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Small Nonprofits Doing Great Things

Since finishing grad school and re-entering the workforce, I’ve upped my annual charitable contributions.  I’ve also re-thought my giving plan, trying to target smaller nonprofits that work on conservation issues that are often neglected by the biggest, best-known organizations.

The end of the year is a great time to give; several of my favorite groups have matching programs right now, so that donations made before December 31st will be doubled.  If you’re looking to make some contributions in the next week or so, here are a few of the nonprofits I support:  

  • The Orianne Society, a nonprofit organization based in Georgia that focuses on snake conservation.
  • Bat Conservation International, dedicated to protecting another misunderstood and much-maligned group of animals—bats—through funding science and education efforts around the globe.
  • The Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, a citizen science outfit studying California’s birds of prey and working to enhance public appreciation of hawks, eagles, and falcons.  I volunteered with the GGRO for a number of years as a hawkwatcher and telemetrist.
  • Panthera, established in 2006 to conduct scientific research and conservation work on behalf of the world’s 37 species of wild cats.
  • The California Native Plant Society, a 10,000-member organization targeting the protection of native plants and natural communities in the Golden State.
  • The Great Plains Native Plant Society, a much smaller group that is working on developing a botanical garden of prairie native plants in Hermosa, SD.
  • The National Parks Conservation Association.  Okay, this doesn’t qualify as a small nonprofit … but it is one that’s near and dear to my heart, as it works exclusively for the benefit of the American national park system.

What are your favorite nonprofit organizations?  I’m always interested in hearing about groups doing good work!

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jean Flanagan #

    I’ve been giving (modestly) to Panthera for the past couple of years. The Orianne society and Bat Conservation International are new to me but look very interesting – I like that they have a tight focus on important but less-loved species.

    December 26, 2012
    • cathybell #

      Yes, absolutely. I’ve supported Bat Conservation International off and on for many years, and they’ve been in my awareness for long enough that I sometimes forget they’re not particularly well-known! Orianne and Panthera are fairly new to me. But I’m always on the lookout for more groups doing good work, so if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

      December 27, 2012

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