Here are some of my favorite organizations to give my money to – some well known, some lesser known:
African Women’s Development Fund: I dislike the fact that most development aid is donor driven, and oftentimes does not lead to projects that the beneficiaries want or need. AWDF is completely run by African women for Arican women, providing women-led organizations on the African continent with grants in the amount of $1,000 – $50,000. Support focuses on women’s human rights, political participation, peace building, health and reproductive rights, economic empowerment, and HIV and AIDS.
Bread for the World: While the work being done in soup kitchens and food pantries is important to address the immediate needs of hungry people, it doesn’t address the root causes of the problem. Bread for the World is an ecumenical organization that advocates U.S. decisionmakers to change policies and programs that allow hunger and poverty to persist, with the ultimate goal of ending hunger and poverty at home and abroad. Each year, Bread focuses on a major issue for advocacy efforts. Last year it was reforming foreign assistance to make it more cost-effective and development-focused. This year’s campaign is focused on expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to assist struggling families in the United States.
CARE: CARE is a humanitarian organization that focuses on assisting some of the world’s poorest people. With a special focus on assisting women, some of the programs that CARE funds are girl’s education, economic development and disaster response. Like Bread for the World, they also engage in policy and advocacy work on Capitol Hill to try to influence development policy, and they have a monthly giving option which makes contributing to the organization easy.
Diakonia Compassionate Ministry – Kenya: DCM works in western Kenya, the poorest region of the country and the region hardes hit by HIV and AIDS. I have a special connection to this organization, because I did an internship with them in 2002, and have since gone back to visit in 2007. My home church, like many other Lutheran congregations in the United States, participates in an orphan sponsorship program whereby an individual contributes $30 per month towards the costs of school supplies, school uniforms, and health care costs for an orphaned child. DCM is also engaged in health care work, programs for people with disabilities, peace building, HIV and AIDS support groups, and disaster response.