What causes to donate to?
May 10, 2012 6:08 PM   Subscribe

My husband and I are looking to begin donating to one LGBT rights group and one immigrants' rights group. Who should we pick?

We want to set up an automatic biweekly donation to three causes:

(1) Women's rights/health, but we're pretty set on Planned Parenthood for this.

(2) LGBT rights: We are leaning toward the Human Rights Campaign but there's also the Courage Campaign and other marriage equality or bullying causes.

(3) Immigrants' rights: perhaps the ACLU?

We moved to Nebraska a couple of years ago, so any groups that have a focus on NE or the Midwest would be nice to hear about, but it's not necessary.
posted by that's how you get ants to Work & Money (22 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The Trevor Project?
posted by gaspode at 6:16 PM on May 10, 2012

I would strongly suggest for #2 you find a state or local group doing on-the-ground work instead of donating to Human Rights Campaign. Just a preference, and more than a bit of distaste for HRC's decisions over the years (I'll be happy to talk more about that in MeMail to avoid derailing). Bottom line, regardless: your money will almost certainly do far more immediate and lasting good for lgbt folks if you give it to a group with a good reputation near you in Nebraska.
posted by mediareport at 6:17 PM on May 10, 2012 [7 favorites]

There is a lot of controversy over the HRC. The HRC also has a lot more money than the rest of the LGBT rights groups put together (though I can't find a cite for that right now; someone please correct me if this is wrong). I am a gay woman, and I urge you not to put your money toward the HRC.

Personally, I think Lambda Legal is a fantastic organization, but I also think that the National Center for Lesbian Rights is a great choice (they don't just do lesbian rights - they are super inclusive, which is why I love them). Full disclosure - I have worked with both of these organizations, and from an internal perspective, I think both do amazing work.

I've done some work with the ACLU too - though not immigrant focused - and I think they are great also, but if I wanted to donate money to an immigrant focused organization, I would probably pick a more single issue organization.
posted by insectosaurus at 6:17 PM on May 10, 2012 [7 favorites]

Do you want to focus on activism, humanitarian concerns, or both? Also, do you want to limit yourselves to, e.g., refugees, or folks fighting deportation, or what?

Personally, for immigration stuff, I like USCRI.
posted by SMPA at 6:18 PM on May 10, 2012

Response by poster: I think we are more interested in organizations that are trying to change local/state/national policy, rather than only offering services. We are ok going with a more general cause rather than a specific aspect of any cause.

HRC is off the table, thank you mediareport and insectosaurus.
posted by that's how you get ants at 6:25 PM on May 10, 2012

I would strongly suggest for #2 you find a state or local group doing on-the-ground work instead

This is what I was going to suggest. The really hard work is being done locally, especially in places that aren't progressive centers on LGBT issues, and many of those groups have been very hard hit by the downturn in giving during the recession.
posted by Forktine at 6:27 PM on May 10, 2012

How about the Point Foundation?

Point Foundation provides financial support, mentoring, leadership training and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:31 PM on May 10, 2012

Best answer: Nebraska Appleseed does good immigration work--they work with other Appleseed organizations, too, who were instrumental in changing how uncontested removal proceedings work, as well advocating for expansion of the Office of Legal Access Programs.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:38 PM on May 10, 2012

I really like Get Equal, but depending on your views, they might be a little to activist-y or radical. They have a very grassroots, direct action, in your face kind of approach.
posted by kylej at 6:41 PM on May 10, 2012

Best answer: On the LGBT point, I've heard good things about Lambda Legal (link).
posted by AMSBoethius at 7:08 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

What about Immigration Equality? They provide both direct services and advocacy for LGBT immigrants and their families.
posted by SugarAndSass at 7:20 PM on May 10, 2012

You don't mention trans causes specifically in your question, but have a look at the Trans Legal Defense and Education Fund. They help people negotiate the incredibly complex legal waters of being trans in the US, and they're excellent at strategy.

Might be a good way to fund trying to change (or at least clarify, in many cases, ye gods) local/state/national policy, as well as support folks who are underrepresented and underfunded even among LGBT organizations.
posted by pickingupsticks at 7:21 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

The National Center for Lesbian Rights has a good record in general, I believe, and, despite the name, does good work for trans folks. Anyway, they're a non-HRC national option, but the above comments about keeping your money local still apply.

Sticking with the trans theme, there's also the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. They're notable because they don't support hate crimes legislation, so if you're persuaded by their argument, that may appeal to you. (They're the only LGBT group I've ever heard of that doesn't.)

Casting a slightly wider net than immigration (but no wider than the ACLU), there's the Southern Poverty Law Center.
posted by hoyland at 7:45 PM on May 10, 2012

Best answer: Man, I tried my darndest to find an LGBTQ rights group in Nebraska that was not HRC. HRC is awful. Absolutely awful. They are completely ineffective and I say this having tried to work with them on LGBTQ legislation in two different states.

Lambda Legal is an excellent alternative but I might also suggest the ACLU. Whenever a girl wants to take her girlfriend to her prom and the school says no, the ACLU is there. They are taking on the biggest opsitcal to marriage equality in all states and territories: DOMA. Students want to form a GSA in a Nebraska school and the administrators says no, the ACLU fights them.

The ACLU kicks ass and deserves an anual donation from all of us. I am actually going to give them a small donation right now because I talked them up so much.

posted by munchingzombie at 8:11 PM on May 10, 2012

I'm a fan of this UFW campaign: http://www.takeourjobs.org/
posted by aniola at 8:39 PM on May 10, 2012

Also gonna say Immigration Equality -- two for one! They are awesome. If just LGBT--Lambda Legal.

For immigration I would check here. It's a list of all of the coalitions/orgs involved in the DREAM Act work. Nebraska is on there.

Also I saw this -- an immigration group that got their funding cut b/c they were pro-gay.
posted by manicure12 at 9:01 PM on May 10, 2012

I give money to NCLR, listed above, to Queers for Economic Justice, and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. Also the Transgender Law Center. Lambda Legal is also a great organization.

Glad I've already been saved from my HRC rant.

The ACLU does good work on LGBT issues, as well as immigration. I work with them here in California on other issues and they are effective and good to work with.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:37 PM on May 10, 2012

If a religious affiliation isn't off-putting to you, I'd consider the Catholic Legal Immigration Network. They don't require any religious anything from people they serve, train new immigration attorneys, and in many parts of the country, they are the only people who provide free attorneys to immigrants accused of breaking the law (most places only provide free help for asylum or refugee or family immigration cases). (I did work with them in law school, am not Catholic, and was pleasantly surprised at their awesomeness.)

For LGBT, I nth Lambda Legal. They do amazing things.
posted by eleanna at 10:28 PM on May 10, 2012

Oh, and CLINIC does do advocacy work at the local and national level too, FWIW.
posted by eleanna at 10:29 PM on May 10, 2012

LikeMe Lighthouse in Kansas City, founded by Chely Wright.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:12 AM on May 11, 2012

Might I suggest the small, but great Tahirih Justice Center?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:25 AM on May 11, 2012

Response by poster: I think we are going with Lambda Legal, Nebraska Appleseed, and the ACLU.

As munchingzombie noted it's hard to find these kind of groups for this area, so this is a good mix of local/national and services/advocacy. Thanks everyone!
posted by that's how you get ants at 4:40 PM on May 11, 2012

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