Donate to Effective Liberal Charities

Before giving to any charity, do two things:

  • Check up on them via Charity Navigator or similar oversight utility (groups listed below with four star ratings in Charity Navigator are marked with a check checkmark-blue)
  • Check to see if your employer will match your contribution

Civil liberties:

checkmark-blueAdvancement Project (“A next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change.”)

American Civil Liberties Union (“For almost a hundred years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”)

Anti-Defamation League (The “ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.”)

checkmark-blueNational Immigration Law Center (“Dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants”)

Southern Poverty Law Center (“The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.”)

Climate change and the environment:

checkmark-blueEarthjustice (“True and lasting change happens when the power of the law is on your side. That is why the earth needs a good lawyer.”) (“Climate-focused campaigns, projects and actions, let from the bottom up by people in 188 countries.”)

checkmark-blueNational Resources Defense Council (“NRDC works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.”)

Sierra Club (“Founded by legendary conservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is now the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.”)

Greenpeace (“Uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future”)

Common-sense gun legislation:

Everytown for Gun Safety (“Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities.”)

Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (The Brady Center is a 501(c)(3) organization, meaning contributions are tax deductible. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is a 501 (c)(4) organization, meaning contributions to it are not deductible. The Center is not a lobbying organization; the Campaign is. “The Brady Center … develops and implements extensive public health and safety programs and utilizes the courts to reduce gun violence. …We represent victims of gun violence in cases against irresponsible gun sellers and owners.”)

Corporate abuse:

Corporate Accountability International (“Waging bold campaigns that safeguard public health, human rights, and the environment from corporate abuse.”)


checkmark-blueGirls Inc. (“Inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold”)


checkmark-blueFeeding America (“The nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization”)

NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation (“Protecting and expanding reproductive freedom”)

checkmark-bluePlanned Parenthood Federation of America (“Planned Parenthood is a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide.”)

Immigration rights:

CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) (“CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”)


National Immigration Law Center (“Dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants”)

National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (“Provides legal assistance and technical support to immigrant communities, legal practitioners, and advocates working to advance the rights of non-citizens”)

LGBTQ equal rights:

Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (“Our mission is to create safe and affirming schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”)

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (Legal advocates and defenders for the LGBTQ community)

Prison reform:

The Marshall Project (“A nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system.”)

The Sentencing Project (Working for “a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system”)


Union of Concerned Scientists (“Science for a healthy planet and safer world.” In a world where truthiness has become flat-out lies, science is more important than ever.)

Unbiased journalism:

checkmark-blueCenter for Investigative Reporting (Aims “to engage and empower the public through investigative journalism and groundbreaking storytelling in order to spark action, improve lives and protect our democracy”)

ProPublica (“An independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.”)

National Public Radio (NPR; “Great storytelling and rigorous reporting.”)

Public Radio International (PRI “The intersection of journalism and engagement to effect positive change in people’s lives.”)

Voting rights (and more):

checkmark-blueBrennan Center for Justice (“The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. The Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism.”)

Women in public office:

Emily’s List is not a charity, but a great foundation with a straightforward mission to “elect pro-choice Democratic women to office.”

For more extensive lists:

This is obviously only a partial list of deserving organizations. For more ideas, see Together List or Donate Bigly.