Which Nonprofit Should I Donate To?

As you plan your holiday giving, it’s important to consider how much of your donation will go toward the cause you care about. To do this, it helps to understand how nonprofits budget their money.

Luckily, there are several reliable charity watchdogs that can help you find cost-effective charities to support.

Humane League

The Humane League (THL) is an animal-rights charity that aims to end the abuse of animals raised for food. It does this by influencing the policies of big companies, demanding legislation and empowering others to take action and leave meat off their plates.

THL uses multiple intervention types: corporate outreach, government outreach, producer outreach and activist outreach. They also work to build the movement for animals through training and skill development, and conduct actionable research through Humane League Labs.

THL is one of ACE’s Recommended Charities since 2012 and receives grants from the Open Philanthropy Project. They take a highly collaborative approach to animal advocacy and work with other charities to push veganism, including Mercy for Animals, Animal Equality and the Good Food Institute. They are particularly focused on corporate campaigns, where they have had successes like getting food service providers to commit to cage-free eggs. They also work to promote the use of plant-based and cell-cultured alternatives to animal products.

Good Food Institute

GFI works alongside scientists, businesses, and policymakers to make plant-based, fermentation-enabled, and cultivated meat delicious, affordable, and accessible. They see transforming the global protein supply as an essential solution to meet climate, global health, and food security goals while also decreasing animal suffering.

They accomplish this by providing open-access research, funding science and entrepreneurship around alternative proteins, and helping large companies bring these products to market. They also host the Good Food Conference, a large annual gathering of scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, and food company leaders.

The organization values a diverse workforce and is committed to a culture of collaboration and innovation. In accordance with applicable laws, Good Food Institute provides equal employment opportunities for women, minorities, and veterans. GFI offers a work-from-home option for qualified candidates and employees with disabilities. In addition, the company has a flexible scheduling policy that allows staff to take time off as needed. GFI complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or sex.

Wild Animal Initiative

Wild animals are often overlooked when it comes to animal welfare. But they do suffer, and their lives are complex. The Wild Animal Initiative works to promote better understanding of the lived experience of wild animals and how best to improve it. The organization conducts its own research and also supports the needs of other wild animal researchers, in an effort to build a field of welfare biology.

The organization works across a wide range of animal issues, from factory farming to marine conservation to laboratory testing. And it provides a great way for donors to support the animals they care about most, whether they’re cats and dogs, farm animals, or wildlife. It has a perfect score on Charity Navigator and counts Prince William and Lupita Nyong’o among its ambassadors. For more information, check out its website.

Rainforest Trust

The Rainforest Trust (formerly World Parks Endowment) works to strategically buy and protect tropical lands that are vital for endangered species. This nonprofit has been around for over 30 years and has proven that passionate conservationists can, acre by acre, save the planet’s rainforests.

They do this by focusing on communities and working with local governments to establish protection for key vital habitats. They also work to promote sustainable forestry and agriculture practices. They have a platinum seal of transparency from GuideStar and a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

Survival International works to support indigenous Amazon rainforest tribes and protect their rights. They campaign against genocidal violence and slavery in tribal rainforest regions, while also raising awareness about the issues through their Tribal Voice initiative. They have a gold Encompass Rating for finance and accountability from Charity Navigator, as well as an impressive 100% rating from GiveWell and GlobalGiving. They are a registered US non-profit and rely on donations to fund their mission.

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