Searching for a breakdown of nonprofit organizations based on your interests? We've compiled a list of nonprofit organization examples to get you started. Keep in mind that while many of these entities might span multiple categories, we've listed each one under their primary cause. We hope you find what you're looking for and make some waves with your charity of choice.
Advocacy Groups for Human Rights and Civil Liberties
Advocacy groups for human rights fight for our various freedoms. They're out there working tirelessly to shine a light on injustices within society, especially for those who often get pushed to the sidelines. Whether they're diving into legal battles, spreading the word to the public, or sharing violations with policymakers, their main goal is pretty simple — making sure everyone gets treated with respect and fairness, no matter who they are or where they come from.
- American Civil Liberties Union
- American Jewish World Service
- Americans United
- Amnesty International
- Anti-Defamation League
- Association on American Indian Affairs
- Children's Defense Fund
- Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
- The Carter Center
- Center for Constitutional Rights
- Doctors of the World
- Human Rights Watch
- The Center for Victims of Torture
- Committee to Protect Journalists
- Center for Community Change
Animal rights organizations seek to protect animals and their habitats through advocacy as well as action-based and educational initiatives. They rally against cruelty, rescue animals in need, and are known to give a nudge to lawmakers to keep animal rights and welfare in the spotlight.
- African Wildlife Foundation
- American Humane Association
- American Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
- Animal Legal Defense Fund
- Animal Welfare Institute
- Best Friends Animal Society
- Born Free USA
- Defenders of Wildlife
- Doris Day Animal League
- D.E.L.T.A. Rescue
- Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International
- The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee
- Farm Sanctuary
- Friends of Animals
- Humane Farming Association
- Humane Society of the United States
- Marine Mammal Center
- National Audubon Society
- Performing Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.)
- Pet Partners
- Wildlife Conservation Society
Animal rights organizations are the ones fighting against animal cruelty and protecting endangered species.
Land Conservation and the Environment
These charities seek to protect the environment through education and conservation initiatives. Charities in these categories may focus on research, direct action, or political and legal advocacy. Their goal is to protect the Earth we live on for generations to come.
- American Farmland Trust
- American Forests
- American Rivers
- Appalachian Trail Conservancy
- Beyond Pesticides
- Carbon Fund
- Center for Biological Diversity
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation
- Coral Reef Alliance
- Cousteau Society
- Earth Island Institute
- Environmental Defense Fund
- Farm Aid
- Keep America Beautiful
- National Park Foundation
- Ocean Conservancy
- Safina Center
General Emergency Relief
These organizations step in and provide relief during difficult times, such as natural disasters and war. They often have the supplies needed when the surrounding areas may not, like food, water, and medical needs. Emergency relief volunteers are often first on the scene to help as many people as possible.
- American Red Cross
- Children's Disaster Services
- Emergency Nutrition Network
- Firefighters' Charitable Foundation
If you watch the news after a hurricane, you'll probably see at least one of these organizations helping those in need.
These organizations provide support for people forced to flee their homeland due to war, famine, political unrest, disease, and natural disaster. Not only do they generally provide general relief, but often help refugees long-term so they can lift themselves up and get back on their feet.
These programs provide medical relief and assistance to people who may not otherwise have access to affordable care for financial, social, or geographical reasons. These organizations may also provide emergency medical relief.
Education, Research, and Cultural Preservation Groups
These groups have specific missions geared towards improving education, providing more educational opportunities, promoting cultural awareness, or preserving the culture of specific populations.
Health Research and Education
These health foundations focus on research about specific illnesses. Many also have an educational component to enlighten people about prevention and management strategies. Continued research is necessary for advances in medicine.
- Alliance for Aging Research
- American Heart Association
- American Stroke Association
- Avon Foundation
- Breast Cancer Research Foundation
- City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute
- Epilepsy Foundation
- ALS Association
- American Diabetes Association
- Autism Speaks
- Hearing Health Foundation
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
- Lupus Research Institute
- Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
- First Candle
- March of Dimes
Support for Chronic Illnesses and Diseases
These organizations provide financial, emotional, or medical support for people with chronic illnesses (and their loved ones). They're the place you turn when you have a specific condition or illness and need the resources necessary to manage it. If they don't offer the service you're looking for, they probably know someone who does.
- Alzheimer's Association
- American Kidney Fund
- American Leprosy Missions
- American Liver Foundation
- American Lung Association
- American Parkinson Disease Association
- Arthritis Foundation
- Bailey House
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Easter Seals
- Huntington's Disease Society of America
- Project Sunshine
- The Sunshine Kids
Cancer Support and Research
These cancer charities provide research and support for people with cancer and their loved ones. Support may include education and emotional support. Some of these organizations also have partnerships or resources with other organizations with specific types of cancer. They can help point you in the right direction.
