If you've bought all your holiday presents but still happen to be in the mood for giving, why not take a look at the best lesbian charity to donate to this holiday? I already brought you the best LGBT nonprofit of the season, but there are dozens of organizations out there doing everything they can to help out the LGBT community. How are you supposed to pick just one?
The good news is that you don't. The Los Angeles LGBT Center may be one of the most inclusive and influential LGBT nonprofits out there, but there are plenty of others that have more specific goals — like, say, organizations centered around the "lesbian" aspect of LGBT. After all, that's part of intersectional feminism: Each identity has its own list of prejudices to face and issues to address. The LGBT umbrella brings us all together, but someone who is transgender has different needs than someone who is a lesbian, and their experiences both differ from those of someone who is bisexual, and so forth.
There are plenty of wonderful organizations out there, from the Human Rights Campaign to the Point Foundation, and in a perfect world, we could donate freely. However, if you're looking to donate to a charity that specifically services the lesbian population, one lesbian-focused nonprofit clearly rises above the rest: The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (ALFJ). Let's take a look at why it should be on the top of your donations list this holiday.
What Is It?
In 1977, a group of women came together and decided that if nobody else would focus on the needs of lesbians and women of color, they would do it themselves. Almost 40 years later, the ALFJ has branded itself as the "only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI human rights around the globe," often through grants and support of lesbian leadership.
"We work for racial, economic, social, and gender justice, because we all deserve to live our lives freely, without fear, and with dignity," their mission statement reads.
What Does It Do?
Since its creation, the ALFJ has given over $18 million in grants and donations in 81 countries around the world, largely focusing on those that have the "least access to financial resources." Although many grants are related to economic justice and addressing systemic change, the organization also understands the relationship between art and activism, which they fund as well. While the ALFJ focuses on lesbians, but it also fights for racial justice and supports the trans community. In fact, the Astraea Intersex Fund is one of the first organizations to specifically be created with intersex individuals in mind.
Other specific programs include the Global Philanthropy Project, which supports "philanthropic advisors working collectively to expand financial resources to support LGBTI human rights," and the LGBTQI Racial Justice Fund, which advocates for LGBTQI communities of color in the U.S.
Where Does Your Money Go?
The ALFJ received a 92.2 out of 100 on Charity Navigator, with a financial accountability score of 96. According to the Navigator, 88.9 percent of the organization's expenses are used to fund programs and grants; the rest is used in fundraising and administrative matters. "By every metric available, Astraea uses the money it raises wisely," Queerty writes.
How Do I Donate?
To donate, head over to the ALFJ website, where there's a donation button on the right side of the page.
Images: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr