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Following the unexpected outcome of the 2016 presidential election and the events that have followed, it can be hard to know what to do next. For issues that stir you, one simple, positive thing you can do today is donate.
Below is a list of great, worthy places to spend your money that we put together on November 9th, 2016, and which we are constantly updating; the most recent addition is a list Sara Benincasa put together in the wake of Charlottesville. Check them out for yourself, consider what fits with your budget and ideals. And if you can’t spend, volunteer.
This list is by no means complete. Send us more organizations. The election might be over, but we must keep going.
American Civil Liberties Union: The ACLU has been working for a century to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
Black Lives Matter: BLM is “a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life.” The organization is “working to (re)build the Black liberation movement.”
Brennan Center for Justice: “The Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub.”
The Center for Constitutional Rights: CCR “is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. We do that by combining cutting-edge litigation, advocacy and strategic communications in work on a broad range of civil and human rights issues.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights: The Center for Reproductive Rights uses “the law to advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill.”
The Cleveland Refugee Bike Project: “The Cleveland Refugee Bike Project will provide refugees with bikes and training, giving them an economic lifeline that can connect them to new employment, educational, and social opportunities in Northeast Ohio.”
Council on American-Islamic Relations: CAIR “protects the civil rights of all Americans regardless of faith and has served more than 25,000 victims of discrimination since its founding in 1994.”
CUNY CLEAR: “The CLEAR (Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility) project primarily aims to address the unmet legal needs of Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and other communities in the New York City area that are particularly affected by national security and counter-terrorism policies and practices.”
Define American: “Define American is a non-profit media and culture organization that uses the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation about immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America.”
Design for Progress by Sight Unseen: Sight Unseen is an online magazine dedicated to the visual arts, but here they’ve bundled together a group of fantastic charities, all listed here. Through Sight Unseen you can donate simultaneously to Planned Parenthood, Everytown for Gun Safety, the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Human Rights Campaign, EarthJustice, and the National Immigration Law Center.
TheDream.US: “TheDream.US is a new multimillion dollar National Scholarship Fund for DREAMers, created to help immigrant youth who’ve received DACA achieve their American Dream through the completion of a college education.”
Don’t Boo, Donate: Don’t Boo, Donate provides donation opportunities for six charities, each of which you can donate to individually via the site. The charities are the Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the Trevor Project, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Sierra Club.
EarthJustice: Earth Justice exists “because the earth needs a good lawyer.” The organization “wield[s] the power of law and the strength of partnership to take on critical environmental issues and bring about positive change.”
Emerge America: Emerge America is “the premier training program for Democratic women,” inspiring women to run for office, and assisting them in that journey.
Emily’s List: Emily’s List works “to elect pro-choice Democratic women to office.”
Equal Justice Initiative: The EJI “is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.”
Esperanza LA: “Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project is a public interest legal organization serving some of the most vulnerable immigrants in the Los Angeles area.”
Everytown for Gun Safety: Everytown for Gun Safety “is a movement of Americans fighting for common-sense reforms to reduce gun violence.”
GLAAD: GLAAD works with the media to “bring people powerful stories from the LGBT community that build support for equality.”
Global Greengrants Fund: Global Greengrants is “the leading environmental fund that supports grassroots action on a global scale.” The organization gives “people, foundations, and responsible businesses the opportunity to invest in global grassroots change that honors people, livelihoods, and ecosystems equally.”
Greenpeace: “Greenpeace is the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.”
Her Justice: “Her Justice engages the talent and resources of New York City's law firms, bringing together committed lawyers and determined women to secure life-changing results” for impoverished and abused women.
Human Rights Campaign: The HRC is “the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization.”
Human Rights Watch: Human Rights Watch researchers work “to expose tyranny, to empower victims, and to tell their stories to the world.”
Immigrant Defense Project: Among other things, the Immigrant Defense Project attempts to impact litigation and provides legal advice, advocacy, and post-conviction relief for immigrants.
Immigration Equality: “The nation’s leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization.”
The Innocence Project: The Innocence Project “exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.”
The International Rescue Committee: “The International Rescue Committee helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and regain control of their future.”
Kids in Need of Defense: KIND, as it’s known, represents “unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in their deportation proceedings.”
The Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles: Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles provides “civil legal aid to poor and low-income people in Los Angeles County.”
The Legal Aid Society: “The Legal Aid Society is a private, not-for-profit legal services organization, the oldest and largest in the nation, dedicated since 1876 to providing quality legal representation to low-income New Yorkers.”
Lambda Legal: Lambda Legal “is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.”
The Marshall Project: “The Marshall Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system.” The organization achieves this “through award-winning journalism, partnerships with other news outlets and public forums.”
Migrant Offshore Aid Station Foundation: MOAS “is a charity dedicated to saving lives at sea by providing professional search and rescue to people who are in distress.”
MPower Change: MPower Change is a “grassroots movement rooted in diverse Muslim communities throughout the United States who are working together to build social, spiritual, racial, and economic justice for all people.”
NAACP: The mission of the NAACP “is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.” The have been instrumental in fight voter suppression in places like North Carolina.
NAACP Legal Defense Fund: The legal defense fund for the NAACP fights for racial justice through “litigation, advocacy, and public education.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America: NARAL lobbies Congress “to convince your elected representatives to support your right to choose” and organizes “women and men to make sure that lawmakers hear from the pro-choice people they represent.”
The National Immigration Law Center: “One of the leading organizations in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants.”
National Network of Abortion Funds: The National Network of Abortion Funds works to “remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice.”
Natural Resources Defense Council: The NRDC “works to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water and the wild, and to prevent special interests from undermining public interests.” “NRDC experts use data and science to unearth the root causes” of the planet’s problems.
The New York Immigration Coalition: “The New York Immigration Coalition aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all. The NYIC promotes immigrants’ full civic participation, fosters their leadership, and provides a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.”
The New York Women’s Foundation: “The New York Women’s Foundation creates an equitable and just future for women and families by uniting a cross-cultural alliance that ignites action and invests in bold, community-led solutions across the city.”
Oxfam: Oxfam America works to strengthen US support for refugees, and protect the planet and vulnerable people from climate change, and confront inequality.
PFLAG: “PFLAG is the nation's largest family and ally organization” dedicated to the LGBT community.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund: PPAct works to fight for “laws and policies to protect your rights and health, and elect officials who will do so too.” Besides a woman’s right to choose, this means access to health care for women everywhere.
Project Vote: Project Vote focuses on “improving voter registration” through “advocacy, litigation, research, and technical assistance.” They work on “voter participation, election administration, and government agency voter registration.”
ProPublica: Donating to ProPublica supports its “independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.”
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network: RAINN “is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization” They created and operate the National Sexual Assault Hotline, 800.656.HOPE.
Restore the 4th: Restore the 4th is “dedicated to restoring the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and ending unconstitutional mass government surveillance.”
Sanctuary for Families: “Sanctuary for Families is New York’s leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking and related forms of gender violence.”
She Should Run: She Should Run expands “the talent pool of future elected female leaders” by “inspiring more women to consider public office” and making the case “that public service matters.”
The Sierra Club: “The nation's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization” has been instrumental in “protecting millions of acres of wilderness” and “helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act.”
Society of Professional Journalists Legal Defense Fund: The Society of Professional Journalists “collects and distributes contributions for aiding journalists in defending the freedom of speech and press guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center: The SPLC employs a “three-pronged strategy to battle racial and social injustice.” Those prongs are “fighting hate,” “teaching tolerance,” and “seeking justice.” For more check out their website.
Trans Lifeline: The Trans Lifeline is “ a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people.” They have numbers in both the US and Canada.
The Trevor Project: “The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.”
Union of Concerned Scientists: “Our scientists and engineers develop and implement innovative, practical solutions to some of our planet’s most pressing problems—from combating global warming and developing sustainable ways to feed, power, and transport ourselves, to fighting misinformation, advancing racial equity, and reducing the threat of nuclear war.”
United We Dream: “United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation. Our powerful nonpartisan network is made up of over 100,000 immigrant youth and allies and 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states. We organize and advocate for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status.”
Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights: “Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights is a global women’s fund that protects, strengthens and sustains women and transgender human rights defenders at critical moments.”
Vote.org: “Vote.org has built and will continue to iterate the digital technology that removes barriers to voting and increases voter turnout.”
What to Do About Charlottesville masterlist, from Sara Benincasa.