- American Brain Tumor Association
- American Cancer Society
- Cancer and Careers
- Cancer Research Institute
- St Jude's Children's Research Hospital
- Children's Cancer and Blood Foundation
- National Children's Cancer Society
- Children's Cancer Research Fund
- Jimmy Fund (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)
Support for Physical and Cognitive Disabilities
These charities provide financial support, education, and research for people with physical and mental disabilities, as well as their families. My sister has cerebral palsy and the organizations she was involved with have helped tremendously. We were told she would never walk; then my parents met with an organization that directed them to Cleveland Clinic for a procedure that could give her the chance. Shortly thereafter, she started walking.
These organizations help the economically disadvantaged around the world with an array of programs, such as education, advocacy, health care, housing, and anti-hunger programs. Think clean water projects, housing assistance, and essential supplies — these organizations offer that kind of essential, life-changing help.
Feeding the Hungry
These charities fight hunger around the world by providing food, clean water, and funding. Like poverty-focused nonprofits, these organizations help people not only in the United States but around the world. There are many children and adults going hungry on a daily basis. Many don't even have sanitary drinking water, and these nonprofits help.
These charities help people help themselves through education, microloans, and similar initiatives. They help people get to where they want to be and make it possible for them to chase their dreams. What once felt impossible may feel possible with organizations that promote self-sufficiency.
These charities specialize in helping children around the world who live in poverty by providing food, medicine, and education. These organizations can be as personal as teaching children in a third-world country or impacting entire communities by building housing.
- All God's Children
- Cambodian Children's Fund
- Children's Hunger Fund
- World Villages for Children
- Children International
- ChildFund International
- Compassion International
- Covenant House
Many organizations in this space help children find safe and loving homes.
These charities provide advocacy, education, and research for older adults. They help them be more engaged in their communities so they don't feel isolated or alone. These organizations may also ensure senior citizens are well-cared for and have the emotional support they need.
Supporting Military and Veterans
These charities provide support services for those who serve our country, as well as their families. Services may include financial assistance, mental health care, and veterans services. There are also options for service dogs which serve a variety of purposes, like helping with mobility and mental health.
Supporting Firefighters and Police
These organizations provide advocacy and support for the civil servants who keep us safe. Their services range from offering memorial services to ensuring firefighters and police are forever remembered to providing financial support for struggling departments.
These organizations make sure public organizations like the government and the media are operating appropriately and with honesty and integrity. If there's an issue, they bring it to the public's attention so citizens have the opportunity to weigh in on what should or shouldn't happen.
- Accuracy in Media
- Center for Responsive Politics
- Citizens Against Government Waste
- Common Cause
- Government Accountability Project
- Judicial Watch
- Media Research Center
Many involved in these organizations are lawful whistleblowers sharing information that wouldn't otherwise be available.
Children and Youth
These charities support youth in a variety of ways, from providing constructive youth activities to advocating for children's rights. These organizations are often about making the development of essential life skills fun and engaging.
Women around the world face unique issues, such as discrimination, domestic violence, and human trafficking. These charities support various women's initiatives.
Women, men, and children are abused every day in domestic violence situations. These organizations do their best to help people escape these dangerous situations and get them to safety. They can also provide local resources like shelters, employment services, and mental health counseling.
- Futures Without Violence
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- National Network to End Domestic Violence
- Sanctuary for Families
- Women Against Abuse
If you are involved in a domestic violence situation, make sure you're safe before reaching out to one of these. They do have quick exit options, but it's better to be on the safe side.
Finding a Complete List of Nonprofit Organizations
The above list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the charities that are out there. There are several more places that you can look online:
- The definitive list for who are under the 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) tax code can be found at the IRS.
- Charity Navigator is a charity watchdog group that helps people get the most charity for their dollar. Charity Navigator can help you make wise charitable investments because it provides ratings for charities based on the use of funds and other factors.
- The Foundation Center has everything you could ever want to know about grant-making foundations and nonprofits.
- Another place to look for charities is the Better Business Bureau, which lists all nonprofits that meet their criteria. However, it is not a definitive listing of charities, but rather a place to go to look up information about a charity.
To find the best charity for you, search by interest to help sort through the thousands of charities out there.
Consider Volunteering Your Time
If you want to make a powerful impact on someone's life, volunteering your time with a nonprofit organization can truly make a difference. Not only will you be making a profound difference, but you will be making your mark on the world while furthering your development personally and professionally.