Are you looking for a way to give back to the LGBT community this season? Finding the perfect place to donate can be overwhelming, especially when you want to give to all of them, but never fear — I'm here today to tell you all about the one LGBT charity you should donate to this holiday season. After all, 'tis the time for giving: Giving yourself an ulcer buying presents; giving your vodka-loving aunt the chance to drink vodka at someone else's house; and giving to your favorite charities before you accidentally spend your entire holiday bonus on seasonally appropriate lattes. The money's going to disappear anyway; you might as well give it to people rather than your coffee addiction, right?
Ideally we could afford to give to as many organizations as we wanted, but unfortunately that's typically only an option for people with unfathomable sums of money. As it is, most of us are stuck trying to decide between dozens of charities, all of which could put our money to excellent use. Even if you narrow it down to just those that benefit the LGBT community, there are plenty of important, hard-working organizations out there: The Human Rights Campaign, the Point Foundation, the Victory Institute, and more. How are you supposed to decide?
After careful consideration, however, one organization rises above the rest: The world-famous Los Angeles LGBT Center (LALGBTC). Let's take a look at why it's one of the best places to donate this year.
What Is It?
Although the Center is located in Los Angeles, it's actually the world's largest provider of programs and services for the LGBT community. Formerly known as the Gay Community Services Center, the nonprofit's mission is to create a a world "where LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal and complete members of society." When they say LGBT people, they mean all LGBT people — the organization's programs benefit everyone from LGBT youth to the elderly, and everyone in between. Plus, it was the first openly LGBT organization to be designated as a tax-exempt nonprofit. What's not to love?
What Does It Do?
The LALGBTC's programs fall into four categories: Social services and housing; health; culture and education; and leadership and advocacy. Social services, for instance, includes coming out support workshops, hate crime assistance, and domestic violence services. Culture and education includes an anti-bullying program that expanded nationwide earlier this fall, and the LALGBTC is one of the only federally qualified health center specifically for LGBT individuals. Even the advocacy programs are extensive, with multiple options to choose from.
Where Does Your Money Go?
According to Charity Navigator, the Center received a score of 94 out of 100 for its financial practices, and an 89 for accountability and transparency. The same report writes that 94 percent of the LALGBT's total expenses are spent on its programs and services, with most of the remaining money going to fundraising activities. If you want to check it out for yourself, the nonprofit publishes financial reports every year.
How Do I Donate?
If you're interested in donating, just head over to the LALGBTC website, where there's a giant honkin' donation button in the upper right corner. From there, you can decide to keep it as a one-time donation or repeat it monthly.
In short, if you're looking for an inclusive charity, the LALGBTC is your best bet. Now go donate before you spend all that money on coffee instead!