A Few Good Places to Give

Updated 12/7/21

This is just a very small handful of the hundred and hundreds of worthy organizations working every day to serve Long Island.  There are more throughout the site, we’ll be posting more throughout the year, and we strongly encourage you to seek out others yourself … To get out there, get to know the people working on things you care about and help them out if you can. Here is some wise giving guidance that might surprise some. It makes a huge difference. We love to hear about it. Thanks.

Health & Human Services Organizations

A few years ago, Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds of the Family & Children’s Association shared his experience of what works and what’s needed on Long Island. For all his positivity, it was a very sober assessment of a human services sector in crisis…and that was before the pandemic.

Long Island needs more people to give to local organizations addressing our local challenges. Please consider:

The Long Island Community Foundation recently released its latest round of grants to nonprofit service providers meeting emergent and critical needs affecting our local region. It is a wonderful resource for well vetted causes that commits substantial time and energy discerning Long Island’s concerns and who’s addressing them. If you have something substantial to give, they can provide deep support in making that easier and doing it well.

The United Way of LI hosts incredible programs such as Project Warmth, which helps keep homes heated, and YouthBuild, which provides a skilled vocational path for at-risk youth while addressing core issues facing low-income communities: housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. Another career training program is Power Up, which provides training and certification to help people secure careers in the renewable energy industry. It has also launched an Equity Challenge which encourages Long Islanders to engage in conversations so they can learn more, deepen understanding, and work together to build stronger, more equitable communities.

Housing Help provides a wealth of information for folks in financial crisis and with other human service needs.

Long Island Cares and Island Harvest are major entities addressing hunger on Long Island. The INN helps feed people, too and additionally focuses on homelessness. We also encourage you to check out your own local churches and other organizations, some of whom have really deep ties in their specific communities.

The Safe Center offers free, confidential resources for those suffering abuse.

The Family & Children’s Association serves those in need of human services in Nassau County. The Family Service League similarly serves Suffolk. Again, many smaller organizations, like the Tri-CYA do incredible work on a very local level. At the other end, the Health & Welfare Council of LI serves as an umbrella organization, serving individuals, myriad human service organizations and a whole bunch of folks in between.

Of course, human service organizations get a lot of attention right now — rightfully so! Still, if you are passionate about the environment, art, science, animal rescue, preservation, good governance, anything else — including favorite mom & pop shops! — PLEASE FOCUS YOUR GIVING THERE, especially on LOCAL organizations dedicated to serving our Island. Please check out  our website for a wealth of organizations and look around to see who else is serving YOUR community!

Many organizations are terrible at asking for money at times like this because they are worried about taking from other groups. PLEASE DON’T WAIT FOR A GROUP YOU VALUE TO ASK!!!

Photo Bee on Goldenrod by Katheryn Laible
Bee on Goldenrod by Katheryn Laible

Environmental Organizations

Environmental organizations require our support. They also tend to be very grateful for folks who start at home by committing to be a bit greener themselves.

Toward this end, our friend Beth Fiteni of Green — Inside and Out offers seven ways she has been giving her best to tread lightly on this Earth. She has all sorts of great advice on her web site and radio show, and appreciates donations to support her work!

We also recommend checking the Long Island Native Plant Gardening Group, which isn’t asking for monetary donations at all, but really would love for you to give the world the gift of a more sustainable backyard. After all, the best time to start thinking about your garden is now!!!

There are a number of great organizations and other resources toward that end in this article — which we also welcome updates to!

We also appreciate Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment. Whether they’re advancing renewable energy and jobs, or helping us figuring out where the poisons are and how to reduce the plastic, protecting open space or just rolling up their sleeves to meaningfully participate in diverse, practical coalitions for the common good, CCE helps people take action. Check ’em out!

Here’s a great list of other environmental organizations from the Long Island Nature Organization, which itself is an interesting organization that we’ve just discovered!

Finally, while we’re generally among those thinking globally and acting locally, when it comes to the rapidly disappearing rainforest, we are best to be reminded that what happens half a world away can have a tremendous impact on the well being of our own Island. We were deeply moved by our encounter with Leif Cocks of The Orangutan Project at an event co-sponsored by The Nature Conservancy at the Cold Spring Harbor Library. Sister organizations include the International Elephant Project, the International Tiger Project, and Wildlife Asia.

General Needs Logo

....and Veterans' Organizations

We are grateful to all the VSOs who are giving it their best to stay connected and to keep serving both fellow veterans and the broader community. We continue to follow the Patchogue VFW, which provides all sorts of information.

We deeply appreciate Lonnie Sherman and his General Needs which focuses on helping the 5000+ homeless Long Island Veterans and their families by providing basic necessities through your charitable donations and support. We’ll be telling you more about that, soon.

We also encourage you to appreciate the spirit of Veteran Kevin McNeil and check out the organizations he supports … including LI Sled Hockey, which serves a number of veterans as well as a whole host of other folks!

Fair Media Council Logo

And This Unique, Uniquely Important Organization, The Fair Media Council...

Here’s another great organization, a Long Island original that the world could use a whole lot more of: The Fair Media Council works to advance quality journalism, to help people like us better recognize and appreciate it when we see it, and to better understand the media landscape as a whole. We’re honored to call them a friend and a sponsor. It’s important stuff…Check ’em out and give them a boost if you will…

They’re a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Support them, take advantage of their exclusive programs and offerings, and get media savvy.

Become a Member Benefits abound.

Subscribe to their Podcast Their FastChats are incredible and have already won two awards. It’s Information you can use.

Real & Powerful News Conference: LIVE & ONLINE! Jan. 25-27, 2022. We look forward to this exclusive gathering that features the best in news engaging in open dialogue with you, the news consumer, every year.

Photo by Katheryn Laible
Photo by Katheryn Laible

Arts Organizations

In this season of giving, please consider a gift to your favorite local arts organization. The Long Island Arts Alliance

-which exists to serve local arts organizations and could use your support itself! — has assembled a guide of 501(c)3 arts organizations to choose from. Check it out!