Cause organizations

A directory of social action platforms, online communities and organizations helping people do good or take collective action

Here is Socialbrite’s guide to social action platforms, communities and organizations that help people take collective action for social good. (Note, this is not a list of worthy charities or causes but rather of organizations that help or enable other social good organizations.) Where available, we’ve included links to writeups on our site.

Please add names of other organizations in the comments below and tell us why they’re worth knowing!

1%CLUB   Acteva   ActiveCause   Acumen Fund   All for Good   allthis  ammado   Ashoka   Bay Area Video Coalition   Better the World   BetterWorldBooks   Blackbaud   Care2   Carrotmob   Catchafire   Causemedia Group   Causecast   Causes   CauseWorld   Center for Corporate Citizenship   Changents   Changing the Present   CharityHowTo   Charity Focus   Charity Navigator   Citizen Effect   Common Knowledge   CompassPoint   Creative Commons   Crowdrise   Digital Democracy Do Something DonorsChoose   Drupal   Earthjustice   Earthshare   eBay Giving Works   eduFire   Electronic Frontier Foundation   Empowered EngageMedia   Epic Change  Fair Trade   Firstgiving   Forge   Foundation Center   Free Management Library   GIFT   GiveDirectly GiveWell   givezooks!   Global Changemakers   Global Giving   Global Voices   GoodGuide   GoodVision   GreaterGood Network   Guidestar  HandsOn Network   IdeaEncore Idealist   Idealware   Indymedia   Institute for Social Entrepreneurs   Involver   Jolkona   Jumo   JustGive   Kachingle   Kaltura   Kiva   Leap   Live Earth   Maplight Media Cause   mGive   Microplace   MobileCause   Mokugift   Mozilla Foundation   MySociety   NABUUR   NAMAC   Net Impact   NetSquared   Network for Good   New Media Consortium New Media Rights  New Profit NGO Post  NonProfit Direct   NTEN   Open Media Foundation   Opencast   Open Society Institute & Soros Foundations Network   Participatory Culture Foundation   Philanthropedia   Pifworld   PincGiving   Razoo Foundation   Salsa Labs Samasource   SeeYourImpact   SixDegrees   Skoll snoball Social Actions   Socialbrite   Social Earth   Social Venture Network   SocialVibe   Sparked StartingBloc   StayClassy   Sunlight Foundation   Take Part   TechSoup   ThinkSocial   This We Know   United We Serve   Universal Giving   Upworthy Volunteer Match   VolunteerSpot   WiserEarth   Witness WorldChanging   Your Cause   YouthNoise   Zazengo   Zerofootprint

Social cause organizations & platforms

1%CLUB: Helping you make it work
1%CLUB is a marketplace that connects smart development projects with people, money and knowledge around the world. You’ll find a wide range of projects offered directly from all over the world, and you”ll be able to share your skills, expertise and knowledge. The people that run the projects that you are involved in keep you informed on the progress. Not related to the One Percent Club.
Acteva: Services and tools for nonprofits
Acteva offers nonprofits a range of services and tools, including online event registration, ticketing and payment management and social marketing and private social networks.
ActiveCause: The social giving network
ActiveCause, The Social Giving Network is a social network for donors that lists both charitable orgs and connects corporate responsibility networks with employees and corporate causes. They bring together nonprofits, corporations and individuals to form vibrant, self-activating communities.
Acumen Fund
Acumen Fund: Market approaches to solve global poverty
Acumen Fund is a nonprofit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. Acumen’s investments focus on delivering affordable, critical goods and services –- like health, water, housing and energy -– through market-oriented approaches.
All for Good
All for Good: A Craigslist for service
All for Good is a platform that helps you find and share ways to do good, particularly in your own community. Search a term — education, health, nature, hunger, seniors — for the kind of volunteer service you’d like to perform.
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allthis: Marketplace for good works
allthis is a marketplace “for things money can’t buy.” A few Hollywood celebs participate on the site, which allows people to big on an eclectic list of services, ranging from comedian Ben Stiller’s offer to record your voice mail greeting to a dinner date with a former Playboy model. Create a listing, or bid on one. Founder Paul Weinstein says, “Our goal is really to become the world’s single largest charitable force.”
ammado: Creating heroes
ammado connects nonprofits, companies and individuals dedicated to positive change. Their global donations and engagement platform will allow you to support your favorite causes, involve your network and make a difference.
Ashoka: Investing in social entrepreneurs
Ashoka invests in social entrepreneurs around the world who have innovative, sustainable and replicable solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. Ashoka Changemakers is a community of action where members collaborate on solutions. Also see Ashoka’s Youth Venture, which helps teams of people start new youth-led organizations.
Bay Area Video Coalition: Storytelling through technology
Bay Area Video Coalition is a nonprofit media arts center whose continuing mission is to inspire social change by enabling the sharing of diverse stories through art, education and technology. BAVC provides training and access to emerging media technologies for public media producers, independent artists, at-risk youths and nonprofit organizations.
Better the World: Raise money for causes by surfing
Better The World is a plat­form that lets you raise money for your cause simply by surfing the Web — and down­loading a side­bar that will be used to dis­play rel­e­vant ads on the pages you visit. Char­i­ties span­ning the whole world have part­nered with the com­pany to give users every­where many options to choose from.
