34 charities to donate to this year

34 Charities To Support This Year

By Kaitlyn Farley

Original post found on SoFi and has been republished with permission.


There are plenty of reasons people want to give to charities. Not only can it be a great way to support a cause you care about, but there can also be tax benefits as well. So how do you narrow down which charities to donate to?

What constitutes a good organization to donate to may vary depending on how much you’re donating, if you want to give money, time, or other donations, and what causes are close to your heart. As a rule of thumb, though, it’s smart to research any organization you plan to support.

In order to help you do that, we reached out to CharityWatch, an independent watchdog organization founded in 1993. CharityWatch specializes in reviewing and ranking charities based on their financial reporting, including their:

  • Audited financial statements
  • Tax forms
  • Annual reports
  • State filings

Methodology: Ranking the Best Charities to Support

We used CharityWatch’s list of top charities to put together our list, using only those charities with an A+ ranking.

CharityWatch ranks charities based on the following calculations:

•   Program Percentage: The percent of total expenses the charity spends on charitable programming (as opposed to expenses such as fundraising, management, and operations)

•   Cost to Raise $100: How much it costs a charity to bring in $100 in cash donations from the public.

CharityWatch then assigns charities a letter grade, ranging from A+ to F. CharityWatch’s full methodology for ranking top charities to donate to can be found online.

Of the more than 600 charities the organization has ranked, only 34 have an A+ ranking at the time of this writing. (Please note CharityWatch updates rankings regularly, which is why we’ve linked to their rankings for each of the following organizations. Each charity’s website is linked on each of CharityWatch’s rating pages.)

1. Action Against Hunger-USA

Program Percentage: 90%
Cost to Raise $100: $3

Action Against Hunger-USA  ‘s mission statement is to prevent, detect, and treat under-nutrition. The organization aims to tackle the underlying causes of hunger, and they also help regions experiencing conflict or natural disasters meet their nutritional needs.

2. All Hands and Hearts

Program Percentage: 96%
Cost to Raise $100: $1

All Hands and Hearts  aims to address short- and long-term needs of communities after natural disasters. This includes helping rebuild homes, schools, and infrastructure.

3. American Kidney Fund

Program Percentage: 97%
Cost to Raise $100: $2

American Kidney Fund  helps those suffering from kidney disease during every step of the process. That includes prevention, early detection, disease management, and post-transplant. The organization provides those in need with financial support and other resources they need to manage their kidney disease.

4. Animal Welfare Institute

Program Percentage: 91%
Cost to Raise $100: $1

Animal Welfare Institute  helps animals who have suffered because of human cruelty. The organizations aims to reduce animal cruelty through advocacy and education.

5. Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America (National Office)

Program Percentage: 91%
Cost to Raise $100: $7

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America (National Office)  pairs children facing adversity with a “brother” or “sister” mentor who can provide them support. They also offer training and workshops about child safety.

6. Catholic Relief Services

Program Percentage: 91%
Cost to Raise $100: $10

Catholic Relief Services  assists the poor in the U.S. and across the globe. Its goal is to prevent and end poverty regardless of the races, religions, or nationalities of those in need.

7. Child Find of America

Program Percentage: 92%
Cost to Raise $100: $3

Child Find of America  aims to both prevent child abductions and find abducted children. Part of that work involves responding to the family conflicts and crises that may lead to potential abduction or abuse.

8. Comic Relief

Program Percentage: 90%
Cost to Raise $100: $8

Comic Relief  uses entertainment to eliminate poverty, improve children’s lives, and help disadvantaged individuals around the world. The organization is well known for its Red Nose Day fundraiser, in which people can buy a red clown nose to raise money to help end child poverty.

9. Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS)

Program Percentage: 90%
Cost to Raise $100: $7

Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS)  helps families and coworkers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. The organization provides them with resources to help rebuild their lives after the death, and it also provides training to law enforcement on how to help surviving co-workers and families.

10. Conservation Fund

Program Percentage: 95%
Cost to Raise $100: $4

Conservation Fund  helps protect America’s land and water resources with the help of public, private, and nonprofit partner organizations. The fund also helps educate the public about sustainability, resource management, and creating environmental goals for individuals, communities, or organizations.

11. Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation

Program Percentage: 93%
Cost to Raise $100: $2

Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation’s  mission is to prevent and treat diabetes. It helps fund new research to help cure diabetes and diabetes-related illnesses and complications.

12. DonorsChoose.org

Program Percentage: 94%
Cost to Raise $100: $5

DonorsChoose.org  aims to help raise awareness about accountability issues and educational inequality in public schools. It seeks to create a world in which all American children have equal access to high-quality education by engaging the public in educational issues and reform.

13. Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Program Percentage: 91%
Cost to Raise $100: $9

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s  mission is to prevent pediatric HIV infections. Through education, research, advocacy, and treatment, the organization aims to help end pediatric AIDS.

14. Environmental Defense Action Fund

Program Percentage: 98%
Cost to Raise $100: $2

The Environmental Defense Action Fund  seeks to educate the public about the environment and conservation. The organization also advocates for legislation and policies it believes will protect the environment.

15. Fisher House Foundation

Program Percentage: 93%
Cost to Raise $100: $3

The Fisher House Foundation  creates and furnishes “Fisher Houses” for military and veteran families to stay at while a loved one is in the hospital. The organization also provides further financial assistance and scholarships to military families.

