Donation recommendations… for 2017?!

Wow, I’m way on top of my game this year!  … Sort of. :)

I did a lot of research on where I should donate this year that I didn’t end up using – that is, I decided in the end to donate to the same orgs I’ve donated to in the past.  Why?  Because getting on even more organizations’ mailing lists is a pain, and I’ve decided that I’m going to donate anonymously via a donor-advised fund in the future so that I can avoid the mailing lists.  But that means I have to set it up first. :P

The good news, though, is that my donation research mega-spreadsheet should still be applicable in ~10-11 months when I am next donating.  And for everything subjective, I tried to document everything I was thinking along the way so that others (and future me) can adjust the conclusions according to taste or according to anything that’s changed.  I’ll reshare it on various social networks when it’s “giving season” again.


Notes and caveats:

  1. You may not agree with the list of charities I’ve evaluated so far (in which case I’d love to hear what you think I left out — though please see my To Evaluate and Didn’t Make the Cut tabs).
  2. You may also not agree with my criteria or weighting (heck, I’m not sure I agree with those :) ), and I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on that as well!  I’ve tried to clearly document my thoughts, in any case, so that if your priorities are different, you can change your rankings accordingly.
  3. I scored and ranked the organizations (to be taken with a large grain of salt! mostly it’s not the rankings but the other info that’s useful), but I’m not quite sure how I’m going to use this info to allocate funds.  Some charities that score really well in terms of excellence might not actually get the most money… I’m still pondering how score and amount should relate. And still considering what other factors should perhaps be going into my rankings.


  1. Lisa Eckstein Said,

    January 6, 2017 @ 5:40 pm

    I donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center without knowing about their questionable list of “anti-Muslim extremists”. I’ll be curious to see how they perform this year and whether they warrant donation in the future.

    For the NAACP, check out their Legal Defense Fund, which I think you’ll find more aligned with your priorities.

  2. lauren Said,

    January 7, 2017 @ 2:32 pm

    Oh, awesome — thanks for the tip on NAACP LDF! I’m definitely planning to learn more about SPLC as well as other racial justice orgs, to watch they evolve over time, and to update my recommendations accordingly. So far, I’ve been mostly just putting a lot of trust and funding in the ACLU, who also do a bunch of work in racial justice (and whom I possibly overfund instead of splintering my funding to donate to more targeted orgs for LGBT, racial minority, religious minority, immigrant, etc. causes), but I’d like to know more about the other options.