Your Charity Money In Action

People give when they know it will buy something tangible. We asked directors at five organizations to tell us what donations from $50 to $50K would accomplish.


Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong

Executive Vice President of Mission Andy Miller
Mission: Cancer Research and Support

$50: Would purchase one tank of gas for Ride with Emilio, a program that provides free transportation for low-income pediatric oncology patients to and from the hospital.

$100: Can provide 60 cancer survivors with educational and online resources and support for a year.

$500: Can buy a month of the LiveStrong Cancer Clinical Trial Matching Service, matching 45 cancer survivors to clinical trials that work to find safer, more effective treatments.

$50,000: Can provide physical-activity programs for a year to 49 YMCA locations participating in LiveStrong. That covers 2,400 cancer survivors unable to pay.

Where to Give:

ShelterBox USA

Executive Director Veronica Brandon Miller

ShelterBoxes delivered in the Democratic Republic of Congo
ShelterBoxes delivered in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Courtesy of ShelterBox)

Mission: International Disaster Relief

$50: Would almost buy the cookware and tools that go into a ShelterBox, which ultimately can provide basic survival essentials for ten people after a natural disaster.

$100: Would just about cover the blankets, water-purification tablets, and water containers for one box.

$500: Would cover the empty container, a family tent, and the cost of transporting the box, depending on the location of the disaster.

$50,000: Would allow us to supply about 50 complete boxes, the difference between life and death to 500 people in a disaster like Southeast Asia's 2004 tsunami.

Where to Give:


Director of Major Gifts Priscilla Bayley

Courtesy of Josh Mogerman/NRDC
Grand Teton (Courtesy of Josh Mogerman/NRDC)

Mission: Environmental Advocacy

$50: Would allow us to plant five trees in Costa Rica on the donor's behalf, supporting the restoration of the rainforest.

$100: Could print and distribute 100 of our fact sheets, which are packed with science and one of our best ways of disseminating truthful information.

$500: Could help activists in Patagonian Chile put together a media event to battle the proposed construction of a massive hydroelectric dam that threatens to displace communities.

$50,000: Would purchase and deploy solar-powered lanterns in India for seven rural villages without electricity, to provide a clean alternative to kerosene.

Where to Give:

Access Fund

Executive Director Brady Robinson

The Dihedrals in Chattanooga, Tennessee
The Dihedrals in Chattanooga, Tennessee (Courtesy of Andrew Kornylak)

Mission: Climbing Conservation

$50: Allows us to print and mail 57 issues of the Vertical Times, our free publication that alerts members and nonmembers to action-alerts policy and climbing-area reports.

$100: Buys one day of the policy director visiting and lobbying politicians and agency bureaucrats to educate them on issues important to climbers, like land access.

$500: Could fund a startup grant to get a new local climbing organization up and running, including 501(c)(3) filing.

$50,000: Could fund the purchase of a climbing area in the Southeast or pay the annual salary (including taxes and benefits) of a staff person.

Where to Give:

Doctors Without Borders

USA Board President Matthew Spitzer, M.D.

Malaria treatment in Sierra Leone

Malaria treatment in Sierra Leone

Mission: Disaster Medical Care

$50: Can treat 50 adults or 100 children under age five with artemisinin combination therapy (ACT), a safe and effective treatment for malaria.

$100: Can purchase seven rapid meningitis tests to help teams detect an epidemic, such as in Nigeria, Niger, and Chad, where we vaccinated 7.5 million people this year.

$500: Purchases a sustainable shelter for two refugee families forced to flee their homes due to war or violence, like those in Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

$50,000: Funded our response to a 2007 cholera outbreak in Uganda. In ten weeks we treated 850 patients and supplied clean drinking water to 3,000 people at risk.

Where to Give:

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