There's saving and spending, investing and earning. But there's another vitally important part of money that doesn't get talked about enough: giving! Whether you are just getting started with giving or already make giving a family tradition, we rounded up our favorite charities for children.
On this list, you’ll find organizations supporting every aspect of kids’ lives. From food and safety to education and entrepreneurship, you’re sure to find a charity that aligns with your values.
We’ve also included our top tips for researching other charities so that you can give your time and your money with confidence!
Our Top 10 Charities for Children
So you want to make charitable giving a family tradition. That’s fantastic! Like many families, though, you might be feeling overwhelmed when it comes to getting started. There are just so many children who need help and so many charities asking for your support.
To help you get started, we rounded up our favorite charities for children. Read on to learn more about these top nonprofits and see if you might also like to join us in supporting them!
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital–oftentimes affectionately called St. Jude’s–is dedicated to finding cures and saving children. This hospital and its network of doctors and researchers tackle the most challenging childhood cancers and other pediatric diseases.
With a unique operating model, many families are overjoyed to discover that not only will St. Jude’s treat and hopefully cure their child’s disease. St. Jude’s also doesn’t bill families for their services.
Much of St. Jude’s funding comes from donors, and that is used to cover much of the cost. Since many treatments are experimental, they wouldn’t be covered by traditional insurance. Plus, more than half of the families that St. Jude’s cares for are either uninsured or underinsured.
If you’re looking to make a difference in the life of a child and their family during a particularly challenging time, St. Jude’s is an excellent choice.
Together We Rise
Together We Rise is a charity committed to changing the foster care system.
The statistics are startling. About 25% of children become homeless after aging out of the foster care system. 80% of inmates in the United States spent time in foster care as children and teens. The list goes on.
And that’s exactly where Together We Rise gets to work. Made up of a team of former foster care children and dedicated young adults, Together We Rise works to obtain much-needed programming and resources for foster care families. Some examples of the difference Together We Rise makes are their Sweet Cases and Birthday Boxes.
Sweet Cases are special duffle bags that help children and teens as they enter foster care. Instead of using the traditional garbage bag to haul their possessions in, Sweet Cases are new duffle bags filled with hygiene kits and other essentials. Birthday Boxes are parties in a box to make every foster child feel celebrated on their special day.
One-time donations support these kits, as well as other supports like scholarships. If you want to become a recurring donor, you can also join the Foster Love Club.
Check out our interview with Together We Rise representative Steven Macias to learn more about the organization.
She's the First
She’s the First has an ambitious mission that we love. They believe that every girl has the right to choose her own future. She’s the First puts their mission into action by working to fight gender inequality through education.
So what does this look like exactly? It depends–and that’s why She’s the First is so effective. Instead of creating a one-size-fits-all solution, She’s the First partners with local grassroots organizations to deliver the help that girls in different communities need the most.
She’s the First offers training, tools, and funding to organizations around the world. These networks of support help young women thrive around the world. Currently, She’s the First is helping girls in over 40 countries.
Learn why She's the First founder Tammy Tibbets believes that promoting girls' education can actually save the world.
One of the largest child abuse prevention and treatment nonprofits in the country, Childhelp is a top contender for one of the most important charities for children. They fight child abuse with a three-prong approach: prevention, intervention, and treatment. Founded in 1959, Childhelp has offered help and hope to more than 11 million kids.
Child abuse takes an unimaginable toll on kids and teens. That’s why it’s so crucial that children get help the moment they need it. But it’s often very difficult to connect kids to help.
That’s why Childhelp built its National Child Abuse Hotline. Kids and teens can use the hotline, in addition to adults who suspect someone is hurting. Connect by phone, text, or via online voice chat and a professional crisis counselor will set up a plan to end the abuse.
In addition to their hotline, Childhelp also offers other programs to fight child abuse. Childhelp created education and advocacy programs for educators and coaches to keep students and athletes safe.
Additionally, Childhelp runs residential villages and schools, short-term therapeutic programs, and foster and adoption services to help kids heal and thrive.
