5 Nonprofits Making it Cool to Be Charitable

Giving back and helping others is always a good thing.

Apr 16, 2015
A US army veteran takes part in a Give Back Yoga session

A US army veteran takes part in a Give Back Yoga session (Facebook)


Although charities exist for almost every issue imaginable, many don’t provide much opportunity for people to get involved beyond donating money. Nonprofit organizations that really offer ways for people to learn more about a cause, interact with others, or even purchase something stylish make the experience of giving back more fun and satisfying. These five unique nonprofits truly make it cool to be charitable.

1. DOSOMETHING.ORG

Geared toward teens and young adults, this website speaks to the Millennial mentality of genuinely wanting to give back, but not being sure what to do beyond ‘liking’ things on Facebook. When members sign up, they can pick which cause interests them, how much time they can dedicate to doing something about it, and the type of project in which they would like to participate. DoSomething then suggests original and fun projects that will help contribute to that charity or cause.
The suggestions are simple, realistic, and fun, and include ideas that would easily fit into the life of any young person, such as hosting a trash-free tailgate or making a safety kit for a friend who is leaving to study abroad. DoSomething.org creates a sense of community and promotes thinking outside the box when it comes to giving back.

Collecting denims for homeless youth

Collecting denims for homeless youth as part of DoSomething.org’s Teens for Jeans drive (Facebook)

2. THE MARSHALL PROJECT

These days, we all get our news from the Internet - especially social media. In order to learn what is going on in our world, we have to keep in mind which news sources are biased, beware of click-bait and false stories, and sift through a lot of opinion to get to the facts. The Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization, which means it does not serve a large, profit-seeking corporation that influences how it presents news. The site primarily covers stories to do with the criminal justice system, and is a great source to turn to for facts, especially in the wake of Ferguson.

A thought-provoking quote from The Marshall Project

A thought-provoking quote from The Marshall Project (Facebook)

3. GLOBAL POVERTY PROJECT

This nonprofit organization is responsible for putting on the annual Global Citizen Festival, as part of its Global Citizen Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to end extreme poverty across the world by 2030. The Global Citizen Festival is special because it does not let the big name performers and celebrities in attendance overshadow the cause. Every person who attends the festival has to enter to win free tickets, by educating themselves on global poverty through online videos and quizzes. No alcohol is served at the event, and during this year’s concert, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were among leaders who spoke to the crowd about what people can do to help reach the goal of the Global Citizen Campaign. The event was a positive way to raise awareness about the challenges that face people around the world living in extreme poverty, and performances by No Doubt, Carrie Underwood, Jay-Z - and a surprise from Beyonce didn’t hurt. The 2015 event coincides with Earth Day, and will take place on Saturday, April 18. 

An aerial view of the 2014 Global Citizen Festival in New York

An aerial view of the 2014 Global Citizen Festival in New York (Facebook

4. GIVE BACK YOGA FOUNDATION
 

This nonprofit provides yoga classes to the people who need them most, with projects such as bringing yoga to prisons across the country, developing programs for veterans to use yoga to cope with PTSD, and the “Thrive Tribes” groups that use yoga to help their members overcome body image issues. Give Back Yoga joins a host of nonprofit organization with the goal of bringing yoga to people who may not otherwise have discovered its benefits - many nonprofit yoga studios operate at a local level across the country, and offer a great way to destress and exercise during times when you can’t quite afford an expensive yoga studio.

A Give Back Yoga Foundation donation-based class

A Give Back Yoga Foundation donation-based class (Facebook)

5. VISIONSPRING
 

You may have heard of Warby Parker, the affordable and trendy prescription eyeglasses; VisionSpring partners with the stylish company, to bring eyeglasses to developing nations. Each month, Warby Parker donates a portion of its profits to VisionSpring. The money is not only used to bring eyeglasses to people who need them, but to train individuals to give eye exams and sell glasses in their community. This unique model creates jobs, while bringing those in need the life changing opportunity to see clearly.

VisionSpring brings glasses to developing nations

VisionSpring brings glasses to developing nations (Facebook)

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