16. Friends of Animals

Program Percentage: 94%
Cost to Raise $100: $3

Friends of Animals  aims to help animals experiencing cruelty or institutional exploitation. They help fund and create litigation for no-free shelters, protect wild animals’ ability to roam freely, and more.

17. Hearing Health Foundation

Program Percentage: 91%
Cost to Raise $100: $7

Hearing Health Foundation  works to prevent hearing loss and tinnitus. It also hopes to develop a cure for both by supporting research and hearing health education.

18. Hispanic Federation

Program Percentage: 94%
Cost to Raise $100: $4

Hispanic Federation  is a Latino nonprofit organization aiming to advocate and advance Hispanic communities and families. It provides communities with a variety of services and resources for education, health, immigration, civil engagement, economic empowerment, and more.

19. Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Program Percentage: 92%
Cost to Raise $100: $1

Hispanic Scholarship Fund  provides scholarships and student services to help Hispanic students prepare for and earn their college degree. The organization provides students with support services and other resources they need to not only make it into the college classroom, but to succeed in college and after graduation.

20. Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

Program Percentage: 92%
Cost to Raise $100: $5

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund  helps military members who have traumatic brain injuries or PTSD. The organization provides them access to treatment centers to help them continue to serve or enjoy life post-service.

21. Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

Program Percentage: 91%
Cost to Raise $100: $6

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation  seeks to invest in research and education to find a cure for multiple myeloma. The organization also helps fund innovative new ways to treat myeloma and extend the lives of those affected by it.

22. National Alliance to End Homelessness

Program Percentage: 90%
Cost to Raise $100: $4

National Alliance to End Homelessness  aims to help prevent and end U.S. homelessness. The organization seeks to educate the public on the causes of homelessness and potential solutions.

23. National Council on Aging

Program Percentage: 95%
Cost to Raise $100: $4

The National Council on Aging  seeks to help older Americans who may be struggling financially, physically, mentally, or experiencing other issues. It also educates caregivers and advocates on how best to serve the elder community.

24. Pathfinder International

Program Percentage: 90%
Cost to Raise $100: $4

Pathfinder International  works to ensure that everyone around the world has the right to a healthy sexual and reproductive life. During COVID-19, the organization is also helping vulnerable communities survive the crisis.

25. PetSmart Charities

Program Percentage: 95%
Cost to Raise $100: $3

PetSmart Charities  helps pets find life-long homes. The organization hosts adoption events and centers, as well educational and training programs to help humans learn how to support pets in need.

26. Population Services International

Program Percentage: 92%
Cost to Raise $100: $1

Population Services International  provides those in developing countries with products and services to plan families and lead healthier lives. The organization also develops programming to help address gender-related health issues, including violence against women and women’s access to health services.

27. Prevent Child Abuse America (National Office)

Program Percentage: 90%
Cost to Raise $100: $6

Prevent Child Abuse America (National Office)  aims to prevent child abuse and neglect in America. The organization educates the public on ways to build healthy environments for children using science and advocates for policies that protect children.

28. Scholarship America

Program Percentage: 95%
Cost to Raise $100: $2

Scholarship America  helps American students make it into college classrooms through scholarships and educational support. The organization also provides mentorship to students and emergency grants for students at risk of dropping out for various reasons.

29. Semper Fi & America’s Fund

Program Percentage: 91%
Cost to Raise $100: $3

Semper Fi & America’s Fund  helps combat-wounded, critically ill, or catastrophically injured veterans and their families with financial, family, and wellness support programs. The program also helps veterans transition back into their communities after a serious combat-related injury.

30. Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation

Program Percentage: 93%
Cost to Raise $100: $4

Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation  seeks to honor fallen firefighter Stephen Siller, who died on duty on September 11, 2001. The organization helps the families of fallen firefighters and police officers pay off mortgages, among other programs.

31. Unbound

Program Percentage: 93%
Cost to Raise $100: $4

Unbound  partners with families living in poverty to help them become self-sufficient and reach their full potential. The organization works with those experiencing poverty in 19 countries using Catholic theology to foster family and community relationship-building and self-empowerment.

32. United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)

Program Percentage: 98%
Cost to Raise $100: $3

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)  aims to alleviate human suffering around the world caused by conflicts, war, natural disasters, and other causes of suffering. The organization has helped with refugee resettlement and other humanitarian missions.

33. Waterkeeper Alliance

Program Percentage: 91%
Cost to Raise $100: $7

Waterkeeper Alliance  creates a network of global leaders to help protect peoples’ rights to clean water around the globe. The organization also has several campaigns to promote clean and safe energy, clean water, and to battle pollution caused by industrial meat farms, among other causes.

34. World Resources Institute

Program Percentage: 91%
Cost to Raise $100: $2

World Resources Institute  aims to help people learn how to live in ways that better protect the environment for current and future generations. It educates the public on ways to make cities, energy, food, and businesses more environmentally friendly.

Making a Difference with Your Finances

Budgeting for charitable donations can be a good way to ensure your money helps the causes you care about. It can also benefit your finances if you receive a tax deduction for your donation. You could use that deduction to invest, reach your savings goals, contribute more to your retirement, or build up your emergency fund.

Recommended: How to Make End of Year Donations

The Takeaway

Need help learning how to make your money work for you and causes near and dear to your heart? Consider opening a SoFi Money® cash management account.

SoFi Money offers a special Vaults feature where you separate your savings from your spending, while still earning competitive interest on all your money. You can even set up a vault for your future charitable giving.


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