Did you know the majority of donors to non-profit organizations are middle to lower income folks? Yes, its true. So as one of those types of donors I wanted to share which organizations I gave to this year. I typically give two ways, monthly or one-time donations. Most of the organizations I tend to support are local, smaller, and focused usually on transgender communities or LGBT. This past year I have added animal welfare and a college to giving list. There is still time to give your end of the year donation(s) or how about a New Year's Resolution of becoming a monthly donor, giving just $10 or $20 each month goes a long way for many organizations and monthly donors provide stable funding so organizations can spend more time doing their work.
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) - http://www.masstpc.org/
MTPC is dedicated to ending discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.
Even though I work here, I still give, because I believe that much in this organization. We are turning 10 years old next year! In this past year we assisted over 70 people dealing with discrimination or identity document issues, presented over 44 trainings, and produced a number of materials.
National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) - http://transequality.org/
(NCTE) is a 501(c)3 social justice organization dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration and empowerment.
I was the first donor to NCTE when the organization was still forming, because I believed and still do that we need a strong independent national organization that focuses on issues facing transgender people on the Federal level. NCTE assisted with getting the passport gender marker policy changed, has worked with the TSA about trans air passengers and is working on a boatload of other policy changes on the Federal level.
Equality Federation - http://www.equalityfederation.org/
Equality Federation is the national alliance of state-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organizations. The Federation works to achieve equality for lgbt people in every state and territory by building strong and sustainable statewide organizations in a state-based movement.
Most (almost all) of the changes for LGBT rights has been on the state and local level and every state needs a strong LGBT and trans organization and the Equality Federation helps to provide tools, resources and support to state-level LGBT and Trans groups (like MTPC) that's why I support Equality Federation and I am on the board. Equality Federation also was very vocal about supporting a trans inclusive ENDA.
The Network/La Red: Ending abuse in lesbian, bisexual women's and transgender communities
Acabando con el abuso en comunidades de lesbianas, de mujeres bisexuales y de gente transgénero
This organization saves lives. Seriously, as a survivor myself and a former staffer I can think of no other organization that does such amazing work in environment that does not always recognize the issue of domestic violence in LGBT communities.
Boston Alliance of GLBT Youth (BAGLY) - http://www.bagly.org/
Our youth need support, empowerment, and some place to just be themselves and BAGLY does all that plus so much more
Goddard College - http://www.goddard.edu/
Its mission is to advance the theory and practice of learning by undertaking new experiments based upon the ideals of democracy and the principles of progressive education asserted by John Dewey. At Goddard, students are regarded as unique individuals who will take charge of their learning and collaborate with other students, staff, and faculty to build a strong community. Goddard encourages students to become creative, passionate, lifelong learners, working and living with an earnest concern for others and for the welfare of the Earth.
I had such a great experience at Goddard as an older student, as a trans person, as an extremely busy person that needed to finish their degree and Goddard let me be me and helped me to like school, writing and researching.
Trans Emergency Fund (TEF) - http://tgemergencyfund.org/
The Transgender Emergency Fund (TEF) first opened in 2008. Since then, we have distributed more than $18,000 of financial assistance to low-income trans people throughout the state of Massachusetts. We are one of the first funds of its kind in that our efforts are focused on providing relief to low-income transgender community members.
TEF can mean the difference between a trans person being in their home or homeless. Once a person becomes homeless it is extremely difficult to get back into housing, even with a job, if someone can even keep a job with out a stable place to live. TEF's gives small grants to those who are dealing with extreme poverty and need to make their rent or pay a light bill or get their ID changed. Being trans for some means a downward spiral into poverty because of discrimination.
Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders GLAD - http://www.glad.org/
Founded in 1978, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) is New England’s leading legal rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression.
Because laws don't change themselves, an old GLAD tag line that just sticks with me. GLAD is one of the few larger orgs that I support, but I see their work hand in hand with MTPC's.
Born Free Foundation - http://www.bornfree.org.uk/
The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase out zoos. We rescue animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care.
Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and many more species in their natural habitat, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict.
This is new one for me, I am specifically giving to the campaign for lions, because they are close to becoming endangered. I think that if animals cannot live free then at least they should be in sanctuaries that provide as close to natural habitat as possible. Born Free also does advocacy work for laws and policy changes for animal welfare.