitals and therapy facilities. This allows children to enjoy age-appropriate entertainment, interact with their peers, friends, and family, and have vital distraction from the experience of being a child in a hospital setting with a serious illness.—XJ


Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation
The Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (Spanish: Fundación de Antropología Forense de Guatemala, or FAFG) has over 22 years of experience in identifying and bringing back lost loved ones to their families, working with victims and relatives of the Guatemalan conflict, and changing the lives and returning hope to over 10,000 families searching for their missing through forensic scientific tools and strategies. FAFG’s work is definably unique in Central America, and under fire from the powerful forces there who’d rather that the crimes of the past remain secret. They deserve our support. —XJ


The Sierra Club
The US's oldest and biggest grassroots environmental organization. Whether it's protecting endangered species, opposing dams, or helping you learn how to green your home, the Sierra Club has spent more than a century trying to keep the wonder of the natural world wonderful. —DP


Facing History and Ourselves
Facing History and Ourselves is an international educational group that helps young people study issues around racism, antisemitism, and prejudice in history, from the Holocaust to today's immigrant experiences to the killing fields of Cambodia. Their aim is to teach young people "to think critically, to empathize, to recognize moral choices, to make their voices heard, we put in their hands the possibility--and the responsibility--to do the serious work demanded of us all as citizens." —DP


Fundacion Sobrevivientes

Fundacion Sobrevivientes (In English, "Survivors Foundation") works to end violence against women in Guatemala, where there is an extraordinarily high rate of sexual assault and gender-based violence, and where rapists and murderers operate with impunity. They provide legal aid, mental health care, and security for rape victims, including children. They assist women whose children have been stolen from them to be sold illegally into adoption. They provide support for families of the "dissapeared." Founder Norma Cruz was featured in the documentary Killer's Paradise. Her work links the murders of thousands of Guatemalan women to the country's 36-year civil war. She, her colleagues, and family are frequently targeted by those who seek to prevent the center's work. How to donate: here. —XJ


Free Software Foundation/Defective By Design
The Free Software Foundation's principled litigation, license creation and campaigning is fierce, uncompromising and has changed the world. You interact with code that they made possible a million times a day, and they never stop working to make sure that the code stays free. —CD


Free Software Foundation Europe
FSFE carries out the FSF's vital work in the European context. This year, donors get a smartcard that can be used to make your crypto that much more secure. They're using the money to lobby the European Commission to make free/open software the default for public European information infrastructure -- an important cause! —CD

The Internet Archive: A free repository for all of human knowledge, a bottomless source of bandwidth and storage, the Internet's collective memory, the reinvention of the library right before our eyes. I don't know what I'd do without it. —CD


Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
My aunt Heather died of breast cancer when she was only 41. My whole family is now involved with the society. I don't live in Toronto and can't join the annual run for the cure there, but at least I can donate to the cause. —CD


Open Rights Group
The Open Rights Group has more than doubled its membership this year, and has used the money to hire solicitors to intervene in important cases related to Internet surveillance and censorship in the UK. This year's ORGCon was the largest ever, and was a critical event for planning out an strategy to make Internet freedom into a key issue in the coming election. The UK Open Rights Group is the leading national voice on fighting the country's slide into digital insanity, a country where all rights are suspended whenever a computer is involved. —CD


Kiva
Since 2005, Kiva has been a pioneer in providing micro-financing to the "working poor", offering users the ability to choose their cause of choice. Micro-financing has shown itself to be a boon to the developing world, and especially in creating newly-empowered women entrepreneurs. Kiva has focused on this goal, and makes a difference in the regions they support.—Ken Snider

(I like Kiva, too. It's a fun family activity to look at the proposals and decide where to make investments. Also, Kiva Cards are a cool gift to introduce your friends to the fun world of microinvesting! —Mark Frauenfelder)


The Gutenberg Project
The world's leading access-to-public-domain project. They have truly created a library from nothing, and oh, what a library. —CD


"Founded in 1991, the Institute for Justice is what a civil liberties law firm should be. As our nation's only libertarian public interest law firm, we engage in cutting-edge litigation and advocacy both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion on behalf of individuals whose most basic rights are denied by the government--like the right to earn an honest living, private property rights, and the right to free speech, especially in the areas of commercial and Internet speech. As Wired magazine said, the Institute for Justice 'helps individuals subject to wacky government regulations.'" —MF

I've been a member of the American Civil Liberties Union for many years. They need all the support they can get to keep Americans safe and free from a government that answers only to their corporate string-pullers. —MF


The MetaBrainz Foundation
I'm on the board of this charity, which oversees the MusicBrainz project. MusicBrainz is a free and open alternative to the evil (dis)Gracenote, which took all the metadata about CDs that you and I keyed in and locked it away behind a wall of patents and onerous licensing deals. The org that controls the metadata controls the world -- this needs to be in the public's hands. —CD


The Clarion Foundation
I'm also a volunteer on Clarion's board, helping to oversee the world-famous Clarion Writers' Workshop, a bootcamp for sf writers that has produced some of the finest talents in our field, including Octavia Butler, Bruce Sterling, Nalo Hopkinson, Kelly Link, and Lucius Shepard. I'm a graduate myself, and an instructor (I taught in 2005, 2007 and 2013) -- I received a substantial scholarship to the workshop in 1992 and it changed my life. I will pay that debt forward every year. —CD


Amnesty International
Justly famed for their principled, effective campaigning for justice and fair treatment under the law, Amnesty has its finger in every pie -- freeing Gitmo detainees, defending jailed journalists, fighting torture and human trafficking, and standing up to bullies wherever they find them. They deserve every cent we can give them. —CD


Hospice Net
I make a donation to this charity every year in memory of my dear friend, former Boing Boing guestblogger Pat York. Pat was killed in a car accident, and her family nominated this charity for memorial gifts. —CD


ACLU
For the liberties the EFF doesn't cover, here in sticky meatspace, we have the ACLU. Fearless upholders of the Constitution -- an org that knows that you have to stand up for the rights of people you disagree with, or you aren't in a free society. Unwinding the violence done to fundamental freedoms over the past decade (and the new assaults, from drones to wiretapping) will take time and money. The number of bad laws and regulations to overturn is staggering. —CD


Liberty
Britain's answer to the American Civil Liberties Union. Every single time I read or hear a news-story about incursions on human rights in the UK, there's an articulate, knowledgeable Liberty commentator countering government's flimsy arguments and campaigning for our freedom. In an era where politicians spy on us seemingly through naked instinct, like ants building hills, it's groups like Liberty that present our best bulwark against tyranny. —CD


Software Freedom Law Center
As the leading legal clinic defending the interests of free software authors, SFLC is a nexus for the defeat of stupid software patents, work on free software stacks for use in defeating network censorship and shutdowns in repressive regimes, and fighting obscure but vital fights like the battle over UEFI, which threatens to make it both legally and technically challenging to install GNU/Linux on your own computer.


The Friends of the Merril Collection
Every library's "friends" organization deserves your support, but the Merril is special -- it's the largest public science fiction reference collection in the world, and performs a real service for the global community of sf writers and readers. As of< this year, Americans can also get a tax-receipt for their donations to the Merril. —CD


MySociety
Software in the public interest -- it's a damned good idea. MySociety produces software like Pledgebank ("I will risk arrest by refusing to register for a UK ID card if 100,000 other Britons will also do it") and TheyWorkForYou (every word and deed by every Member of Parliament). It's plumbing for activists and community organizers. —CD


Project Noise

Project Noise creates videos and media campaigns at no or low cost to organizations working to better the world. - MF

Share your favorite cause