BetterWorldBooks: Helping to fund world literacy
BetterWorldBooks is a for-profit social enterprise that collects used books and sells them online to raise money for literacy initiatives worldwide. When you buy used, you save books from landfill and conserve resources.
Blackbaud: Accounting & management software for nonprofits
Blackbaud develops solutions that allow nonprofits to stretch resources further. The company has been working exclusively for nonprofits since 1981 in a variety of areas.
Care2: Green living, human rights, animal welfare
Founded in 1998, Care2 provides powerful tools to make a difference in people’s lives. The Care2 site “is driven by passionate people who want to restore the world’s balance.” A certified Benefit Corporation (B-corp), Care2 is committed to using the power of business to make a positive social and earth-friendly impact on the world. Care2 has run campaigns for more than 450 nonprofits and agencies over the past decade. See its Cause Channels section.
Carrotmob: Power of the crowd to change business practices
Carrotmob is a network of customers who buy products to reward businesses that are making the most socially responsible decisions.
Catchafire: Connecting nonprofits & professionals
Catchafire helps professionals offer their talents for worthy organizations they find an affinity with. Social enterprises can register on the site through the same portal as nonprofits. To prevent against volunteers spinning their wheels, Catchafire makes sure that both nonprofits and social enterprises have skin in the game by having internal resources and staff members dedicated to work on the project.
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Ryan Scott
Causecast: Support your favorite cause
Causecast is an award-winning provider of cause marketing campaigns, technologies, and services that connect businesses and nonprofits with each other and their constituencies, streamlining and simplifying the process of engaging with causes. Causecast’s nonprofit services provide organizations with increased visibility through access to their cause marketing campaigns, greater convenience with their online tools and expanded knowledge for all staff via their resource library…all for free.
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Causemedia Group: Helping partners do well by doing good
Causemedia Group brings together brands and nonprofits through cause marketing by helping raise awareness and funds for their mutual benefit. It works to bring its message to potential donors through its consumer-facing blog, WhatGives!?, by means of promotional and interactive digital agencies such as Kompolt and StudioGood, and through other technologies created and acquired to enable better online giving and matching donations from sponsor brands.
Causes: A platform for supporting causes
Whether you are an activist who wants to stop genocide or a nonprofit that promotes literacy, Causes can be your platform. Founded by Sean Parker and Joe Green in May 2007, it is a tool and Facebook application to help people go from caring about issues to doing something to make change. Tens of millions have been raised for thousands of causes.
CauseWorld: Help the world while you shop
Just by walking into stores you probably frequent, pulling out your phone and checking in at CauseWorld, you earn karma points from sponsors and donate these for specific actions to improve the world.
Center for Corporate Citizenship: Helping companies put theory and best practice to work
The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship works with global corporations to help them define, plan and operationalize their corporate citizenship.For more on corporate social responsibility, see CSRwire.
Ben Rattray Turning concern into action is a social enterprise that’s helping to raise awareness about important social causes and empowering people to take action, chiefly through the efforts of leading nonprofits. Actions might range from joining an organization and making a personal pledge to signing an online petition or calling a congressperson’s office about an issue.
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Changents: Connecting the people who help the world to the people who help them
Changents is an Internet platform that connects people changing the world with people who help them. Stories can explain complex situations, and the Changents website introduces change agents who have specific needs with users whose talents align.
Changing the Present: Helping nonprofits through gifting
Changing the Present connects you with more than 1,500 meaningful charitable gifts that help change the world. Browse by cause or nonprofit to find the perfect gift for friends or for your own charitable giving.
CharityHowTo: Webinars on online fundraising, social media and more
CharityHowTo offers paid webinars on a wide variety of subjects of interest to nonprofits: online fundraising, effective use of Twitter and Facebook, metrics and more. Socialbrite strategists J.D. Lasica and John Haydon offer regular webinars there.
Charity Focus: Enabling volunteer opportunities
Founded in 1998, Charity Focus is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit that uses technology to inspire greater volunteerism and provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for all who want them.
Charity Navigator: Your guide to smarter philanthropy
Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator employs a team of professional analysts who have examined and evaluated the financial operations and financial health of more than 5,000 of America’s best-known charities. O Mag calls Charity Navigator the Michelin guide to aid organizations.
Citizen Effect: Supporting citizen philanthropists
Citizen Effect is dedicated to provide citizens the tools and networks they need to work directly with communities in need around the world. Through fostering freedom of choice and direct communication to citizen philanthropists, Citizen Effect helps these partnerships build stronger, self-reliant and sustainable communities as well as bring people together for a common cause and the promotion of civic engagement.
Common Knowledge: Helping nonprofits with fundraising, communications & advocacy
Common Knowledge provides full-service consulting in online marketing, fundraising, communications and advocacy. Their services include online strategy and interactive media, website development and design, onlign campaigns (fundraising & marketing), social media online and community development, empowering registrants with fundraising tools in facebook and other support services.
CompassPoint: Tools, strategies & resources for nonprofits
CompassPoint Nonprofit Services is a consulting, research and training organization providing nonprofits with management tools, strategies and resources to lead change in their communities. Services include executive transition, planning, finance systems, business planning, fundraising and technology. CompassPoint’s Genie offers a list of frequently asked questions about and from nonprofits.
