Where would the world be without the great work of non-profits: from programs designed to bolster musical education and slow climate change to organizations protecting basic freedoms and encouraging kids to read. Beyond the tangible benefits of holiday giving to worthy organizations, altruism also helps connect us to the global community. From the 1.5 million registered nonprofits in the United States, we've compiled a list of a few of our favorites, with descriptions of the work each organization does in their own words. We encourage you to share your own favorite non-profits in the comments below.
350.org is building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions are led from the bottom up by thousands of volunteer organizers in over 188 countries.
Paul Sutherland founded the Utopia Foundation in 2007 with the team support of innovative and dedicated fellow board members. We are committed to providing opportunity for people to express their good intentions in local and international communities. We invest in champions that have the desire to create or are part of resilient projects that create sustainable improvements in the livelihoods of those in need.
Off The Mat and Into The World
Off the Mat, Into the World—a program of the nonprofit The Engage Network—is dedicated to bridging yoga and activism. Founded in 2007 by Seane Corn, Hala Khouri, and Suzanne Sterling, OTM’s mission is to use the power of yoga to inspire conscious, sustainable activism and ignite grassroots social change.
Committee To Protect Journalists
CPJ promotes press freedom worldwide and defends the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. CPJ takes action wherever journalists are censored, attacked, imprisoned, or killed for their work. Our advocacy helps to ensure the free flow of news and commentary.
Hundreds of journalists are killed, harassed, or imprisoned every year. For 30 years, the Committee to Protect Journalists has been there to defend them worldwide.
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers.
Reading Is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States. We prepare and motivate children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. We inspire children to be lifelong readers through the power of choice. RIF provides new, free books for children to choose from and make their own. The seeds of inspiration in these books have motivated children to follow their dreams and achieve their potential.
Campaign For Youth Justice
The Campaign for Youth Justice is a national campaign dedicated to ending the practice of trying, sentencing, and incarcerating children under 18 in the adult criminal justice system. The strategic goals of CFYJ are to reduce the number of youth who are tried, sentenced, and incarcerated in the adult criminal justice system, rather than adjudicated in the juvenile justice system; and to decrease the harmful impact of trying youth in adult court, especially the placement of youth in adult jails and prisons.
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
In 1996, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee. Dolly's vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.
VH1 Save The Music
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation was founded in 1997 as a public affairs initiative of the VH1 network. The Foundation’s core mission is to restore instrumental music education programs, ensuring that every child has access to a complete education that includes the benefits of music instruction. Since its inception, The Foundation has remained faithful to and focused on making our mission come to life.