This page contains resources that (some) people might find of value as they seek to become more engaged in civic life. In addition to the first five links I provide, you'll also find links to organizations that do good work on a variety of topics. I've included mostly organizations that are effective in spending money efficiently (according to charitywatch.org), but also others that despite not being rated do very valuable work to protect the rights of disadvantaged populations. I'll be updating this list often, so suggested additions are welcomed!
Organizations working on rights of disabled people
Goodwill. Works to protect the rights of disabled people. The missions is to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals, families, and communities by eliminating barriers to opportunity. To donate and shop, go here.
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information, and advocacy. Click here to donate.
Organizations working on environmental protection
Center for Biological Diversity. Works to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. Donate here.
Climate Solutions. A non-profit working on global warming. To engage, go here.
Conservation Fund. Its mission is to protect America's legacy of land and water resources through land acquisition, sustainable community and economic development, and leadership training. Support this organization here.
EarthJustice. This is the largest nonprofit environmental law organization in the country, working to protect wildlife, for healthy communities, and for cleaner energy options. Donate here, and sign up for action alerts here.
Environmental Defense Action Fund. The mission of the organization is to educate the public regarding environmental and conservation issues, and advocate legislation and policies that protect the environmental rights of all people. For ways you can help, click here.
League of Conservation Voters. The mission is to turn environmental values into national, state and local priorities. To donate, click here.
Natural Resources Defense Council. The mission of the NRDC is to safeguard the earth-its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. Go hereto donate.
Sierra Club. The largest grassroots environmental organization in the county, and works to protect millions of acres of wilderness and pass legislation like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Click herefor ways to give.
Ohio Environmental Council. The leading non-profit in the state of Ohio on environmental issues. You can support the organizationhere.
Organizations working on immigration and refugees
American Refugee Committee. Works with refugees, displaced people, and those at risk to help them survive crises and rebuild lives of dignity, health, security, and self-sufficiency. To donate, go here.
National Immigration Law Center. Dedicated to fighting for the rights of low-income immigrants through litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, and various other methods. Donate or learn how you can attend a local training here.
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Protects the rights of immigrants and refugees in the U.S. You can donate here.
Community Refugee and Immigration Services. Provides a variety of services for immigrants and refugees settling into the Columbus area.Click hereto explore possible ways to get involved, and hereto donate.
Organizations working on inter-faith dialogue
Council of American-Islamic Relations. An organization that works to dispel misconceptions about Islam and foster ties across religious affiliations in the U.S. Their website is here.
Organizations working on LGBTQ rights & advocacy
Human Rights Campaign. Works to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals. Donations can be made here.
Trevor Project. The mission of the organization is to end suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning young people . Click here for more about opportunities to get involved.
Organizations working on the topic of race and civil liberties
American Civil Liberties Union. Its mission is to maintain and advance civil liberties, including the freedoms of association, press, religion, and speech, and the rights to due process of law, and to equal protection of the laws for all people throughout the United States. To become a member or donate, go here.
Anti-Defamation League. Going to this page, you can communicate with your members of Congress, subscribe to their newsletter, or make a donation.
Campaign Zero. This NGO works to end police violence in American and improve community interactions with police forces. The website is here.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Donate here, and find your local chapter for more ways to get involvedhere.
Native American Rights Fund. This organization provides legal assistance to Native American tribes, organizations, and individuals nationwide who may otherwise go without adequate representation. Donate here.
Southern Poverty Law Center. Dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. You can donate here.
Organizations working on women's reproductive rights
Center for Reproductive Rights is the world’s foremost legal advocate for securing women’s access to quality reproductive health care. Donate here.
NARAL Pro-Choice America. Works to ensure reproductive rights. Click hereto donate and here to volunteer.
National Organization for Women.Works to protect the rights of women in the U.S. Donate here, and look for volunteer programs, like clinic escorting, on your local chapter’spage.
Planned Parenthood. The country’s leading sexual and reproductive healthcare provider. Click here for nationwide volunteer opportunities (including as a clinic escort) and click here to donate. Local chapters also list more extensive volunteer opportunities, so take a look at your specific chapter (here’s New York’spage) for more.
She Should Run. A non-profit that aims to get more women into elected leadership roles. You can donate hereor anonymously ask a woman you knowto run for office.
Other resources of value, particularly for Ohio residents in the Columbus area.