Creative Commons: Enabling remix culture
Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organization and licensing system founded by Harvard Professor and author Lawrence Lessig (left) that offers creators the ability to fine-tune their copyright, spelling out the ways in which others may use their works. Also see ccMixter, a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, republish, mash up or interact with music in whatever way you want.
• See What is Creative Commons?
Watch our video of founder Lawrence Lessig on
Crowdrise: Using social networks to raise funds
Crowdrise is a new for-profit service that gives cause supporters an easy way to crowd-source fundraising. Whether you’re running a marathon, volunteering or have causes that you care deeply about, create your own fundraising pages, choose from over a million charities to raise money for and then share them on social networks. Crowdrise provides incentives to users by awarding bonus points toward prizes.
Digital Democracy
Digital Democracy: Empowering marginalized communities
Digital Democracy is an organization that creates agile programs with human-centric design and on-the-ground analysis and evaluation, helping advance human rights around the globe through innovative use of mobile and technology.
Do Something: Using the power of online to get teens to do good stuff offline
Aimed at people 25 and younger, Do Some­thing believes you have the power to make a dif­fer­ence. Their aim is to inspire, sup­port, and cel­e­brate a gen­er­a­tion of doers: peo­ple who see the need to do some­thing, believe in their ability to get it done, and then take action. They pro­vide the tools and resources for you to con­vert your ideas and energy into pos­i­tive action.
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Charles Best
DonorsChoose: Crowd-funded public education
DonorsChoose is an online charity that makes it easy to help students in need through school donations. Individuals contributed more than $15 million in 2009 for books, field trips, art supplies and technology needed by classrooms in low-income areas.
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Drupal: Empowering citizen media
Drupal is an open source content management system powering tens of thousands of websites, including The Onion, Sony Music artists (see and many others. Founder and creator Dries Buytaert talks about Drupal, the power of open source publishing, and a new partnership with Acquia, a Boston-area company that gives citizen publishers a free publishing platform.
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Earthjustice: Public interest law firm
Earthjustice is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the natural resources and wildlife of the planet and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. The organization works to enforce environmental laws on behalf of more than 700 organizations, coalitions and communities.
Earthshare: Building a sustainable environment
Earthshare is a national non-profit federation that connects people and workplaces with effective ways to support critical environmental causes.
eBay’s Giving Works: Supporting nonprofits
eBay’s Giving Works program lets people donate part of their eBay transactions to nonprofits. The program raised $50 million for charitable causes in 2009. The program is administered by Mission Fish.
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eduFire: A global classroom
eduFire is an online learning marketplace that connects instructors and students, anywhere in the world and around any subject, through live broadband video and the use of Web 2.0 tools.
Blog post: eduFire: Real-time Web learning
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Blog post: eduFire expands its tech curriculum
Electronic Frontier Foundation: Defending your rights in the digital age
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a donor-funded nonprofit with a team of staff attorneys who defend our digital rights. Litigation is particularly expensive; because two-thirds of their budget comes from individual donors, every contribution is critical to helping EFF fight and win more cases.
Empowered: Empowering groups of volunteers to create social change
Empowered is a group of leaders from the nonprofit sector who are sharing learnings on how to exponentially grow your organization using effective online strategies. was developed to empower you to take a decentralized approach to online fundraising, volunteer recruitment and marketing to accelerate your mission while maintaining oversight, brand and culture.
EngageMedia: Video storytelling for social change
EngageMedia uses the power of video, the Internet and free software technologies to create social and environmental change with a focus on the Asia Pacific region. EngageMedia is based on Plumi, a series of software modules and customisations of the popular open source content management framework Plone; EngageMedia enables other sites to replicate its technology, including video uploading, vodcasting, live search, embedded playback and more.
Epic Change: Amplifying the voice of grassroots change-makers
Epic Change believes that people’s stories are assets that can be used as resources to improve their lives. The organization helps people in need share their “epic” true stories in innovative and profitable ways to help them acquire the financial resources they need to create positive change in their communities.
Fair Trade: Promoting sustainability and workers’ rights
Fair Trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries and promote sustainability. FINE, an informal association of four international fair trade networks, defines Fair Trade as “a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers.”
Firstgiving: Online donation services
Firstgiving provides online donation processing services, including history, program description, testimonials and contact information.
Kjersten Erickson
Forge: Helping to revitalize African communities
Forge is a 6-year-old international NGO that works with refugees and war-affected populations in Africa. “We provide a support system to allow refugees and post-conflict communities to rebuild and revitalize themselves,” founder Kjersten Erickson says.
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Sarah Jo of the Foundation Center
Foundation Center: A deep resource for philanthropy
The venerable Foundation Center is a nonprofit library and learning center that provides information about U.S. philanthropy and helps organizations and individuals learn how to apply for grants through a rich foundation database. Sarah Jo Neubauer (left), assistant librarian at the center’s San Francisco Library, provides an overview of the center’s offerings.
