I was inspired by DJ Capelis's post to discuss the nonprofits and funds I'm supporting this year and the reasons behind my choices.
A few themes -
Nonprofits are an important part of society in that they bring together people who have been thinking about and working on specific problems for a long time.
However - Nonprofits are not the answer to every problem and are not going to be able to right or even mitigate every harm. This is not the computer networking - there is no "routing around" damage here and now.
A focus on legal organizations - Legal organizations (like the ACLU and EarthJustice) work through litigation, lobbying, and comment on rulemaking.
Legal victories do not stand alone; at best they can buy space and time for public action and consensus to cement rulings or rules into the society.
Allocation - Approximately half my donations are to civil organizations and half are to Environmental/Climate Change organizations
Of note - the ACLU is actually two organizations, a 501c4 (The American Civil Liberties Union) and a 501c3 (The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation). The 501c4 can spend on lobbying where the Foundation cannot, so I give to them.
I consider climate change to be a unique, grave threat. Environmental systems have complex dynamics and momentum - delayed intervention has been and will be much more expensive than earlier intervention and may be limited to mitigation.