This article was published on January 21st, 2015
In order to determine which charities best support and benefit the LGBT community, it is important understand the basics of what is important to the gay community and how charities operate.
To answer the first question, above all, human and equality rights, health care and education are the top three issues facing the LGBT community. Charities that target these issues should be a major factor in your consideration when considering a charity to support.
Secondly, charities operate as not-for-profits. They serve with a purpose, vision and mission. These organizations are not created equally when it comes to charities. Some are lobby groups and generally do not have charitable status, meaning that they cannot issue a tax receipt for donations received. Most charities are part of a rating system that includes looking at charity efficiency (are they efficient when it comes to dollars raised over cost of administration), charity effectiveness (are they effective in delivering their mandate), reserve grade (do they have funds to sustain themselves) and governance (do they have effective policies and operational systems that are effective, transparent and inclusive).
While there are thousands of not-for-profit organizations doing a lot of great things to help support the gay community and tackle a wide variety of issues, here are the top 5 charities supporting LGBT advances in Canada and the US, including rights, health and education:
- Foundation for AIDS Research Canada and USA (CANFAR/AMFAR)
- Point Foundation (USA)
- EGALE Canadian Human Rights Trust (Canada)
- Amnesty International
The next time you are considering making a financial contribution to an organization to advance a cause or interest, do a bit of easy research and take a careful look at their purpose, vision and mission. You should also search their charitable status rating, if they have one. A good charity has all the important ingredients of efficiency, effectiveness, and good governance. Now go make a difference to our LGBT community.