08 April 2009

Tools for Charity

Today's posting provides some easy web resources to get involved with charitable work, and tools to ensure that the nonprofits you select are credible. Whether you're looking for simple ways to give or looking to transition into the nonprofit sector, the sites below will help you find a way to get involved that fits your lifestyle.

GuideStar gathers and publicizes information about nonprofit organizations; organizing the information into its large database. They encourage nonprofits to share information about their organizations openly and completely. This is especially important as transparency is vital in the nonprofit community. 

Any nonprofit can update its report with information about its mission, programs, leaders, goals, accomplishments, and needs- for free. GuideStar also supplies information from other resources, including the organization's financial statements, which must be made available to the public. You can search for an organization for free. Completing the free registration form gives you access to even more information.

So why is this nonprofit so important, and why are they passionate about providing information on other nonprofit organizations? "Because the best possible decisions are made when donors, funders, researchers, educators, professional service providers, governing agencies, and the media use the quality information that [GuideStar] provides. Those decisions affect our world today and will continue to affect it for generations to come."

GuideStar is a great resource to become familiar with some great nonprofit organizations, and make sure that you're equipped with the facts necessary to make informed giving decisions. To learn more please visit the GuideStar website.

The Good Search is a simple way to give to charity without having to put a lot of effort into it. Simple visit the website, select the charity or school of your choice, search the web as you normally would, and they'll donate to the cause of your choice for every search. It's that easy! For more information please visit The Good Search.

FreeRice is a nonprofit website run by the United Nations World Food Program. Their partner is the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, but don't let the big names scare you. This website makes giving fun and easy. FreeRice has two goals:
  • Provide education to everyone for free.
  • Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.
This is made possible by sponsors who advertise on the site. The concept is simple- for each right answer you donate 10 grains of rice through the UN World Food Program. The questions range in difficulty, but are all multiple choice: select the proper meaning of each word listed.  For more information and to play this wildly catchy game, please visit FreeRice.

Action Without Borders is a nonprofit organization founded in New York City in 1995. Their mission  is to connect people, organizations, and resources to help build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives. They envision a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives,  every person who wants to help anther has the ability to do so, and no opportunities for action or collaboration are missed or wasted. The organization is independent of any government, political ideology, or religious creed.  Their work is guided by the common desire of their members and supporters to find practical solutions to social and environmental problems, in a spirit of generosity and mutual respect.

The organization works toward their mission  by providing a meeting point for individuals and organizations that seek to improve their communities, whether through promoting volunteerism and nonprofit careers, or by facilitating connections between people that can lead to personal and collective action.

The site is filled with information including: nonprofit jobs, volunteer opportunities (including volunteer abroad), nonprofit organizations, consultants, Idealist groups, internships, programs, people, nonprofit books and materials, campaigns, events, and speakers. For more information please visit Action Without Border's Idealist website.

Grassroots provide free web services to nonprofits. Their mission is to serve as a catalyst for positive social change by leveraging modern technologies and best business practices. Their ultimate goal is to adopt 10,000 nonprofit members, and to provide them each with an average of $10,000 of services per year at no charge.

The organization's supporters help them achieve their goal by donating time, services, and money. Nonprofits benefit by receiving free services including hosting and designing and building capacity. Volunteers help by contributing their web and graphic design skills. Grassroots currently serves 1,300 nonprofits in the United States and Canada.

For more information please visit Grassroots.

Hopefully these organizations will help guide, inform, and inspire your involvement with the nonprofit community. Stay tuned for Tools for Charity 2.0 coming May 3rd.


  1. Stephanie DavenportMay 05, 2009

    These are great resources. Thanks for providing a list of them.
    Another free resource you might want to know about is Movie Mondays for Nonprofit Professionals. Every Monday a short 4-6 minute clip focusing on a fundraising topic (e.g. Turning $5,000 into $120,000, Strengthening Donor Relationships with Questions,
    Getting the Donor Meeting, etc.) is available for free.
    It is a fun and easy way to get inspiration and ideas for the week ahead.
    If you have not had the opportunity to check out Movie Mondays here is the link to a movie, "A Great Way to Deepen Donor Relationships":

  2. Great list of tools. Will be sure to try and include them in nonprofit software. Thanks!