Helping nonprofits master the art of grant writing (2011)
Foundation Center: a deep resource for philanthropy (2009)
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Free Management Library: Providing management resources
The Free Management Library provides easy-to-access, clutter-free, comprehensive resources regarding the leadership and management of organizations as well as personal development. The library can be used to improve your organization and for your personal, professional and organizational development.
GIFT: Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training
The Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT) is a multiracial organization that promotes the connection between fundraising, social justice and movement-building. GIFT provides training, resources and analysis to strengthen organizations, with an emphasis on those focused on social justice and based in communities of color.
GiveDirectly: Introducing a radical new way to give
Use GiveDirectly to send money directly to the poor. Donate through the webpage to poor households in Kenya. GiveDirectly transfers your donation electronically to a recipient’s cell phone to make purchases or take an action.
GiveWell: Helping you evaluate charities
GiveWell is an independent, nonprofit charity evaluator. They perform in-depth research on charities to help people accomplish as much good as possible with their donations. Unlike existing evaluators, which focus solely on financials or administrative costs, GiveWell focuses on how well programs actually work – i.e., their effects on the people they serve.
givezooks!: Social fundraising for nonprofits
givezooks! makes fundraising tools that handle online donations while enabling donors to share and promote their actions on Facebook and Twitter. The service also turns supporters into fundraisers by allowing them to create their own personal fundraising page.
Global Changemakers: Supporting young activists and social entrepreneurs
Global Changemakers is a British Council program that supports a global network of young activists and social entrepreneurs to develop as leaders through intensive training and mentoring with business and political leaders. They create opportunities for young people to present a consolidated voice on their concerns to political leaders while becoming part of an active global network.
GlobalGiving: See your cause dollars at work
GlobalGiving is an online marketplace for philanthropy where anyone can post an idea and get it funded. The nonprofit connects donors with community-based projects that need support in the United States and abroad. You select the projects you want to support, make a tax-deductible contribution and get regular progress updates — so you can see your impact. The organization sustains itself with a 15 percent optional fee added to online donations. More info at
Rebecca MacKinnon
Global Voices: Lifting up the powerless & voiceless
Founded in 2005, Global Voices is an international bloggers network and platform that gives visibility to bloggers around the world. It is often the best place to discover what engaged citizens of the developing world think about what’s happening in their own countries. Its programs also include Rising Voices and Global Voices Advocacy.
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GoodGuide: Helping to identify green products
GoodGuide provides the world’s largest, most reliable source of information on the health, environmental and social impacts of the products in your home – and enables you to take actions to help improve the world when shopping.
GoodVision: Specializing in CSR
GoodVision is an Israeli consulting company that specializes in planning and managing corporate social responsibility proccesses in firms and governmental agencies. Two of its community efforts include:
• The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire, a U.S.-based resource for news about CSR., which describes itself as “a transnational civil society platform [that] empowers citizens, unites civil society and democratically embeds global business practices.”
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grsssroots A catalyst for positive social change
The mission of is to serve as a catalyst for positive social change by leveraging modern technologies and best business practices. provides nonprofit organizations with free, valuable technologies and resources to increase their efficiency and productivity.
GreaterGood Network: Protecting people, animals & the planet
Since 1999, the GreaterGood Network has used online marketing to help people, animals and causes in need. Today, with more than 4 million fans on Facebook, GreaterGood’s power to unite communities that care continues to grow. Through campaigns at its Take Action Center, GreaterGood reaches out to a broad scope of people interested in a specific cause, generating valuable, targeted email lists for its clients. Petitions at the Take Action Center cover a wide variety of issues and causes. More than 5 million people a month visit the GreaterGood Network of websites including The Animal Rescue Site, The Breast Cancer Site, The Child Health Site, The Hunger Site, The Literacy Site and The Rainforest Site.
Guidestar: A database of charities & nonprofits
Guidestar is a centralized database of financial information about nonprofit organizations. It’s the definitive resource for nonprofits, donors, media, researchers and businesses looking for information about nonprofits and authentication of charities’ legal status.
HandsOn Network: Changing lives through service
HandsOn Network inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. This network leads people from impulse to action, turning their ideas for change into impactful projects, like wheelchair ramp construction, watershed protection projects and tutoring programs.
IdeaEncore: Where nonprofits share, learn & earn
The IdeaEncore Network is a nonprofit resource center that increases the benefits of sharing and lowers the barriers to sharing, allowing organizations to learn more directly, more deeply and more efficiently. IdeaEncore offers free and easy registration, online file sharing, some free file downloads and free file browsing.
Idealist: Helping people turn intentions into action
Idealist is a project of Action Without Borders, a nonprofit with offices in the United States and Argentina. Idealist is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives. Every day Idealist helps 70,000 people around the world turn their good intentions into action.
Idealware: Candid info on nonprofit software
Idealware is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides candid Consumer-Reports-style reviews and articles about software of interest to nonprofits. The organization often teams with other nonprofits, such as the Nonprofit Technology Network, to issue reports of interest to the nonprofit community.
Independent Media Center: Grassroots, non-corporate news coverage
Indymedia is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organizations that offers grassroots, non-corporate, noncommercial coverage of important social and political issues.
The Institute for Social Entrepreneurs: Serving social enterprises around the globe
The Institute for Social Entrepreneurs provides seminars, workshops and coaching services for social enterprises in the United States and around the world.
