What do you get somebody who has everything? Maybe the answer is… you don’t get anything for them at all.

Instead, in their name, you could get something for….everybody.

Here are a few of the more interesting from among untold good causes. (Please note: This does not constitute a formal endorsement or claim of complete vetting.)

GiveDirectly sends money directly to the extremely impoverished.

Human Impact Partners — conducts health-based analyses with an explicit focus on uncovering and then addressing the policies and practices that make communities less healthy and that create health inequities.

Drug Policy Alliance — perhaps the leading organization working to mitigate the damage to society from the drug war and drug-use criminalization.

Nothing But Nets — buys mosquito bed-netting for areas in Africa that are dealing with malaria, which is still one of the leading causes of death in the world

Oxfam America’s Unwrapped website — a wealth of unusual gifts that quite literally keep on giving for years to come.

Pencils of Promise — creates schools, programs, and global communities around the common goal of education for all.

Heifer International —  distributes animals, along with agricultural and values-based training, to families in need around the world as a means of providing self-sufficiency.

Keep a Child Alive  — fights AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Improves access to treatment and offers nutritional projects, diagnostic testing, training of health care workers, counseling, and funding sites where AIDS orphans can be cared for.

Water.org — works with local communities to provide technology for clean water, the most basic element of survival.

World Land Trust  — safeguards some of the most threatened animals and plants on Earth.

Operation USA — a small nonprofit humanitarian-assistance organization with a much higher percentage of donations going to actual relief than the biggies. OPUSA was early in going into places out of favor with the US government, such as Nicaragua and Cuba.

Syrian Refugee Fund — Global Giving, the largest crowdfunding entity for nonprofits, with a project of obvious timeliness and relevance.

Just Give  —  gift cards for more than two million charities.


Related front page panorama photo credit: Gift (asenat29 / FlickrCC BY 2.0), Earth (NASA Goddard Space Flight / FlickrCC BY 2.0), Christmas lights (Anthony Quintano / Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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