You're never too young to start giving back to your community, but sometimes it can be difficult getting kids involved in charity work when a lot of nonprofits don't accommodate childhood contributions. Thankfully, this doesn't mean that there aren't a number of relatable and interesting nonprofits for kids to donate to.
1. World Wildlife Fund
For sixty years, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has enacted conservation efforts in the hopes of supporting six key focus areas: climate, food, forests, freshwater, oceans, and wildlife. The protection of the world's natural resources is at the center of all of the WWF's programs, and their instrumental involvement in the conservation of animals makes them one of kids' favorite charities out there. Not only can children make monetary donations to the WWF, they can also make larger monetary donations to 'adopt an animal' and receive various gifts in return based on educating them about that animal's lifestyle, habitat, and conservation. Currently, you can adopt a polar bear through the WWF's website.
2. Pajama Program
The Pajama Program is a nonprofit which "promotes and supports a comforting bedtime routine and healthy sleep for children to help them thrive." Launched in 2001, this organization has delivered 7 million+ kits of bedtime items like pajamas and storybooks to children in need. All children enjoy a good night's sleep, and they can make a monetary donation to this nonprofit to help other children get just as good of a night's rest as they get.
3. A Million Thanks
This military-based nonprofit supports those in active duty by collecting written letters from the public to distribute among the soldiers in their care. This interactive and creative method of donating makes it a perfect organization for kids to partner with. Currently, A Million Thanks has received nearly 11 million letters; and you can easily let your child's letter be 11 million and one.
4. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
By far the oldest nonprofit on this list, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America was founded in 1904 and continues to provide life-changing one-on-one mentorships between children coming from difficult backgrounds with older volunteers who can individually promote their mental health and emotional stability. Given that many children have their own big brothers and big sisters, this nonprofit can hit close to home for them, and one way they can help is by making a monetary donation.
5. Project Night Night
According to the Project Night Night's website, they donate "over 30,000 Night Night Packages each year to homeless children 12 and under who need [the nonprofit's] childhood essentials to have a concrete and predictable source of security and an increased exposure to high-quality literacy materials during their time of upheaval." While not every kid has experienced homelessness, they can certainly imagine the difficulties of not having one. Thankfully, the organization accepts both monetary donations and items like new children's books, new stuffed animals, and new blankets, though you'll want to contact the closest chapter to your location to see what they're currently needing the most.
6. Oxfam America
A global nonprofit, Oxfam America has worked towards ending "the injustice of poverty" for over seventy years. Their key areas of focus include inequality, discrimination, and unequal access to vital resources like food, water, and land. Oxfam, by far, has the largest number of options for monetary donations in the sense that each of their donation tiers directly fund a specific action such as providing soap or protecting the bees. With every donation that you make, you'll get a downloadable PDF card noting your act of charity; what child doesn't want something that they're proud of having done to be put on display on their family's fridge?
7. Alex's Lemonade Stand
Alex's Lemonade Stand began when a young child, Alexandra "Alex" Scott, with a childhood cancer called neuroblastoma, held a lemonade stand at her house and raised $2,000 for 'her' hospital. Over the course of her short life, she was able to raise $1 million for cancer research, and this nonprofit was birthed from her valiant bravery. One cool aspect of this charity's donation strategy is that it gives children the ability to hold their own lemonade stands and use the money collected to donate to the parent organization.
8. Habitat for Humanity
Another famous nonprofit, Habitat for Humanity actually services both children and adults despite its middle-aged reputation. From the ages of 5 up to 40, there're all sorts of specialized youth program options available. Of course, children can donate to the home-building nonprofit, but getting involved in an actual build in some capacity can let them have a tangible connection to what they're donating for. For kids, seeing really is believing.
9. Binky Patrol
Once upon a time, you might have cherished a childhood blanket - a 'binky' if you will - that you'd carry around with you everywhere. Well, Binky Patrol provides handmade binkies for children in need. Every child can relate to needing a comforting object to help them through periods of stress, and a wonderful thing about this nonprofit is that they accept homemade binkies. This means that you and your child can turn your donation into a fun activity for the both of you to enjoy.
10. Stuffed Animals for Emergencies
For 23 years, Stuffed Animals for Emergencies (SAFE) has been run entirely on volunteer support to accept donations of all sorts of items that're important to childhood growth and development, and these volunteer's have cleaned and distributed the donations to "children in traumatic or emotional situations." The people of SAFE are doing incredible work, and your children can help support these other kids by making a donation of gently used items like stuffed animals, blankets, books, clothes, and so on. Every child had that one special toy they couldn't bear to part with (and some adults never did let go of that stuffed animal), so they should feel intensely led to provide this one piece of solace that they can.
11. Shriners Hospital for Children
You may have seen the many advertisements across various media platforms talking about Shriners Hospital for Children. Don't let their exposure deaden you to the significant work that they're doing to provide care for children that require specialized healthcare. Your kids might already be familiar with the popular Shriners bear, which is emblazoned on the front of a fuzzy blanket which donors receive. While childhood illness may be harder to explain to your children, they've probably already seen other kids who need different care from their able bodied classmates, meaning they might not understand the diseases Shriner's fighting, but they'll connect to the people behind them.
You're Never too Young to Donate
You're never too young to be charitable; there's a misconception that this only involves donating money, but there is a host of other ways that people can donate to important charities that seek to support the community. So, even if your children don't currently get an allowance, we're sure that you can work out some sort of reward system for them to earn their donation to the nonprofit of their choice.