Involver: Cause marketing in social media
Involver helps companies easily market to their audiences, using a suite of marketing applications, in fast-growing communities like Facebook. Check out their Application Gallery (use two for free).
Jolkona: Make an impact with your donations
Founded in 2009, Jolkona Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that gives individuals control over their donations by connecting them to a variety of innovative projects with a one-to-one proof of impact for each donation.
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Jumo: Connecting individuals & organizations that want to change the world
Founded and directed by Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and director of online organizing for Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign, Jumo enables people to find, follow and support those working toward solutions on the ground in their community and in regions across the globe.
JustGive: The destination for online charitable giving
Make a charitable donation through JustGive, the online destination for charitable giving.
Kachingle: Crowdfunding sites you love
Kachingle is a way for readers to choose and equitably share their $5 monthly contribution with the web sites they appreciate the most.
Kaltura: Open source video
Kaltura offers an open-source platform, toolset and nearly free video hosting solution for small and large companies and nonprofits. The company’s goal is to bring interactive video to every site and to create the world’s largest distributed video network.
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Kiva: Micro-loans to entrepreneurs
Nonprofit microfinance lender Kiva supports small businesses and entrepreneurs in the developing world by generating $25 loans from members. President Premal Shah discusses how the organization allows people to loan to specific individuals, allowing them to lift themselves out of poverty.
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Leap: Bringing like-minded people together for good
UK-based Leap is a social platform that brings like-minded people together for good. They are the top guide to every fun event happening in London that benefits a good cause. Leap Anywhere TV showcases the major events. Their style of witty celebrity interviews and compelling coverage of the action raises awareness about good goings-on. LeapCR is a platform aimed specifically at companies and businesses as a way of facilitating employee volunteering as part of a wider corporate social responsibility strategy, enabling corporations to support charities in a way that lets everyone at every level get involved.
Al Gore
Live Earth: Moving the community to action
Founded by Emmy-winning producer Kevin Wall, in partnership with former Vice President Al Gore, Live Earth was built on the belief that entertainment has the power to transcend social and cultural barriers to move the world community to action. A for-profit company, Live Earth seeks to leverage the power of entertainment through events and media to ignite a global movement aimed at solving the most critical environmental issues of our time.
Maplight: Shining a light on politics & money
MAPLight is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Berkeley, Calif. Its search engine illuminates the connection between Money And Politics (MAP) via a database of campaign contributions and legislative outcomes. Its Committees Tool provides a window into special interest influence, revealing campaign contributions received by each committee member from special interest groups for key bills placed before every Congressional committee.
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Media Cause: Empowering volunteers to promote nonprofits
Media Cause is a platform for nonprofits and online media volunteers to come together and create positive change. Media Cause enables nonprofits to work with volunteers to take advantage of opportunities to use the Google Grants program, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media tactics. Face to face interaction
With 8 million members, is the poster child for using online tools to effect real-world change through local face-to-face meetups and getting people to put some skin in the game. In 2010 it introduced Meetup Everywhere as an easy way to get set up, send the word out and mobilize your constituency.
mGive: Raise money for your cause
Mobile Accord/mGive is responsible for raising more than 90 percent of all funds raised to date through mobile giving. Mobile Accord works with more than 200 nonprofit clients, including many of the nation’s top charities and new nonprofits that register every month to raise funds through mGive.
Microplace: Invest wisely, end poverty
Socially responsible investments in microfinance can alleviate global poverty. Microplace’s mission is to help alleviate global poverty by enabling everyday people to make investments in the world’s working poor.
MobileCause: A pioneer in text2give
MobileCause is one of the early pioneers of the text2give service. MobileCause provides text messaging, WAP and mobile marketing solutions for corporations, nonprofit groups and marketing agencies that seek new media ROI.
hans chung
Mokugift: Plant a tree for $1 to fight global warming
Mokugift lets you plant trees in Central America, Africa and Asia for a donation of just $1 per tree. Since the site’s launch, more than 75,000 trees have been planted. We chatted with the site’s co-founder, Hans Chung.
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movements Identify. Connect. Support
Formed during a December 2008 summit, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying, connecting and supporting grassroots digital activists from around the world. They match members of their global network with necessary resources from the technology, media, private and public sectors to foster peer to peer capacity building. hosts annual summits, regional training events and an online hub for best practices, lessons learned, discussion and news about the use of new technologies in social movements.
Mozilla Foundation
Mozilla Foundation: Powering the open source movement
The Mozilla Foundation is a global community of thousands who believe in the power of technology to enrich people’s lives. Mozilla’s code is used for some of the Internet’s most innovative applications, such as Firefox, Camino and Thunderbird.
MySociety: Exposing government data is a web shop in the UK that has been taking advantage of an increased volume of publicly available government data to give citizens better information. Rather than just create one site or application, they have built a variety of platforms to make it easier to discover MP voting patterns in the British Parliament or to help residents fix local potholes.
NABUUR: The Global Neighbour Network
NABUUR is a nonprofit that uses the Internet to enable people around the world to connect and collaborate. Online volunteers (Neighbours) are matched to and linked with Local Communities (Villages) in developing countries. For Neighbours, the focus is not on donating money but on sharing knowledge, ideas and contacts. Dairy cooperatives are formed, children are educated, health clinics are built, crops are irrigated, income is generated.
NAMAC: Supporting independent media arts
The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC) is a nonprofit association whose mission is to foster and strengthen the culture and business of independent media arts. They connect, organize and develop organizations through dialogue, collaboration, research and advocacy. Their services include production, exhibition, distribution, education, research, preservation and archive development, telecommunications and cultural policy advocacy, and they hold an annual conference for the media arts.
Net Impact: Supporting social entrepreneurs
Net Impact is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire, educate and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. More than 7,000 emerging business leaders on six continents are committed to using the power of business to improve the world.
NetSquared: Remixing the Web for social change
NetSquared, an initiative of TechSoup Global, enables social benefit organizations to leverage the tools of the social Web. Its annual conference each May brings together scores of social change makers and innovators from around the world.
Blog post: Netsquared: Helping social change campaigns
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Network for Good: Powering charitable donations
Network for Good enables nonprofits to receive online donations, track donations and recruit volunteers. A nonprofit helping nonprofits, Network for Good helps makes it easy to fundraise and give to any of the 1.5 million charities in the United States. The site features nonprofit resources, online donation forms, volunteer opportunities and more.
New Media Consortium: Sparking innovation, learning & creativity
The New Media Consortium is an international not-for-profit consortium of learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. Its hundreds of member institutions comprise some of the most highly regarded colleges and universities in the world, as well as leading museums, key research centers and forward-thinking companies.
New Media Rights
New Media Rights: Cultivating citizen media and defending online rights
New Media Rights offers free assistance and creates how-to and legal guides for questions that you may have some digital rights issues. New Media Rights answers questions about the law and technology, and provides free audio-visual equipment.
New Profit Inc.: Supporting social entrepreneurs
New Profit Inc. provides multi-year financial and strategic support to a portfolio of social entrepreneurs working the areas of education, youth development and workforce development, among others. New Profit also sponsors initiatives that bring together social innovators from across multiple sectors to increase the impact of social entrepreneurship. One of these initiatives is America Forward, a non-partisan coalition with a mission of connecting the innovative work of social entrepreneurs with policymakers at the federal level.
NGO Post: Connecting people in social welfare
NGO Post is a platform for sharing and discussing social welfare initiatives. NGO Post helps you keep up to date about topics of your interest and establish collaborations with people around the globe. At its core, NGO Post is about citizen journalism. At NGO Post, the user is the best reporter and the best filter for elevating good content, whether you are an NGO, a social worker, a social entrepreneur or simply someone interested in social issues.
NonProfit Direct: The NonProfit National Resource Directory
The NonProfit Direct: The NonProfit National Resource Directory is a one-stop shop for nonprofits looking for the resources they need to succeed. This is where nonprofits will find a free directory of those who specialize in assisting the nonprofit sector to fulfill their mission. There is also a resource library, a listing of upcoming teleseminars and information on our nonprofit membership.
Holly Ross of NTEN
NTEN: Helping nonprofits grapple with technology
The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) helps nonprofits learn how to effectively use technology and social media. You can join the network for a modest annual fee, or just sign up for the newsletter and visit the blog. The nonprofit’s offerings range from a wide range of helpful reports to We Are Media, a free learning resource compiled by Beth Kanter.
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Open Media Foundation: Media and technology training
Founded as Deproduction, a Denver-based media and technology organization, and rechristened in November 2009 as the Open Media Foundation, the nonprofit offers media and technology training and services to nonprofits and individuals in the Denver area. In recent years it has spawned Denver Open Media, the Open Media Project and a number of Web-based initiatives.
Opencast: Reshaping media into a more meaningful tool for learning
Opencast is a higher education initiative to empower institutions to make informed choices about capture, processing and distribution of audio/video; faculty to teach courses and share knowledge with students and learners worldwide without technology getting in the way; students to access and shape media into a more meaningful tool for learning; and everyone to easily find and engage with educational video, audio and other rich media from instructors around the world. Opencast oversees Matterhorn, an enterprise-level, open source podcast and rich media platform.
Open Society Institute: Building vibrant, tolerant democracies
The Open Society Institute & Soros Foundations Network works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. On a local level, OSI implements a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health and independent media.
Nick Reville
Participatory Culture Foundation: Toward democratic media
Through software and advocacy, the nonprofit Participatory Culture Foundation works to build a fairer, more open, and more democratic media space. Its key contribution to date has been Miro, an open-source video player that lets you subscribe to thousands of independent video channels. (See details on the Miro site.) We sat down with co-founder and executive director Nicholas Reville.
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Philanthropedia: Come together, give better
Philanthropedia builds robust expert networks to identify top nonprofits. The site allows people to bundle their online giving in “mutual funds” organized around causes such as global warming or childhood nutrition. No matter what the size of your donation, they make it easy for you to give better and contribute through the Foundation for Everyone. The Hewlett Foundation provided the site with $500,000 in seed money.
Pifworld: The charity platform
Pifworld is an online charity platform that bundles forces for a better world. Donations go directly to personally selected projects. Via (video) updates donors can see the change made possible. On the website visitors can donate to projects they like and act to make a change.
