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Mather worried that the original idealism had eroded, so he advocated philanthropic benefaction as a way of life. Though his context was Christian, his idea was also characteristically American and explicitly Classical, on the threshold of the Enlightenment.
He answered That it was a Question of a Blind man. If any man ask, as wanting the Sense of it, What is it worth the while to Do Good in the world! They were not primarily about rich people helping poor people, but about private initiatives for public good, focusing on quality of life. Ethnic and religious groups[ edit ] Voluntary charitable organizations established by ethnic and religious groups, for their own people, originated in the colonial era and crew much stronger in the 19th century.
As assimilation took place most of the European groups merged into a general "American" population; the ethnic charitable societies sharply declined by Minority ethnic groups and races that did not amalgamate extensively continued their separate operations, as did religious charities into the 21st century. The Puritans of New England and the Quakers Of Pennsylvania were the pioneers before in establishing charitable institutions, philanthropic operations, and their own schools.
Eventually most of the many religious denominations set up charitable institutions as well as their own seminaries or colleges. The first ethnic group to mobilize served as a model for many others — it was the Scots Charitable Society of Bostonstarted in Eventually German and French immigrants set up their own benevolent societies. Franklin specialized in motivating his fellow Philadelphians into projects for the betterment of the city. As a young tradesman inhe formed the " Junto ": One of the qualifications for membership was the "love [of] mankind in general".
In he founded a weekly newspaper the Philadelphia Gazette, and for the next thirty years he used the Junto as a sort of think-tank to generate and vet philanthropic ideas, and the Gazette to test and mobilize public support, recruit volunteers, and fund-raise. A world-class physicist himself, he promoted scientific organizations including the Philadelphia Academy --which became the University of Pennsylvania — as well as the American Philosophical Society to enable scientific researchers from all 13 colonies to communicate.
A strong civil society was built by Volunteers in a culture of collaboration. French observer Alexis de Tocqueville called them, "voluntary associations. Americans, he said, did not rely on others—government, an aristocracy, or the church—to solve their public problems; rather, they did it themselves, through voluntary associations, which is to say, philanthropy, which was characteristically democratic.
George Peabody was the acknowledged father of modern philanthropy. A financier based in Baltimore and London, in the s, he began to endowi libraries and museums in the United Statesl he also funded housing for poor people in London.
He was the model for Andrew Carnegie and many others. By the s thye German-based Reform Jewish community was well established. It operated operated retail stores and banks in small towns and cities across the country and practically owned the garment industry. They were typically conservative Republicans. In sharp contrast after came a much poorer, Yiddish-based Orthodox Jewish immigration that at first heavily concentrated in New York City.
It included the garment workers employed by German Jews, and strongly supported socialism. By the German and Yiddish elements were far apart in religion, but were coming together in terms of philanthropy and charity.
It was founded in by the merger of numerous older German Jewish groups. After several more mergers it continues to still operate as the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services. Albert Shaw editor of the magazine American Review of Reviews in examined philanthropic activities of millionaires in several major cities.
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Cincinnati millionaires favored musical and artistic ventures; Minneapolis millionaires gave to the state university in the public library; Philadelphians often gave to overseas relief, and the education of blacks and Indians.
Boston had a weak profile, apart from donations to Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital. They approve the work of the railroad YMCAs in uplifting the labor force, though they seldom gave them any corporate money. Occasionally they donated land for public schools or colleges, assuming it would have a positive impact on the selling price of their nearby lands.
After selling his giant steel company in the s he devoted himself to establishing philanthropic organizations, and making direct contributions to many educational cultural and research institutions. The first Carnegie library opened in in Dunfermline, Scotland. His method was to build and stock a modern library,on condition that the local authority provided site and keep it in operation.
As VanSlyck shows, the last years of the 19th century saw acceptance of the idea that libraries should be available to the American public free of charge. However the design of the idealized free library was at the center of a prolonged and heated debate.
On one hand, the library profession called for designs that supported efficiency in administration and operation; on the other, wealthy philanthropists favored buildings that reinforced the paternalistic metaphor and enhanced civic pride.
We also follow top charities' progress over time and report on it publicly, including any negative developments. Charities must be open to our intensive investigation process — and public discussion of their track record and progress, both the good and the bad — in order to earn "top charity" status. We also believe that any good giving decision involves intuition and judgment calls, and we aim to put all of our reasoning out in the open where others can assess and critique it.
For those who believe the intensity of our process creates problematic selection effects, we also provide a list of charities focused on evidence-backed, potentially cost-effective programs whether or not we have investigated them. Why is evidence so important? We believe that helping people efficiently — the mission of many charities — is challenging and complex. We also believe that most available information about charities' impact is simplified, exaggerated, or incomplete.
What will the donation allow to happen that wouldn't have happened otherwise? Will this activity change people's lives for the better, or will it run into unexpected challenges? Will it accomplish a large amount of good, relative to other options? We believe that one can make an informed assessment of these questions by taking the time to get to know an organization and the field it operates in.
However, we seek to serve donors who don't have the time to do this, and so we aim to recommend charities that are verifiably outstanding, and to make a case that relies relatively little on the highly debatable judgment calls that can best be made with a strong understanding of the organization as well as the field it operates in though some degree of guesswork and judgment calls is unavoidable. Accordingly, we make recommendations that can be grounded in a strong evidence base and thus whose impact can be somewhat easily verifiable for a low-information donor.
Our top charities aren't the only great charities, and the case for them is far from airtight, but we believe they are the best bet for a low-information donor looking for a verifiably strong chance to do good.
Why the focus on global poverty?Odd Fellows International: Brief History and Overview
When GiveWell started, we issued separate recommendations for charities focused on the developing world and charities focused on the U. Over time, however, we narrowed our focus. We believe that the top charity candidates we found for the developing world had considerably more robust evidence bases, considerably lower per-person costs, and overall a stronger case for accomplishing a lot of good per dollar more in this blog post.
We believe the root issue here is that developing-world poverty is far more severe than developed-world poverty. People in the developing world often lack basic, cheap things that can help them a great deal.
For example, they may suffer from infectious diseases that could be treated or prevented relatively straightforwardly, if the funding were available. Your dollar goes further overseas. Why the focus on direct aid, rather than addressing root causes?
We believe there have been many efforts to find and address the root causes of poverty, and that they haven't generated strong conclusions or successful programs. We also believe that direct aid, such as distributing malaria-preventing bed nets or providing pills to treat intestinal parasites, can empower individuals to make differences in their own communities.
These individuals may be better positioned to understand and address many problems than we are. We think it's appropriate for donors to focus on the problems they're best at helping with, recognizing that they aren't the only people who are working toward positive change.
More Why recommend so few charities? The charities we recommend work in the developing world and focus on the interventions for which there is strong independent evidence of their effectiveness.