Yesterday I came across a post on the activism, advocacy, and philanthropy organization, ATC Tower’s blog which reminded me that the end of the year is as good a time as any to consider how you might be able to help your neighbors near and far. With so many great non-profit organizations out there doing such amazing work it can be difficult to pick and choose who to lend your support to. But, tough decisions have to be made. Taking a cue from ATC Tower (whom, I might add, is also a non-profit worthy of your time, interest, and charitable giving), below are five noteworthy non-profits to consider giving to as 2011 comes to a close.
Architecture for Humanity
Simply put, “Architecture for Humanity is a nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999…to promote architectural and design solutions to global, social and humanitarian crises.” Headed up by the inexhaustible, Cameron Sinclair, who urges architects to “Design Like You Give a Damn,” this over 10 year old organization has helped countless communities in need get back on their feet through utilizing a network of volunteer design and construction professionals across the globe.
We Are What We Do
Billed as a not-for-profit behaviour change company, “We Are What We Do creates ways for millions of people to do more small, good things. We make stuff that people want to buy or use and which have positive behaviours built in, aiming to reach massive audiences and help address major social and environmental issues. At the heart of our work is the understanding that telling people what to do doesn’t work. So our creations are things people simply like, which incidentally help them to do more.”
One of this intriguing non-profit’s latest ventures is Historypin, an online tool that enables “millions of people to come together, from across different generations, cultures and places, to share small glimpses of the past and to build up the huge story of human history.”
Founded by Matt Damon and Gary White, Water.org is an action oriented organization aiming to push “the water sector for new solutions, new financing models, greater transparency, and real partnerships to create lasting change. Our vision: the day when everyone in the world can take a safe drink of water.” Since its founding in 2009 after a merging of WaterPartners and H2O Africa, Water.org “has transformed hundreds of communities in Africa, South Asia, and Central America by providing access to safe water and sanitation.”
Project H Design
Founded by Emily Pilloton and Mathew Miller Project H Design is a great mix of design and education. Hoping to call on “the power of design and hands-on building to catalyze communities and public education from within,” Project H utilizes a unique six-tenet design process: “There is no design without (critical) action; We design WITH, not FOR; We document, share and measure; We start locally and scale globally; We design systems, not stuff; We build results in simple and effective design solutions that empower communities and build collective creative capital.
“Our specific focus is the transformation of curricula, environments, and experiences for K-12 educational institutions in the US, centering around our cornerstone initiative: our Studio H design/build high school program within the Bertie County School District, North Carolina.”
One Warm Coat
Winter seems as though it’s finally starting to settle in and it’s cold out there. Founded in 1992, One Warm Coat’s mission is simple—to collect coats to give to those in need free of charge. One Warm Coat makes it easy for you to start your own coat drive in your own town by offering five simple tips and supporting organizers. Organizing a coat drive is a great way to hit the streets and offer some hands on help. There’s nothing better than that.
There are of course thousands of other charitable organizations worthy of your time and donations. Search out a non-profit in your local area and get 2012 started by being a better neighbor.