For more details about Childhelp, check our interview with Chief Communications Officer, Daphne Young.
Are you surprised to see DonorsChoose on a list about the top charities for children? You shouldn’t be! DonorsChoose has a tremendous impact on the lives of children by supporting some of the people who know them best–teachers!
Their philosophy is simple: support a classroom, build a future. Public teachers can make requests on DonorsChoose to get much-needed supplies for their classrooms. Sometimes the supplies are straightforward requests for everything from pencils and crayons to Kleenex and cleaning supplies. Other requests help teachers address social-emotional learning needs or bring project-based learning to life.
One way to keep your money local is to use the map created by DonorsChoose to see requests in your community. Of course, you can also use the map to see requests from across the country.
Recently, DonorsChoose added the option of setting up a monthly donation. You commit to giving each month and then DonorsChoose lets you handpick the projects you want to support. If you don’t have time to research your options for the month, DonorsChoose will send your donation to one of their most urgent requests.
You can, of course, also make a one-time gift to fund a particular project with DonorsChoose as well.
Abby Feuer, DonorsChoose EVP of Marketing & Growth, recently shared why supporting teachers after the pandemic is so important.
Thorn believes that every kid deserves to be a kid. While it’s heartbreaking to consider, many children find themselves robbed of their childhood because of trafficking and exploitation. Thorn is committed to putting a stop to these crimes.
Because of the role that technology plays in these crimes, Thorn is working to redesign the way that child sexual abuse is combated. Thorn partners with NGOs, law enforcement agencies, and tech companies to build the tools and resources to end abuse online.
They work to make sure that victim identification happens faster and that online platforms are equipped to monitor for and report suspected abuse. Thorn also creates outreach programs for kids and teens and awareness campaigns to bring facts about the problem to light.
Thorn's Sarah Potts joined us to discuss how they are dedicating themselves to eliminating child sexual abuse (CSAM) from the internet.
Sandy Hook Promise
Do you want to live in a world where no one needs to worry about school shootings? Sandy Hook Promise does! In an effort to create a world where kids are free from violence in their homes, schools, and communities, Sandy Hook Promise was born.
Since its creation, Sandy Hook Promises received over 150,000 tips and confirmed that they saved 378 lives. Plus, 18 million people completed their Know the Signs programming. Sandy Hook Promise volunteers also bring important outreach to schools at no cost and work to create local and federal legislation to reduce school violence.
You can make a financial gift or you can volunteer your time or your voice to Sandy Hook Promise. After hearing Nicole Hockley's story and mission, we were proud to give to this life-saving organization.
Feeding America isn’t just for children and teens. This charity aims to end food insecurity for all Americas. It’s still a top charity for children, though, because more than 9 million children in America don’t have enough food to eat.
Feeding America is the biggest hunger-relief organization in America. Despite the overwhelming amount of food waste that happens in the United States, millions of Americans are going hungry. That’s why Feeding America doesn’t just provide food. They also aim to provide solutions.
Feeding America works with farmers, manufacturers, and retailers to address some of the root causes of food inequity. They also partner with local community organizations and food pantries to make sure that all families have access to food until the causes of food inequity are solved. If you have a local food pantry in your area, there is a good chance that they collaborate with Feeding America thanks to their national network of food banks.
Recently, Feeding America's Zuani Villareal shared with us how we can all pitch in to end hunger in America together.
You knew we were going to add Junior Achievement to our list of favorite charities for children! Marriage Kids and Money is all about strengthening your family tree and building generational wealth. Junior Achievement helps kids and teens do just that by building their financial literacy.
Junior Achievement wants to empower the next generation to succeed in a global economy. They do that by partnering local volunteers with schools and other educational groups. The Junior Achievement volunteers then deliver lessons on financial literacy, career readiness, and entrepreneurship. Adults share their real-life expertise and deliver meaningful lessons in age-appropriate ways.
