When making donations, it can be hard to find the right charity. You want a charity that supports a worthwhile cause, but you also want your money to have the most impact. To help you in your search, we have compiled a list of ten little charities making big impacts on the world. (Be prepared to have your heartstrings tugged.)
So, whether you are making a large donation or a small one, choosing a charity carefully can help your money reach a good cause and go a long way. This list is in no particular order; these are all worthwhile charities that will continue to benefit others. Let’s get into it!
Related: 10 Acts Of Astonishing Charity Performed By Ordinary People
10 Acadia Center
The first charitable organization on our list is based in Maine but has offices in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island too. Named for the beloved national park, the Acadia Center is focused on climate research, advocacy, and generally planning to find ways to mitigate our climate crisis.
According to its website, this organization “Forms strategic alliances and engages all stakeholders—legislators, business and community leaders, advocacy and environmental justice groups—to press for next-generation solutions and ensure long-term results.”
The Acadia Center’s lofty goals include:
- Replacing gas cars with electric cars
- Advancing climate policy with an eye on the future
- Encouraging the transition to renewable energy sources
They also state a specific goal with a specific deadline. Acadia Center’s overall goal is for the Northeast United States to cut carbon emissions by half or more by 2030.
9 Puppies Behind Bars
Who doesn’t love puppies? The Puppies Behind Bars charity helps in several ways, but its adorable name references the gist of its mission. Puppies Behind Bars trains inmates to raise dogs for the following services:
- Service dog for wounded veterans and first responders
- Law enforcement dog to detect explosives
- Therapy dogs for police departments
Inmates are provided with a puppy to train; at just eight weeks old, the puppy is taught basic skills and commands. At 24 months old, the puppy is returned to Puppies Behind Bars for further assessment and training and eventually is placed with its full-time handler.
Inmates can learn valuable skills from caring for a Puppies Behind Bars puppy, such as providing love and care to someone else. They also learn to provide something positive to their community rather than negative. The final benefit of Puppies Behind Bars includes the services the dog provides to their full-time handlers.
If you love dogs and their services to others, Puppies Behind Bars is a great organization to support.
8 Charity: Water
This charity, as it sounds, is focused on providing clean and safe drinking water to citizens in developing countries. Their founder, Scott Harrison, transitioned from a nightclub promoter to the founder of a non-profit after a life-changing experience near Liberia, where he saw the dangerous effects of unclean water.
Since Charity: Water was founded in 2006, they have funded over 90,000 projects, serving more than 14 million people across 29 countries. What we find refreshing is they are upfront about where their donations go and what they have achieved because of the donations.
7 To Write Love on Her Arms
The next charity on our list relates to something that affects almost every single one of us to some degree. Over the last decade or more, mental health has become a greater focus for our society. Many of the stigmas surrounding mental health have lessened or disappeared entirely. This organization, To Write Love on Her Arms, is a charity with mental health goals in mind.
Their website states that they aim to find help and present hope to people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. To Write Love on Her Arms was founded in 2007 by Jame Tworkowski and named for a story he wrote about his friend (who was struggling with mental illness) on the website MySpace. Since its small beginnings, To Write Love on Her Arms has donated over $2.5 million to treatment and recovery from mental illness, depression, addiction, and self-harm.
While the charity’s work is impressive, we know that they have more work to do. Mental health issues are something that many people struggle with daily, and this great organization aims to continue its essential work.
6 FSHD Society
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is a rare genetic muscle disease that affects the muscles of your child’s face, shoulders, upper arms, and lower legs. These muscles weaken and shrink (atrophy).” Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition.
Fortunately, however, the FSHD Society is there for patients and families to turn to. Since being founded in 1991 by two FSHD patients, Steve Jacobsen and Daniel Perez, this charity has grown a lot, investing more than 10 million dollars into determining the causes of FDHD.
According to the FSHD website, they have four main goals:
- To solve the biological disease process
- Build infrastructure to accelerate research
- Improve nationwide patient care
- Expedite treatment development
FSHD has already accomplished a great deal since its founding in 1991. However, there is still no cure for this disease, and this organization can always benefit from additional support and more people learning about its efforts.
5 India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF)
The next charity on our list is based in North Bethesda, Maryland. Despite its location, the organization focuses on India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. India Development and Relief Fund emphasize local empowerment in these areas. In their words, “Our method puts power, not charity, in the hands of the poor.”
Charity efforts often make more difference when they are locally supported and run. IDRF subscribes to this idea. In the countries of Sri Lanka, Nepal and India, the IDRF is fighting several issues. They are fighting poverty, lack of education, lack of infrastructure, and more. This fantastic organization has won its fair share of awards for transparency and accountability.
4 Pencils of Promise
Pencils of Promise is an impactful organization with a great origin story. Their founder Adam Braun asked a young boy in India what he wanted most in the world, and the boy told him he wanted a pencil. (Cue the tears!) The boy’s desire for a pencil inspired Braun, and he made it his life’s mission to help provide education and educational supplies for those in need.
Since then, Pencils of Promise has supported teachers, training more than 3,000 around the globe. Furthermore, they have helped to build or improve schools in impoverished areas. Having an appropriate, safe, and clean workplace is vital for students to do their best.
Across Laos, Ghana, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, over 100,000 students are currently enrolled in their programs. From a simple pencil to providing many teachers and students with support! Despite being a little charity, Pencils of Promise has made a very big impact.
3 Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW)
Many environmental charities exist, but the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide is unique. ELAW is focused on environmental law. Boasting members across 80 countries, this organization truly has no borders.
ELAW was founded in 1989, making it one of the longest-running organizations on our list. They concentrate on creating a sustainable future through the use of advocates, such as scientists and climate lawyers. ELAW has over 300 advocates involved, including 13 who have won the prestigious Goldman Prize for grassroots environmentalists, dating back to 1990.
2 Oxfam International
Another international organization, Oxfam International, includes 17 organizations. These 17 organizations collaborate with local communities in more than 90 countries worldwide. Oxfam has shown a commitment to grassroots organizations that work to fight poverty.
Oxfam helps raise awareness, provides support, and responds to crises. Along with poverty, Oxfam International aims to take on climate issues, gender equality, economic justice, etc. With such a broad umbrella, it is no wonder that Oxfam International has been helping people since World War II. As they put it on their website, “We believe in equality. That’s it. Plain and simple.” I think that is a message that we can all get behind.
1 National Pediatric Cancer Foundation
The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation was founded in 1991 by two mothers, Melissa Helms and Risa Tramel. The two met in Florida under sad circumstances. At the time, both of their daughters were infants and undergoing treatment for cancer. Fortunately, their daughters both recovered, but the story does not end there. Because of this shared experience, Helms and Tramel recognized the need to fight pediatric cancer. So they formed the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
Years later, in 2005, they formed Project Sunshine, a program designed to identify top doctors and researchers and expedite a potential cure for pediatric cancer. Since Project Sunshine began in 2005, they have dedicated more than 30 million dollars to research for pediatric cancer and have funded four clinical trials. This is quite an impact for a charity that just started with two mothers in a crisis.