Evidence-based donations
January 19, 2011 9:51 AM   Subscribe

What organizations deserve my money to prevent child abuse and ameliorate the consequences?

I am a child sexual abuse survivor. This is not a request for resources for myself; I am in productive therapy. I've been making a lot of use of the AskMeFi archives, so thank you all for that.

I've made no use of any dedicated child abuse organizations. However, one of the things that keeps coming up in my healing process is how much awareness of child abuse has changed in the past 30 years, and how everyone involved would probably have responded differently today. This suggests to me that something that someone is doing is working.

I'd like to donate money to help abused children. I would, ideally, like to donate money that will help children who are being invisibly abused, like I was. But, while I know the names of some organizations, I don't know who's effective and who just has good publicity.

Who has helped you? Who can you demonstrate has helped abused children or helped prevent child abuse, and why do you believe that they are effective?

It's possible that my estate could run to the millions of dollars. Who do you think would use that money effectively to build a safer world for children? Why?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I do not have any answer, but you may wish to contact the mods and add a throwaway email address to this question, as I imagine some people may have answers that they are not comfortable sharing publicly (especially along the lines of "who has helped you")
posted by brainmouse at 10:04 AM on January 19, 2011

In Seattle there are small, community based shelters for battered women and children. They provide a safe place for women (almost always with their children) to go to immediately with any planning or having to enter into any of the other social services. Leaving domestic violence is extremely difficult if support resources don't exist in your immediate community.

These places are always starved for funds, and you can see the money directly at work for women and children in immediate need. I'm sure there are shelters in your community as well. Sometimes they are invisible if one doesn't know where to look. It would be nice if they weren't so invisible, both for the women/children that need them and the community at large to support them.
posted by nickjadlowe at 10:05 AM on January 19, 2011

ugh...I meant to say - They provide a safe place for women and children to go to immediately without any planning or needing to enter into any of the other usual social services first.
posted by nickjadlowe at 10:08 AM on January 19, 2011

But, while I know the names of some organizations, I don't know who's effective and who just has good publicity.

If you choose a local organization, going to actual fundraisers or other events can help you get more of a feel for who is running it and what they are doing. I don't think there's a way to guarantee that your donations are making the most possible difference dollar to dollar, but feeling like you have a connection to the people you are giving to is definitely a good thing.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:19 AM on January 19, 2011

Children's advocacy centers to are amazing places. I interned at one and continue to donate my time and money to them because of the amazing work they do. You might do well to pick a few centers and fund them.

My center helps over a thousand children and families every year. They work hard to provide justice and healing for abused children. Our center also provides SANE exam by kind nurses with excellent bedside manner, countless hours of therapy, referral services and help in filing for Crime Victim's Compensation. They also help put abusers in prison.

I can't say enough good things about the warm, safe, consistent environment they create for these children and families in crisis or passionate the staff are about both dealing with the effects of child abuse and preventing it in the future.
posted by Saminal at 11:26 AM on January 19, 2011

I'm not sure where you're located, but here in Rochester, we have Bivona Child Advocacy Center, which I have no personal experience with, but is held in very high esteem by my local Planned Parenthood's Rape Crisis Service. You might see if there is a similar local center near you.

I understand that you're asking about recipients of a financial gift, but I urge you to consider looking into volunteering time (of course, if you're able to emotionally), as you'll be able to directly observe the effectiveness of your contribution.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 11:27 AM on January 19, 2011

Just last night on the public radio show E-Town, which gives out a weekly "E-chievement award," I heard the story of the Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center, which sounded really amazing.

From the E-Town website (second one down currently):

It strengthens the "child protection system" currently in place by offering a palette of needed services and programs including in-house legal representation for children, foster parent training, domestic violence prevention, and more. Since their start, they've trained over 2,000 lawyers as advocates and have provided over $10 million-worth of pro-bono services each year, resulting in greatly improved outcomes for the children they represent.
posted by jbickers at 12:20 PM on January 19, 2011

Staci Haines and her organization Generation FIVE is something you might want to look into: I respect Staci Haines enormously because her Survivor's Guide to Sex changed my life, so giving her money seems like a good idea to me, and I like the organization's mission statement of "integrating child sexual abuse prevention into social movements and community organizing targeting family violence, racial and economic oppression, and gender, age-based and cultural discrimination, rather than continuing to perpetuate the isolation of the issue."

I would also maybe think about giving money to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, which works with a lot of different kinds of children, but who seem to be doing good work in terms of raising awareness and improving psychological care for abused children.
posted by besonders at 1:15 PM on January 19, 2011

Seconding Generation FIVE.
posted by gingerbeer at 1:21 PM on January 19, 2011

« Older What can I do for exercise with a broken leg?   |   Really? You're not coming in today? Well, that's... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.