You can donate to Junior Achievement in two ways. By making a gift to JA USA, you can support curriculum development and events across the country. Additionally, you can donate to your local Junior Achievement group which keeps your money in your community.
Looking to do more than donate? You can also volunteer your time and expertise with Junior Achievement!
The Malala Fund is an international organization that believes every girl should be able to learn and lead. It was co-founded by Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, and its mission is rooted in Malala’s own experiences as a young girl in Pakistan.
The Malala Fund knows that there is no time to waste. Current estimates indicate that over 130 million girls are out of school. Without access to education, their futures are bleak. Rather than building new schools, the Malala Fund creates networks in existing communities to address the local barriers that are keeping girls out of school.
They also work to enact new policies at local, national, and international levels to make sure girls all over the globe can access free and quality secondary education.
Finally, the Malala Fund also creates Assembly, a digital publication that is designed to give all girls voices to share their experiences. With this approach, the Malala Fund is helping communities around the globe get girls into classrooms and enrich their experiences there.
How to Find Charities for Children
One of the biggest reservations people have about giving is finding the right organization to support. We get it! There are tons of children and families in need and thousands of different organizations requesting support.
Don't let analysis paralysis be the reason that you don't give–or don't challenge yourself to give even more!
In addition to our list of top charities for children, here are three other ways to find organizations you can support with confidence.
Start with Local Community Organizations
One of the best ways to find charities for children is to explore your local community. There are likely different organizations that work to keep kids fed, clothed, housed, and educated. Reaching out to community leaders, emailing local schools or religious centers, or doing a quick Google search should turn up a bunch of options.
You might also consider the different things that you and your family are already involved in. Perhaps there is a way that you can purchase sports equipment for other athletes in need or maybe you can cover the cost of a school field trip for kids who otherwise might not be able to attend.
Oftentimes, ways that we can support other kids in our community are right under our noses–or hiding within the activities and events already on our family calendars!
Ask Family and Friends for Ideas
Not having a lot of luck with your own research? Or maybe you're looking for firsthand observations about the giving experience. Then ask around! Family, friends, and neighbors may very well have a favorite charity that you can also support.
Unfortunately, just like the topic of money is sometimes still taboo, many people also don’t talk much about charitable giving. Having those conversations with people you trust and care about, though, can really encourage you and your loved ones to be even more generous and supportive of your community and our world.
In fact, giving plays a huge role in many different walks of life. There's a good chance that someone whose opinion you value has experiences with giving that can help you get started!
You can also check the comment section below! In addition to dropping your favorite giving suggestions, you might just scoop up another idea or two from other Marriage Kids and Money community members.
Special Shout Out to Charity Navigator
If you’re looking for someone to do the legwork for you, then you want to check out Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator’s mission is to make it easy to find the most reputable charities for children (and other charities!).
Charity Navigator calls itself a research tool for people who want to make a difference in the world. They created a rating system with different criteria and then they filter through data from the IRS, partner groups, and the charity itself.
After you find one or more charities for children that you want to support, you can follow a link directly to the charity’s website or you can donate through Charity Navigator itself thanks to their Giving Basket tool.
For twenty years, Charity Navigator has helped people find charities that match their values and passions. Now they have nearly 200,000 charities rated, so you’re sure to find a highly-rated charity that you can feel good about supporting.
Final Thoughts on Top Charities for Children
You already know how money can shape you and your family's future. Have you thought about how you can also use your resources to build a better future for others as well? It's no secret that giving matters is important to us. In fact, giving is something that we've been working on growing and even getting our kids involved in.
As a result, we created this list of our top charities for children. This list includes all sorts of top-rated organizations that are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of kids and teens everywhere.
We encourage you to spend time as a family reflecting on your values and passions. If you need a little extra motivation or inspiration, share some of our favorite quotes about giving with your family. Then, check out our list to find a charity that matches your family values. The impact you make and the lessons your own children learn will pay dividends for years to come!
How does your family handle giving? Do you have a favorite charity or organization to support with your time or money?
Please let us know in the comments below.