This is not a definitive post of organizations to donate to, nor does it try to be one. This is just a place for me to note organizations I've either worked with or whose services I've used, and who I've found to be good people. If you're looking for a place to throw your money, I can happily vouch for these folks.
Team Rubicon | Scope: International with U.S. focus
Team Rubicon is dedicated both to disaster relief services and providing veterans with volunteer and work opportunities. They are more agile than the Red Cross, which has questionable efficiency when it comes to disaster relief, and are able to deploy quickly (usually within 24 hours). Full disclosure: I am currently contracting with Team Rubicon to help produce training courses for them.
Black and Pink | Scope: U.S. only
Black and Pink facilitates pen pal relationships between incarcerated LGBTQ and HIV+ people and those in the "free world." As prisons continue to restrict visitation rights and profit off exhorbitant phone call rates, contact between inmates and the outside world becomes more difficult even as it remains just as vital. Additionally, some inmates don't have family or friends who contact them regularly, making letters and mail all the more valuable. I've written to a number of pen pals who greatly appreciate the contact. Black and Pink also has some other prison abolition programs.
Crisis Text Line | Scope: U.S. and Canada
Crisis Text Line offers support and deescalation of crisis situations over text and Facebook Messenger. These crisis situations are not limited to suicide but include any event that involves painful emotions. I've used their service multiple times and found it very helpful to have a third party trained in deescalation to help me move to a safer place emotionally. Plus, I feel more comfortable over text than phone, which makes this service all the more valuable to me.
The Center for Balanced Living | Scope: Central Ohio, U.S.
The Center for Balanced Living is a treatment center focused on helping those with eating disorders, though an eating disorder was personally a secondary focus when I was treated at the Center. I found the people here compassionate and supportive; to date, it's the best mental health center I've been to. They serve a limited area, but central Ohio is home to the Ohio State University, one of the largest public schools in the U.S.; students in higher education often have high rates of mental illness (article is based in the U.K., but I find it parallels the U.S. as well).
Con or Bust | Scope: International
Con or Bust is dedicated to helping fans of color/non-white fans attend SFFH conventions, which can be cost-prohibitive for most people. Con or Bust is not merit-based or need-based and only requires that you provide an itemized list of what kind of support you need. All the fans need to do is be our awesome selves, which is incredibly liberating for segments of the population who often find it difficult to ask for any kind of help, especially monetary support. I've been a recipient of Con or Bust assistance twice now and have had great networking opportunities arise out of being able to go to those cons.
The Carl Brandon Society | Scope: International
The Carl Brandon Society focuses on increasing racial diversity among both creators and audiences of speculative fiction. To this end, they provide a number of awards and scholarships; in particular, I'd like to highlight the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship, which helps two people of color each year to attend Clarion and Clarion West. I received the OEB scholarship in 2016; going to Clarion West was a huge stepping stone in my SFFH career.
Clarion West | Scope: International, U.S.-based
The Clarion West Writers' Workshop, along with its cousin the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop, is a launchpad for emerging authors of speculative fiction. The six-week workshop is a place where friendships and connections are forged, where writers hone their skills and work with some of the best instructors speculative fiction has to offer. It's a worthwhile experience, and Clarion West's one-day workshops are also great places to learn more about writing and craft. I attended the six-week workshop in 2016 and have also been to one of the one-day workshops.
The Organization for Transformative Works | Scope: International
The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) runs Archive of Our Own (AO3), which is probably now the most-visited English-language fanworks archive online. The OTW also runs Fanlore, a wiki for fandom history and culture, as well as a number of other projects. I would not be the writer I am today if I did not start out in fandom writing fanfiction, so the OTW's cause in preserving and supporting transformative works is near and dear to my heart.
I'll update this post sporadically. Please feel free to suggest organizations that might be to my interests as well; thanks!
Thumbnail photo by airpix.