There are numerous charitable organizations that operate on international, national, and local scales. Each organization represents a specific cause and works to secure funds, programs, and volunteers to support that cause. Whether you're looking for assistance or hoping to support a cause, there's a charitable organization out there to suit your needs.
Types of Charitable Organizations
When you look at a list of nonprofit organizations, you'll see there are dozens of different types of charities supporting everything from human rights to animal rights. Nonprofit organizations by definition are legally designated as charitable and focus on one population or cause. You can use charity watchdog agencies to determine "Is a nonprofit organization legitimate?"
Some children's charities focus on helping children in need while others involve children in charitable causes.
- The Boys and Girls Club of America provides activities and mentorship for kids after school and during summer at more than 4,300 local clubs in the U.S.
- Kids between the ages of 2 and 18 who are terminally ill are granted a free, final wish by the Make a Wish Foundation of America.
- Teenagers can donate old prom dresses or get one for free with charities like the Cinderella Project.
- Kids can volunteer their time with Kids Saving the Rainforest by teaching others about this unique environment or starting a fundraiser to donate to rainforest campaigns.
The list of cancer charities is long because of the prevalence of dozens of different kinds of cancer. You'll find cancer charities that support all cancers and charities that hone in on one specific type of cancer.
- Popular cancer research charities like the Susan G. Komen Foundation or the American Cancer Society aim to find new ways to treat and beat different types of cancer.
- Fundraising campaigns such as the Less Cancer Campaign from the Next Generation Choices Foundation seek to raise awareness and knowledge about the connections between environment and cancer.
- Specified cancer charities that focus on breast cancer awareness and research include the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Breast Cancer Connections.
- The Environmental Defense Fund works toward protecting the environment for people and animals through projects like Wildlife Preservation.
- Learn how you can donate to or volunteer at your local ASPCA to help taking care of cats and dogs.
- The World Wildlife Fund accepts monetary donations and volunteers to conserve natural resources and wild animal populations around the world.
Many celebrities choose to use their fame as a platform to support a charitable cause close to their hearts. Most of these charities are set up as foundations who raise money then give it to other charitable causes.
- NFL quarterback Drew Brees and his wife started the Brees Dream Foundation that gives money to cancer treatment and underprivileged children.
- Actor Mark Wahlberg helps inner-city kids succeed with his Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation.
- The Gere Foundation was established by actor Richard Gere to give financial aid to worldwide humanitarian efforts.
- After announcing his own Parkinson's diagnosis actor Michael J. Fox started the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research to help find a cure for the disease.
Running a Nonprofit Organization
In addition to writing grants, salary reviews, and accounting procedures, there is a lot involved to keep a charity up and running. It takes a team of volunteers, staff, and community members to make a charitable organization successful. Starting a nonprofit organization is much like starting a new business.
- You'll need to submit a 501(c)(3) application to be accepted and recognized legally as a nonprofit organization.
- How you set up your charity's administrative expenses impacts how much money you have for programming and services and how others view your organization.
- The nonprofit bylaws you create serve as legal documentation of how the organization will be run.
- You can show your charity's performance to potential donors and volunteers through the use of nonprofit performance benchmarks.
Choosing to Support a Charitable Organization
There are so many charities to choose from when looking for services or volunteer opportunities. Check out charities by viewing their websites to see what cause they support, how you can help, and how they are rated. Look for a charity that fits your needs or passions and help make the world a better place.