Charitable Giving Guide 2019

Here’s a guide to the charities the Boingers support in our own annual giving. Please add the causes and charities you give to in the forums!

Friends of the Merril Collection

I’m on the board of the charity that fundraises for Toronto’s Merril Collection, a part of the Toronto Public Library system that is also the world’s largest public collection of science fiction, fantasy and related works (they archive my papers). Since its founding by Judith Merril, the Merril Collection has been a hub for creators, fans, and scholars. I wouldn’t be a writer today if not for the guidance of its Writer in Residence when I was a kid. —CD

The Tor Project

The Tor anonymity and privacy tools are vital to resistance struggles around the world, a cooperative network that provides a high degree of security from scrutiny for people who have reasons to fear the powers that be. From our early hominid ancestors until about ten years ago, humans didn’t leave behind an exhaust-trail of personally identifying information as they navigated the world — Tor restores that balance. —CD

Planned Parenthood

Because we deserve health care, including reproductive, gender, and sexual health care. Because access to birth control and safe abortion is a human right. Because Trump’s regime wants to destroy all of this. —XJ

Software Freedom Conservancy

Software Freedom Conservancy does the important, boring, esoteric work of keeping the internet from tearing itself to pieces, playing host organization to free software projects like Git, Selenium and Samba (to name just three). The Conservancy keeps these projects legally sound and gives them a scaffold to hang their institutional structures on them. Without the Conservancy, the software you love and depend on would be in dire peril.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

I have been proudly associated with EFF for a decade an a half now and have watched, half-awed, as it grew from a scrappy, brilliant little organization to a powerhouse of enormous scale and power. Every cause, every fight enumerated on this page and in your life and mine will be lost or won on the internet. EFF is the best hope we have of keeping that internet free, fair and open. —CD, MF

Creative Commons
Creative Commons is best known as a tool for sharing-friendly artists, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Since the beginning, and all over the world, CC has provided governments, agencies, research and scholarly institutions and NGOs with the tools to easily share across borders and the bewildering array of copyright laws. We can’t beat trumpism without collaboration tools, and that includes legal tools. —CD

Wikimedia Foundation (Wikipedia)
For 16 years, Wikipedia has been figuring out how to negotiate truth among diverse and even warring points of view. It’s not always pretty and it’s not always nice, but no one’s yet found a better way to let ideas bash against each other until something everyone agrees upon emerges. It’s not pretty, but compared to our democracy, it’s a beauty queen. —CD, KS

Human Rights Data Analysis Group
For more than twenty-five years, the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) has used data and statistical analysis to hold accountable the perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. HRDAG is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that provides rigorous quantitative evidence for trials, truth commissions, UN Missions, and human rights monitors around the world. In 2019, HRDAG estimated the number of women held as sexual slaves by Japanese authorities in World War Two; the number of people disappeared in the final three days of the Sri Lankan civil war; and the number of people killed in drug-related violence by the police and other perpetrators in the Philippines. In the US, HRDAG critiqued the growing use of machine learning in the US criminal justice system, especially those used in place of bail to determine who should be released while awaiting trial. HRDAG’s analysis has shown that machine learning can amplify biases in criminal justice data, for example by worsening racial disparities in policing. Other ongoing HRDAG projects include research on mass violence in the Philippines, Mexico, Sri Lanka, and several confidential projects in the US and abroad . —CD

Institute for the Future
There are no facts about the future, only fictions. As we’ve learned in this crazy political season, nothing is certain about tomorrow. But even as our attention is captured by the present, we can begin to write the story to come. A place to start is the Institute for the Future’s Future for Good fellowship. Institute for the Future, where Mark and David are researchers, is a 50-year-old nonprofit that helps the public think about the future to make better decisions in the present. The Fellowship directly supports inspiring social innovators who are working to make tomorrow a better place. You can help too. Make a donation of $100 and you’ll receive IFTF Distinguished Fellow Bob Johansen’s new book “The New Leadership Literacies: Thriving in a Future of Extreme Disruption and Distributed Everything.” —DP, MF

The National Wildlife Federation

National Wildlife Federation is a voice for wildlife, dedicated to protecting wildlife and habitat and inspiring the future generation of conservationists. Now’s the time: for the people currently in charge of U.S. policy, the cruelty is the point. —RB