PincGiving: Platform for online fundraising
PincGiving helps corporations and charities with their philanthropic goals. Donate to the charity of your choice in the USA, Canada, UK and Australia; enable fundraising on your organization’s website; create a peer to peer fundraising campaign or access millions of dollars in grant money, all in the currency of your choice.
Razoo: A donor-centric giving platform
Razoo is a new way to donate and raise money online. Whether you want to donate money, run a fundraiser for your favorite nonprofit or raise money as a nonprofit, Razoo offers simple, secure tools to achieve your goals. A nonprofit based in Washington, DC, Razoo helps donors find inspiring giving opportunities and helps nonprofits and volunteers with fundraising pages, social media tools and donation processing.
salesforcefoundation Foundation: Enabling nonprofits to do great things Foundation’s ultimate goal is to disseminate the financial, technological and intellectual wealth of the organization to those in communities who need it most. Many nonprofits use its Web-based database to track members, donations and much more.
Salsa Labs
Salsa: Organize and energize people everywhere
Salsa Labs is the creator of the popular Salsa platform, an integrated, flexible, affordable set of tools to organize and energize people. From fundraising to advocacy, CRM, communications and event management, Salsa empowers thousands of nonprofits and campaigns of all sizes to achieve their online goals. Part of Salsa’s mission is to help its users become expert organizers through its robust training and online community support program. Salsa Labs builds the software that today offers services and installations supporting over 2,000 user groups’ relationships with over 50 million fans, subscribers, donors, members, activists and supporters all around the world.
Leila Chirayath
Samasource: Outsource the responsible way
Samasource is a nonprofit organization in Silicon Valley that that connects small and mid-size businesses with individuals and firms in the developing world that can perform outsourcing work, such as data entry, in a socially responsible way. They have pilot programs in Kenya, Nepal and rural India. Leila Chirayath, founder and CEO, describes how the organization acts as a marketplace to developing regions in a way that benefits local communities.
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Harnessing the crowd for social good
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SeeYourImpact: Connect with recipients of your gift may be the future of philanthropy: Give a gift. In about two weeks you’ll receive the photo and story of the person you helped, with staff on the ground capturing the moment when your gift is delivered. See the nonprofit’s stories of hope.
SixDegrees: Social networking with a social conscience enables social networking with a social conscience. Through the site, you can support your favorite charities by donating or creating fundraising badges — as well as check out the favorite causes of other people, including celebrities. There’s a 4.75% tax-deductible fee for credit card/PayPal transactions, which donors can add or deduct from their donation.
The Skoll Foundation: Live in a sustainable world of peace and prosperity
Created by Jeff Skoll in 1999, The Skoll Foundation aims to drive large scale change by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems.
Snoball: Turn any action into a donation
Through, users anywhere can create momentum around donations for their favorite charities. When a user creates a Snoball account, they instantly have the ability to pledge to over 1.7 million nonprofits, with all of their giving managed in one central location. Using the platform, users can create a parameter for giving known as a Snoball, which defines a specific condition of a donation and can be tied to a user’s interests.
Social Actions: Making causes actionable
Social Actions is a project to tie together the causes of dozens of nonprofits and cause organizations. “Our mission is to put actions in front of people who are most likely to take part,” founder and project lead Peter Deitz said.
Post: Toward a philanthropic Web
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carla schlemminger
Socialbrite: Social tools for social change
The Socialbrite team of social media experts has put together a rich Sharing Center — a deep set of resources for nonprofits and social change organizations — in addition to being a consultancy that helps nonprofits and social enterprises learn how to effectively using social media.
Post: Introducing Socialbrite: Why we’re here
Social Earth: Covering the social enterprise scene
Social Earth is a blog and social enterprise focusing on businesses that are doing good through their work.
Social Venture Network: Equipping a community of business leaders
The Social Venture Network is a network of more than 500 socially responsible business leaders committed to building a just and sustainable world through socially and environmentally sustainable business.
SocialVibe: Using brand fandom to support causes
SocialVibe is a site that connects people with brands on behalf of social causes. With SocialVibe, individuals make a positive, measurable impact for the charity of their choice just by completing branded activities. In just over a year’s time, the SocialVibe community has raised over $700,000 for more than 40 nonprofits.
Sparked: Enabling ‘micro-volunteering’ through mobile
Sparked (formerly the Extraordinaries) is a social enterprise and mobile application that allows users to perform tasks for organizations and causes in a matter of minutes. The founders are pushing the idea of “micro-volunteering,” making it possible for people to perform tasks — such as translating sites into another language, tagging museum pieces, reviewing bills for hidden pork — in their spare time.
• Full post: The Extraordinaries: Building the ‘micro-volunteering’ movement
• Full post: Tap into the collective power of your community
StartingBloc: Driving social innovation
StartingBloc educates, inspires and connects emerging leaders to drive social innovation across sectors around the globe through its online and offline network.
StayClassy: Improving fundraising efforts
StayClassy helps leaders of nonprofits build their online fundraising campaigns and increase their overall impact. One easy-to-use platform houses all of your fundraising tools.
Sunlight Foundation: Making government transparent & accountable
The Sunlight Foundation focuses on the digitization of government data and the creation of tools and Web sites to make that data easily accessible for all citizens.
