Today marks National Nonprofit Day – a time to recognize and honor the crucial contributions nonprofits provide to their communities. Whether it be legal or mental health services, supporting the arts or accessible education, or fighting for climate justice and animal welfare, nonprofits operate in virtually every field with the mission to empower and uplift marginalized individuals.
By definition, nonprofits are built not to make a profit but instead to provide a public service. These organizations can be lifelines to the individuals they serve because they can offer services at a much lower cost than a traditional business would.
On August 17th, 1894, the U.S. government signed the Tariff Act of 1894 into law which imposed the first federal income tax on companies – but provided a special tax exemption for nonprofits and charitable organizations. To celebrate this occasion, Sherita Herring, a philanthropist, and motivational speaker founded National Nonprofit Day.
While there are a ton of amazing groups out there, here are five nonprofits that are making a difference in the lives of their community.
ClientEarth combats climate change
Climate change is impacting our world in unprecedented ways. NASA ranked June 2022 as one of the warmest Junes on record, the U.S. saw the hottest nights ever in July 2022, and across the globe this year, there have been client disasters in countries like Brazil, Mexico, Afghanistan, and India to name just a few.
ClientEarth is a UK-based organization fighting to save our planet by working to implement systematic change. Not only are they advocating for climate justice, but a goal of theirs is to create and pass actual legislation that will turn climate solutions into real laws. The six global issues they focus on include: ending pollution, defending wildlife and habitats, protecting forests, strengthening the rule of law, tackling climate change, and promoting environmental justice.
Planet Earth. It’s all of us. Everything and everyone.— ClientEarth (@ClientEarth) August 8, 2022
At ClientEarth, we use the power of our laws to protect life on Earth, combining thousands of individual voices into one powerful force for change.
Add your voice today: https://t.co/UWICJTTVSz pic.twitter.com/P18LXCMSfL
Just this June, the organization won a major victory against the UK government. The outcome ruled the government must produce detailed climate policies to show how they’ll reduce emissions sufficiently to meet its legally binding carbon budgets.
Donate to ClientEarth today.
Lift Louisiana fights for abortion and reproductive rights
In light of the reversal of Roe v. Wade, abortion rights have been a major topic of discussion in the U.S. Still, reproductive justice is an issue that impacts many people globally. But Lift Louisiana is fighting back. A nonprofit organization, its mission is “to educate, advocate, and litigate for policy changes needed to improve the health and wellbeing of Louisiana's women, their families, and their communities.”
Louisiana has one of the strictest abortion laws in the U.S. And after the reversal of Roe v. Wade, abortion immediately became illegal in the state – with no exceptions for rape or incest. This makes the work of Lift Louisiana so important, as the organization has vowed to continue to support peoples’ rights to abortion.
In a recent podcast episode of The New York Times’s The Daily, entitled “Pregnant at 16,” the organization’s co-executive director Lakeesha Harris shared her personal story of being pregnant at a young age and described why fighting for abortion rights is so important to her.
“When you don’t give people all of their options. When you don’t give people all of their resources. When you don’t give people the health care that they deserve and need, you limit their life, the possibilities. You limit everything about them,” Harris said.
Donate to Lift Louisiana today.
Philippine Animal Rescue Team saves lives
Many shelters worldwide become overpopulated each year with stray dogs, cats, and other animals. Unfortunately, thousands of these animals end up getting euthanized as shelters don’t have the space to house them. According to the ASPCA, The U.S. alone euthanizes roughly 920,000 animals yearly due to crowding in the shelters.
Hoping to tackle this problem, the Philippine Animal Rescue Team (PART) was formed. It is the only no-kill shelter registered in the entire country. The organization rescues helpless animals in need and partners with veterinarians to ensure they receive the proper medical attention. Afterward, PART takes the animal to their animal sanctuary and works to rehome them. If the animal doesn’t find a new home, they remain peacefully at the sanctuary.
Along with directly helping animals, PART also does outreach and provides educational training to the community to equip the public with resources and strategies to help animals. They also offer low-cost neutering services to families with pets and trap and neuter feral cats to help with population control.
Donate to the Philippines Animal Rescue Team today.
ART Together refugees provides a safe space for refugees
By early 2022, over 100 million people worldwide have been displaced – meaning they needed to flee their home country because of conflict, violence, or some kind of human rights violation.
ARTogether is a nonprofit organization in Oakland, California, with the mission to foster community with refugees, asylees, and immigrants who’ve recently relocated to the Bay Area. They do so by providing participants with resources and access to art programs to help individuals feel a sense of belonging.
ARTogether’s Executive Director, Leva Zand, is a refugee herself and left Iran in 2003 because of religious persecution, so she knows firsthand how isolating this experience can be. The organization offers community and after-school art programs for the youth and has recently implemented an Afghan Wellness program for the many Afghans who’ve immigrated to the Bay Area this past year. The goal is that through these initiatives, members can express themselves and connect with one another.
The organization also provides certain artists with financial assistance in the form of grants and connects them with mentors to assist them in their professional development.
Donate to ARTogether today.
Fountain House breaks the stigma on mental health
While mental health has always been an important topic, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the issue to the forefront. There has been a 25 percent increase in anxiety and depression in individuals worldwide since 2020, according to the World Health Organization.
Mental health has unfortunately been stigmatized, but Fountain House is an organization with the mission to empower those impacted by mental illness. A core service offered by the nonprofit is Social Practice, i.e., “a specialized form of therapy that uses the setting of an intentional community to assist people in their mental health recovery.”
Along with counseling, the organization offers its members transitional employment opportunities, assists with education goals, and offers a safe physical space at their clubhouse in New York. Fountain House also hosts dozens of events with the hope of educating others and changing the way mental illnesses are perceived.
Donate to Fountain House today.
While nonprofits deserve support year-round, today would be an especially opportune time to donate to one. Consider lending some of your time if you can’t provide monetary support. Many nonprofits rely on community volunteers to assist them with everyday operations and administrative tasks. You can also follow your local nonprofits on social media and spread the word about their services.
At Buffer, we’re always looking to support new organizations making a positive impact and even offer discounted pricing to nonprofits.