The Marine Mammal Center
When seals, sea lion, or many other sea going pals need help, if they get lucky, they may be taken to The Marine Mammal Center, a veterinary hospital just for them. Thousands of heartbreakingly cute, but very wild, animals are rescued, rehabilitated and released on an annual basis. I’m a volunteer. In addition to the hundreds of highly trained volunteers that make the hospital run, the center always needs cash for fish and medicine. —JW

Winn Feline Foundation

The Winn Feline Foundation advances feline health by supporting research and education. Winn has funded over $6.4 million in health research for cats at more than 30 partner institutions worldwide. Current campaigns include funding for research on Chronic Kidney Disease, a condition estimated to affect more than 50% of senior cats. —KS

The Southern Poverty Law Center &
the Anti-Defamation League
The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defemation League fight hate, teach tolerance, and help secure justice, and fair treatment for all. “There is no ‘them’ and ‘us.’ There is only us.” –Greg Boyle —JW

Facing History and Ourselves
Facing History and Ourselves is an international educational group that helps young people study issues around racism, antisemitism, and prejudice in history, from the Holocaust to today’s immigrant experiences to the killing fields of Cambodia. Their aim is to teach young people “to think critically, to empathize, to recognize moral choices, to make their voices heard, we put in their hands the possibility–and the responsibility–to do the serious work demanded of us all as citizens.” —DP

Free Software Foundation/Defective By Design
The Free Software Foundation’s principled litigation, license creation and campaigning is fierce, uncompromising and has changed the world. You interact with code that they made possible a million times a day, and they never stop working to make sure that the code stays free. —CD

Free Software Foundation Europe
Software has eaten the world, and software freedom is increasingly synonymous with human freedom. In Europe, far-right parties and authoritarians are inheriting a constellation of gadgets and devices that are “defective by design,” built to allow corporations spy on and control their owners — and those thugs are contemplating how they can use those companies’ extraordinary powers to put whole populations under their thumbs. Free software in Europe, free software everywhere! —CD

The Internet Archive: In an era where the control of information has been weaponized, the Internet Archive’s mission — universal access to all human knowledge — is a revolutionary manifesto. The Archive has taken on a new mission: to re-decentralize the internet and restore it to its indie, distributed glory. —CD

Open Rights Group
The UK’s answer to Electronic Frontier Foundation, and never more badly needed than now, with authoritarianism on the rise and the constant battering of the electorate with political misadventures and grandstanding. Brexit could allow the UK to escape the oversight of the European courts, paving the way for even-more-extreme measures. —CD

Amnesty International
I just looked up Amnesty’s founding principles and found tears rolling down my cheeks: “Only when the last prisoner of conscience has been freed, when the last torture chamber has been closed, when the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a reality for the world’s people, will our work be done.” These values need our support more than ever. —CD

ACLU
On November 9, 2016 ACLU changed its homepage to a picture of Trump superimposed with the words SEE YOU IN COURT. ACLU’s deep bench of kick-ass lawyers has been lately augmented by a much-needed group of freedom-fighting technologists, welded into the fighting force we’ll need until the next election and beyond: from voter suppression to free speech, the ACLU is key to the fight. —CD, MF

Liberty
With the UK plunging into surveillance dystopia where human rights are an afterthought and racial profiling is becoming official doctrine, it needs Liberty, an organisation with 80+ years’ track record fighting for human rights in many incarnations of the British project. The Tories ran on a platform of repealing the Human Rights Act: when the government is officially anti “human rights,” you need someone like Liberty to take the “pro” side. —CD

826 National
Born in San Francisco’s Mission District in the back room of a pirate
supply store, 826 National teaches young people the art and magic of
creative writing through classes, DIY publishing projects, in-school
programs, and drop-in tutoring at seven centers around the US. And it’s
all free for the kids. Help open more 826 locations around the country! —DP

Fight for the Future
Some of the Internet’s savviest, hard-working-est activists. Fight for the Future has kept hope alive for Net Neutrality, leading the charge to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the FCC’s Neutrality-killing sneak attack. —CD

Demand
Progress

Aaron Swartz co-founded Demand Progress, and as you’d expect from that
history, they’re relentless in reinventing the activist playbook for the
21st century. —CD

MySociety
Software in the public interest — it’s a damned good idea. MySociety produces software like Pledgebank (“I will risk arrest by refusing to register for a UK ID card if 100,000 other Britons will also do it”) and TheyWorkForYou (every word and deed by every Member of Parliament). It’s plumbing for activists and community organizers. —CD