12 Great Causes for Charitable Donations this Holiday Season

December, with its many major holidays, has a long association in popular culture as “the most wonderful time of the year.” But it can be one of the most difficult months for those struggling throughout the year. The ups and downs of 2021 have only heightened the need for support in areas like local community outreach, social and mental health services and food assistance.

As the last month of the year, December marks your last chance to make charitable donations for 2021. If you're looking to make an impact, check out our roundup of reputable nonprofits that could use some help this holiday season.



Coalition for the Homeless

Credit: Coalition for the Homeless

Founded in 1981, the Coalition for the Homeless is the country’s oldest advocacy and direct services organization supporting homeless individuals and families. The nonprofit offers 11 programs that help more than 3500 men, women and children each day. Services include emergency food and clothing, eviction prevention, crisis services, permanent housing, job training and special programs for homeless youth. The Coalition’s advocacy work has included precedent-setting legal action, such as its win in Callahan v. Carey, which established the right to shelter for homeless adult men. This year, the nonprofit is also hosting a special toy drive for homeless youth through December 13, accepting toy donations through Amazon.

Learn More about Coalition for the Homeless here.


Urban Outreach Center of New York City

Credit: Urban Outreach Center of New York

For more than 30 years, The Urban Outreach Center of New York City has provided fresh food and hot meals for New Yorkers in need. City. In New York City, 2 in 5 families must choose between buying groceries and paying for food, transportation or utilities, according to the Center. The pandemic heightened food insecurity in New York – in 2021, the Center served 1,000,000 meals thanks to donations and volunteer work. Presently, it helps more than 50,000 people each year.

Learn More about the Urban Outreach Center of New York City here.




The Steppingstone Foundation

Since 1990, The Steppingstone Foundation has created pathways to higher education for underserved students. The nonprofit develops educational and tutoring programs that allow students from marginalized communities to attend top public and private high schools in Greater Boston. It also offers academic support services and dedicated educational programs that prepare students to excel in college. Today, The Steppingstone Foundation supports more than 1600 scholars aged 10-24. According to the Foundation, 99% of scholars who complete The Steppingstone Academy graduate from high school, 92% enroll at four-year colleges, and more than 80% earn their degree from a four-year college within six years.

Learn More about The Steppingstone Foundation here.


Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

Credit: Rose Kennedy Greenway

The Rose Kennedy Greenway is Boston’s iconic waterfront park, stretching 1.5 miles along Boston Harbor. In addition to its beautiful grounds, the Greenway is known for its plethora of food trucks, beer and wine gardens, unique hand-carved carousel, and relaxing fountains. Year-round, the Conservancy manages all aspects of the Greenway, including public art installations, events programming, capital improvements, horticulture and maintenance.

Learn More and Donate to the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy here.



Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland

Established in 1977, this respected organization does the noble work of housing families who are enduring the plight of a sick child. Through five Ronald McDonald Houses and three Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, it currently helps 162 families by keeping them close to the care and resources their children need. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland saves families nearly $10 million in hotel and food costs annually.

By the way, last month our Chicago property teams donated their time to cook meals for families. We couldn’t be more proud of them!

Learn More about the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland here.


Genesys Works Chicago

One of the newer nonprofits on this list, Genesys Works Chicago nonetheless does exceptionally meaningful work. Founded in 2002, the organization’s mission is to provide pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities. It does so through a combination of skills training, internship experiences and network reach. Last year, it offered 12,180 hours of training to 414 students.

Learn More about Genesys Works Chicago here.


Washington, D.C.

SOME (So Others Might Eat)

SOME (So Others Might Eat) is a nonprofit community organization that acts as a safe haven for Washington, D.C.’s homeless and impoverished individuals and families. Its mission is to “provide material aid and comfort to vulnerable neighbors in the District,” and help lift them out of poverty through transformational programs and services. A sampling of the services that SOME provided last year include: 261,626 meals served across its residential programs; 14,397 sets of clothing to men and women experiencing homelessness; 21,702 visits to a doctor, dentist, therapist, or case worker across its Medical, Dental, and Behavioral Health Clinics; and safe affordable housing for 223 families and 676 single adults.

Learn More about SOME here.


Community of Hope DC

Founded in 1980, Community of Hope is a nonprofit that works to provide medical, dental and emotional health services to uninsured and underinsured individuals and families in Washington, D.C. It does so through three Federally Qualified Health Centers and a community resource hub. It also works to combat homelessness for families in the District through five housing programs. The programs include access to case managers that connect families with job referrals, counseling and mentoring services for children. Last year, Community of Hope DC helped 11,271 patients obtain medical care and helped more than 1,142 families escape homelessness.

Learn More about Community of Hope DC here.


Los Angeles

LA Animal Rescue

Credit: LA Animal Rescue

This reputable nonprofit animal rescue currently looks after more than 250 animals, with some available for adoption. Founded in 2010, it encompasses a rescue ranch and diligent network of volunteers and fosters. Each year, LA Animal Rescue provides medical care for hundreds of homeless or abandoned animals, and then re-homes them. The organization carefully vets those interested in adoption with home-checks, and requires that adoptees return the animals to the Rescue if they aren't a good fit.

Learn More about LA Animal Rescue here.


The People Concern

Credit: The People Concern

One of Los Angeles County’s largest social services agencies, The People Concern is a nonprofit dedicated to combating homelessness and domestic violence. It was founded in 2016 through a merger between OPCC and Lamp Community, two legacy social services organizations. The People Concern provides comprehensive support services for homeless individuals and domestic violence survivors. These include interim housing, mental and medical health care, substance abuse services, domestic violence services, skills training, wellness programs and permanent supportive housing.

Learn More about The People Concern here.

San Francisco

Mission Food Hub

Credit: Mission Food Hub

Mission Food Hub is a local nonprofit that provides culturally appropriate groceries for families in San Francisco’s Mission District. One of the newest nonprofits on this list, Mission Food Hub was founded in May 2020 to combat food insecurity heightened by COVID-19. More than 12,000 individuals of Latinx decent are unemployed because of COVID, according to the organization. It currently provides culturally appropriate groceries three times weekly to 7,000 families.

Learn More about Mission Food Hub here.


On Lok

For more than 50 years, On Lok has been providing high-quality care and community services to San Francisco’s senior citizens. It offers a vibrant mix of programs and services in reflection of its motto, “where seniors embrace life.” On Lok operates a community senior center with free meals, fitness and arts classes, educational workshops and private garden. It also offers the “Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly” or PACE, which gives broad-based support services that enable seniors to age at home. On Lok PACE works with families to tailor a personalized care plan, provides at-home support with daily tasks and free transportation from home to its clinics, health centers and network of 1600 service providers.

Learn More about On Lok here.


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