As I said a couple years ago:
If you’re not aware of them, GuideStar and Charity Navigator are two good places to start. … Does anyone want to mention specific charities? Or mention other things that might not strictly be charities, but might be “good deeds” that readers would be interested in?
I’ll get the ball rolling with a few suggestions. I believe the Electronic Frontier Foundation does important work. They tackle many fights that need to be fought. I’ve also been impressed with the projects that the Sunlight Foundation has worked on, including Earmark Watch.
On a related note, I’ve been getting interested in how bloggers can be more like journalists in terms of shield law protections, or learning more about defamation, privacy, and copyright. It’s frustrating to me that MIT, Berkeley, Yale and Stanford offer dozens of courses online, but it’s much easier to find Electrical Engineering courses than “Journalism 101” courses. I’d be interesting in groups that are creating or digitizing such information. Frankly, I’d like to see even a single free online university course in journalism. I’ve looked and haven’t found one.
Internationally, I like what Kiva does with microloans. Several people last year recommended Heifer International. The Child’s Play charity provides games for sick children in hospitals in several countries.
On open-source related items, this page lists a bunch of open-source organizations that may accept an online donation. The Alameda County Computer Resource Center in the California Bay Area will recycle computers or anything that plugs into a power outlet; they also accept charity donations and volunteer work. Personally, I’m a fan of donating to open-source projects that I use and enjoy, from Ubuntu or Synergy or Paint.NET to WordPress or PuTTY.
That’s a few charities and organizations that I’m thinking about. Now it’s your turn — what are the best charities in your opinion?