One of the most rewarding parts of the holiday season is the warm and fuzzy feeling you get by giving to others. In the craziness of searching for the perfect gift for your loved ones, remember that they aren’t the only people who need your help during this time of year. We told you over the summer about nonprofit organizations you can volunteer with. Now it’s time to channel that generosity towards start-up nonprofits this winter!
Start-up nonprofits can be difficult to find because they have fewer resources and less buzz than previously established organizations, so we put together a list of some organizations you can donate some of your hard-earned bucks to this season.
1. The Adventure Project
Founded in 2010 by Becky Straw and Jody Landers, The Adventure Project’s overall mission is to end extreme poverty. One especially cool thing about this organization is that you are the investor—you can choose which aspect of the nonprofit you send your donation to! The Adventure Project concentrates on four different social ventures you can contribute to in order to help improve the lives of those in need.
First, you can donate to the water fund, which helps bring water-well mechanics to Africa. More than one-third of wells in Africa are currently broken, and they need your help to get them working!
The health cause is designed to train female leaders to become health care workers. Due to the donations Living Goods, a nonprofit The Adventure Project works with that aims to fight disease and poverty, has received, more than 650 women have been employed as health care promoters in Uganda. Help the organization reach its goal of 5,000 health care promoters in the next five years!
You can also help donate towards irrigation pumps in Kenya to support the hunger cause. This is an important one to donate to because less than four percent of farmland in Kenya is irrigated, causing the people experience serious starvation.
For each $20 you donate to the environment cause, you will provide one Haitian family with a charcoal-efficient stove. Your donation will help prevent people from cooking food over an open fire and inhaling the toxic smoke that exudes from it. The open-fire cooking harms the environment as well.
Especially with all the hardships those in Haiti have faced in the past few years, this is an excellent and pretty inexpensive way to change a family’s life. Bonus: If you find three friends to sponsor a stove on your behalf, you’ll be entered to win a trip to Haiti!
Abigail, a collegiette at the University of Delaware, is a strong advocate for this organization. “I donate to the Adventure Project regularly,” she says. “I wish more people knew about it—they help such an amazing cause in such a special way.”
2. The Malala Fund
This start-up organization also addresses issues in poor countries; however, this one is directed specifically towards young women. The organization’s goal is to empower women through education—all of the donations go towards the education of underprivileged girls. With more than 30,000 followers on Twitter and more than 45,000 on Facebook, The Malala Fund has been gaining major media attention since it was established in 2012.
Malala Yousafzai, the face behind the fund, is a 16-year-old girl from Pakistan who has an amazing story. On October 9, 2012, Taliban gunmen shot her in the head and neck while she was on her school bus after she started advocating for young girls’ education. After a week in a coma, Malala came out strong and wrote an autobiography about her experience. She is still fighting for her cause today!
We might sometimes take our education for granted, but Malala is fighting to give all girls the opportunity to learn. You can donate once or set up a monthly donation online here.
This organization helps women affected by human trafficking to reach their full potential and recover from trauma. Through training sessions, support groups, a drop-in center and residential care, Amirah brings trafficked women back into society.
Jen Morgan, a sophomore at Messiah College, and her friend Jasmine, a human trafficking survivor, are heavily involved in the organization’s work done in Boston and the surrounding communities. “This is an issue that affects women for years; even after they've gotten off the streets, the emotional scarring and damage will still be with them forever,” Jen says. “The fact that Amirah provides them with a place to just be and rediscover themselves as individuals again is amazing. Those women need to be reaffirmed of their value in an environment that is empathetic so that they can take the necessary steps towards healing and reconciliation.”
Amirah provides safe places for healing and re-integrating back into society. You can get involved through volunteering, donating items or donating money here.
Donating to some of these organizations will not only benefit amazing causes, but help worthy start-ups expand. It’s not just a job for wealthy philanthropists; even college students can make a difference in the nonprofit world. Any donations, no matter how big or small, will help the less fortunate have a better holiday season and a better life.