If you didn't know, today is National Philanthropy Day (November 15)—a 30-plus year-old annual celebration of all those who devote their lives' work to helping others. While you might not need a holiday to be philanthropic, today is a good reminder to give back.
If you need some ideas on organizations doing important and needed work, I've asked some of my coworkers, favorite real estate sources, and even our founder, for their favorite home-centric nonprofits. Together, we've created a diverse list of trusted organizations that are well worth your time, money, or awareness—the only common thread is that they help people in need establish a safe, healthier home life. Of course, this is not a comprehensive list—there are thousands of organizations around the world worth supporting, but here is just a taste to start.
Easterseals helps provide opportunities and access for children and adults with physical disabilities and their caretakers. Just one of the many things the non-profit does is help provide access to accessible, safe homes. It is also the sole philanthropic partner of Century 21 real estate.
2. New Story
New Story is an international nonprofit that builds $6,500 homes in underserved international communities. One hundred percent of their donations goes to constructing homes that are sourced locally and built by local workers. It is the official philanthropic partner of Sotheby's International Realty.
A list on the best home nonprofits wouldn't be complete without a mention of Habitat for Humanity. The organization has done much more than just build homes since its inception—it also plans projects for neighborhood revitalization, provides disaster response, and brings financial education to underserved communities. Many of the charity's local affiliates receive a four-star rating on CharityNavigator.org, and it's been a longtime favorite of many in the business, including HGTV star Chip Wade.
Though she may be a bit biased (her dad works there), Caroline Ammarell, Apartment Therapy's Senior Editor, Content Strategy, champions the work that Chicago House does to serve individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ/gender-noncomformity marginalization, homelessness, and poverty. Created in 1985 to service those who were deprived of a safe space to live during the AIDS epidemic, Chicago House now provides supportive housing to more than 100 people every year.
Lifestyle editor Taryn Williford supports the Housing Justice League, the Atlanta-area affiliate member of the Right to the City Alliance—a national organization fighting against the displacement of marginalized residents due to gentrification.
Want to help the victims of the California Wildfires? Head to GlobalGiving—a crowdfunding platform that helps fund local initiatives that help with the immediate relief work as well as long-term recovery efforts. The platform has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, with a perfect score for accountability and transparency.
The Corporation for Supportive Housing works to integrate supportive housing solutions for vulnerable groups, maximize public resources, and create sustainable communities to serve communities across the nation. The four-star charity provides training and education, lending, assistance, and policy reform through its partnerships with local organizations to serve communities.
Building Homes for Heroes builds or modifies homes—mortgage-free—to injured veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan war to help alleviate financial stress for veterans and their families.
StandUp for Kids provides outreach service, support, and stability to homeless and at-risk youth with an aim to end the cycle. The organization works with youth up to age 25, one of the few that continue service to those are "aged out" of traditional youth-focused programs.
Domestic violence is the number one cause of homelessness for the nation's women. NNEDV teams up with local organizations to help survivors of domestic violence find affordable, safe housing for them and their families. The organization also does extensive advocacy work to make sure organizations are well-equipped and educated on how to best serve women in need.
1% for the Planet was started by Yvonne Choiunard, the founder of Patagonia, to fund organizations that directly address the issue of climate change, supports the planet, and champions environmentalism. It aims to keep everyone's "home"—the earth—a place that can sustain life. For years, Apartment Therapy has donated one percent of annual revenues—not profits—to the organization. Maxwell Ryan, our founder and CEO, tells me that we have used this vehicle to fund two major initiatives: Farmland conservation and community supported agriculture on Long Island through the Peconic Land Trust, and a farm program for children in upstate New York at the Hawthorne Valley Farm.
What other organizations should Apartment Therapy readers support?