Requests from organizations appear regularly in my e-mail, my Facebook newsfeed, and my mailbox out by the road. Some send calendars. Some send return address stickers. A few still send car window decals. Most of them send a message that’s hard to ignore. Over the years, I’ve probably supported more conservation organizations than anything else: that explains all the free scenic calendars.
Many of them hope I’ll make a minimum donation of $25. That’s not so bad if there are only one or two nonprofits involved. But, doing this can get expensive when you see a lot of worthy causes. What do you think is best, giving $25 to ten organizations or $250 to one organization? I can never decide.
My website includes the logos for four organizations, beginning with PEN America on the home page: “PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.” For a writer, the freedom to write is basic.
Next is WaterKeeper Alliance. I like their focus on clean rivers and the fact that you can donate and/or volunteer: “Waterkeeper Alliance ensures that the world’s Waterkeeper groups are as connected to each other as they are to their local waters, organizing the fight for clean water into a coordinated global movement.” Many of these groups, called river keepers, focus on specific rivers, often near enough to make it easy to, say, participate in river cleanup days.
I support the Glacier Park Conservancy because I’ve worked in Glacier Park, helped with publications in an earlier incarnation of the group, and like the fact they not only help support park projects but put on their own programs as well: “The Glacier National Park Conservancy is the official non-profit fundraising partner of Glacier National Park.” Their website always lists ongoing and upcoming projects to help park friends understand the need.
Since I live in a rural area, I’m attuned to the fact that a lot of people buy horses and then leave them on the property when they move away, or if they don’t move, ignore the horses at their peril. Just up the road is Sunkissed Acres which rescues old horses that are often sick or takes on horses when owners can no longer afford them: “Since our official beginning in 2004, hundreds of horses have been rescued, rehabilitated, rehomed, and if their pain is too much to bear… a humane and peaceful passing becomes our mission. The horses teach us so many valuable lessons from life skills to kindness, and they have become an integral part of our work.” As they say, they are often a horse’s last, best home.