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Take Part: Your part in changing the world starts here
Participant Media’s cause-based platform Take Part provides users with tools to contribute articles on important issues, start online groups and create actions that people can engage with upon reading the information. Some featured actions include hosting a fundraiser to buy nets for malaria prevention in Africa and contributing to relief efforts in Haiti.
TechSoup: A tech resource for nonprofits
TechSoup, a nonprofit organization, offers nonprofits a one-stop resource for technology needs by providing free information, resources and support. In addition to online information and resources, TechSoup offers a product philanthropy service called TechSoup Stock where nonprofits can access donated and discounted technology products provided by corporate and nonprofit technology partners.
ThinkSocial: Advancing the public interest of social media
Part of the Paley Center for Media, ThinkSocial’s mission is to connect people and ideas to advance the use of social media to address society’s most pressing challenges.
This We Know: Explore government data about your community
This We Know‘s mission is to present the information the federal government collects about every community. By publishing this data in an easy-to-understand and consistent manner, they seek to empower citizens to act on what’s known.
United We Serve: Become an agent of change
Though not a cause organization, United We Serve is an initiative from the Obama administration in which people in nonprofits, community organizations and government agencies — at the local, state and federal level — join together to enable and facilitate greater community service. People can get involved in two ways: By posting a service project to the site and engaging others who may be interested in the same issue, or by signing up for a project.
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universal giving
Universal Giving: Donate and volunteer for global causes
Universal Giving is a marketplace that allows people to give and volunteer with the top-performing projects all over the world. The organization passes along 100 percent of the donations you make to the nonprofit of your choice.
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Upworthy: Share Better
Upworthy is a social media outfit with a mission: To make meaningful stories go viral.
Volunteer Match: Find a place to volunteer
Volunteer Match helps you find volunteer opportunities with nonprofit organizations by location and interest area. It has one of the largest databases of nonprofit cause opportunities in the United States.
VolunteerSpot: Mobilize supporters quickly & easiliy
VolunteerSpot launched in spring 2009 with the mission of enabling anyone to quickly mobilize and coordinate volunteers in their community, congregation and social network. VolunteerSpot’s simple sign-up application makes it easy for community members to participate and say yes to volunteering.
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WiserEarth: Working toward a sustainable world
WiserEarth is a free online community space connecting the people, nonprofits and businesses working toward a just and sustainable world. Communities include the Culture of Peace Initiaitve, the Story of Stuff Project and the Radical Inclusion group.
Witness: See it. Film it. Change it.
Witness is an international nonprofit that uses the power of video and storytelling to open the eyes of the world to human rights abuses. Witness empowers people to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change.
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WordChanging: Connecting you to communities of action
WorldChanging is a nonprofit global network of writers and designers dedicated to creating a greener, more sustainable future. The site covers the world’s most innovative solutions to the planet’s problems and inspires readers around the world with stories of new tools, models and ideas for building a green future.
Your Cause: Fundraising through personal Web pages
The mis­sion of Your­ Cause is to empower indi­vid­u­als to change our world — leveraging your own voices, net­works and spheres of influ­ence to improve the lives of oth­ers. The ded­i­cated and accom­plished Your­Cause team is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing and facil­i­tat­ing the efforts of a car­ing member com­mu­nity and the causes they cham­pion so passionately.
Ginger Thompson
YouthNoise: Helping young people network a cause
YouthNoise equips a community of young leaders with the resources to build campaigns, amplify projects and kick off grassroots movements. The site offers a wide variety of tools, Web and mobile technologies and peer support that let members turn ideas into action in areas ranging from health to human rights, from education and the environment to poverty.
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Zazengo: Create an online campaign
Zazengo enables organizations and individuals to create powerful campaigns on any social media platform. It provides collaboration tools that enable you to participate in and track the actions and impact you create in your community. The projects can be online or at a physical location.
Deb Kaplan
Zerofootprint: Reduce your carbon footprint
Zerofootprint‘s mission is to develop the software, technology and design to achieve a massive reduction of our environmental footprint. The organization helps organizations, cities and individuals recognize their carbon footprint and take specific measures to help reduce climate change. They’re working with the cities of Toronto, Seattle, Edmonton and Ottawa to help citizens reduce their carbon footprints. For starters, check out their One Minute Calculator.
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More cause organizations

For a list of additional organizations, social enterprises and action sources, see:

Social Actions
SocialEarth’s directory of nonprofit resources
• For government-related cause organizations, see our list of Gov 2.0 sites, including Code for America, Open Congress, OpenSecrets and more.


Photos of Cause organizations in top nav are of:
• Former Vice President Al Gore, Live Earth (photo by J.D. Lasica) • Holly Ross, Nonprofit Technology Network • Leila Chirayath Janah, Samasource • Kjersten Erickson, FORGE • Premal Shah, • Marnie Webb, Tech Soup Global • Sarah Jo Neubauer, Foundation Center • Jordan Viator, Convio • Lawrence Lessig, Creative Commons (photo by Doc Searls)

Beth Kanter is CEO of Zoetica, a consultancy for nonprofits. See her profile, visit her blog, contact Beth or leave a comment.