Editors' Picks



A doctor friend of ours, full of ideas with the energy to carry them out, proposed changing in her family’s gift-giving routine this year. Instead of exchanging Christmas and Chanukah gifts, she asked her husband, four grown children, and their significant others to make donations in each others’ names to organizations and causes that are likely to suffer in the new political climate in Washington, D.C.

That seems to us a constructive response to the outcome of the election, one you can do beyond the December holiday blitz for birthdays, weddings, graduations throughout the year.

 Among the programs Republicans have vowed to eviscerate are women’s reproductive care; environmental regulations; clean-energy production; civil-rights protections for immigrants, minorities, women, and seniors; and the news media. Nonprofit organizations likely to need private donations more than ever before: Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Immigration Law Center, International Refugee Assistance Project, Public Broadcasting Service, and others we’re probably forgetting.

If you are interested in giving beyond our national borders where dollars tend to go further, you might take a look at where Focusing Philanthropy is donating its money. The Southern California fund’s carefully vetted grant recipients tend to be modest in scope yet have big impacts on people’s lives. One program digs wells to bring fresh water to arid communities; another provides low-cost, high-volume surgeries that restore sight to thousands of people. You can specify where you want your donations to go, and Focusing Philanthropy will pass along the contribution without tacking on administrative fees or other costs.



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