Our Blog

Benj and Jessica launched a nonprofit. Follow our journey as we built a 501(c)(3) and a web site, and now usher in an endless stream of worthy charity nominees and monthly grant winners!

Shortcuts: News | Winners | Nominees

Spotlight on Food for Thought

Like us, follow, & share:

Nominee Food for Thought

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Food for Thought, nominated by donor whitelin. They reduce hunger and academic risk facing elementary children in Dare County, NC by providing healthy meals to build strong minds. You can find their web site here.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post (scroll down for social sharing icons) and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About nominee Food for Thought

Who We Are...

Hunger impedes children’s ability to think, learn and develop. The school breakfast and lunch program feed children at school but not on weekends. Recognizing the tremendous need, Food for Thought was born.

This unique all-volunteer community non-profit organization, established in December 2006, is dedicated to reducing hunger and academic risk facing elementary children in Dare County by providing healthy meals to build strong minds.

How We Help...

By providing nutritious and child-pleasing nonperishable breakfasts, lunches and snacks for elementary children who meet specific family criteria in Dare County on the weekends and holidays during the school year.

In February 2006, this all volunteer program began as a pilot serving 54 children who met specific criteria at Manteo Elementary School. The need was so great and the benefits so apparent that Food for Thought expanded in September 2006 to encompass elementary schools, preschool and secondary students. Last summer, the first weekend summer program was initiated in partnership with the area YMCA.

Today, businesses, churches, community groups, governmental officials and private citizens have joined together in this community outreach program.

Take the Food for Thought Challenge. Make a difference.

So please visit the page of nominee Food for Thought to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this short video covering who they are and what they do:

Like us, follow, & share:

June 2020 winner Color of Change

Like us, follow, & share:

Charitocracy's 46th check to June winner Color of Change for $1434

We have good news about June winner Color of Change, right after this quick update...

100 Nominees!

In June we hit the 100 nominee milestone. And the 100th nominee was none other than Color of Change! I'll blog about it soon, but here's a sneak preview of the video I made to celebrate. Unmuting is highly recommended! 🙂

100 nominees is a real accomplishment, and it's all thanks to you nominators out there. 72 of you, and counting! Thanks.

June 2020 winner Color of Change

Last night we named Charitocracy's 46th monthly winner. Congratulations to Color of Change, nominated by donor carolinatim. They design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward. You can find their web page here.

Now you have a week to further sweeten the pot with a special one-time donation of any amount, which we'll add straight to the check we write to Color of Change. (We've already received several generous pot sweeteners today, thanks!!)

Before you go, check out this short video. It shows some of the many recent changes Color of Change has helped provoke. Then feel good about your part in our collective $1434+ grant to help with their ongoing work!

Have a great July, stay safe, and be sure to log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

Like us, follow, & share:

Spotlight on Color of Change

Like us, follow, & share:

Nominee Color of Change

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Color of Change, nominated by donor carolinatim. Color of Change design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward. You can find their web site here.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post (scroll down for social sharing icons) and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About nominee Color of Change

Lately I've been doing a lot of listening and learning. I want to support our new nominees this month as best I can.

Recent events, especially the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the weeks of national and international protests that followed, have gripped the world's attention. And there are an overwhelming number of organizations rising to this occasion, many of them nonprofits or with nonprofit fundraising arms. Whether organizing and supporting protests and other events, engaging the media and raising awareness in the general public, establishing legal defense funds, or setting policy agendas to end police brutality and so many other forms of systemic racial discrimination, they're all working to accelerate change. And they're getting tangible results! Police are being charged for murder and held accountable for excessive uses of force. Cities are reconsidering the status quo for their police forces, with defunding or outright abolition part of the conversation. And perhaps most crucially, people are talking about race. Out loud.

So where does Color of Change fit into this picture? They're essentially a giant one-stop-shopping consolidator of support for a vast variety of issues impacting Black people and striving to strengthen Black political power. The campaigns, in the form of digital petitions (think MoveOn.org and Change.org), are established by Color of Change or even by individuals looking to address Black issues at the local level via their OrganizeFor.org platform.

In their own words:

Our Mission

Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization.

We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 1.7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.

Our Work

Color of Change leads campaigns that build real power for Black communities. We challenge injustice, hold corporate and political leaders accountable, commission game-changing research on systems of inequality, and advance solutions for racial justice that can transform our world.

Racial Justice: An Integrated Approach

The forces that shape our lives are interrelated. We cannot end racism in one area without tackling it in all areas. Racist policing is propped up by racist media narratives on crime and justice. Political inequality is reinforced by economic inequality. Unlivable wages and unfair hiring practices make it easier for corporations to continue to exploit Black workers and consumers.

We design winning strategies to change the written and unwritten rules in the industries that affect Black people’s lives the most and have the greatest potential to advance racial justice.

So please visit the page of nominee Color of Change to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this short video covering all the things Color of Change accomplished in 2019:

Like us, follow, & share:

Spotlight on The Movement For Black Lives

Like us, follow, & share:

Nominee The Movement for Black Lives

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee The Movement for Black Lives, nominated by donor jessica.e.pierce. M4BL is an ecosystem of individuals and organizations creating a shared vision and policy agenda to win rights, recognition, and resources for Black people. You can find their web site here. M4BL is a fiscally sponsored project of The Alliance for Global Justice.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post (scroll down for social sharing icons) and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About nominee The Movement for Black Lives

Lately I've been doing a lot of listening and learning. I want to support our new nominees this month as best I can.

Recent events, especially the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the weeks of national and international protests that followed, have gripped the world's attention. And there are an overwhelming number of organizations rising to this occasion, many of them nonprofits or with nonprofit fundraising arms. Whether organizing and supporting protests and other events, engaging the media and raising awareness in the general public, establishing legal defense funds, or setting policy agendas to end police brutality and so many other forms of systemic racial discrimination, they're all working to accelerate change. And they're getting tangible results! Police are being charged for murder and held accountable for excessive uses of force. Cities are reconsidering the status quo for their police forces, with defunding or outright abolition part of the conversation. And perhaps most crucially, people are talking about race. Out loud.

So where does M4BL fit into this picture? I see them as the broad movement's leadership hub. To use a football metaphor, M4BL is the quarterback pulling all the players into a huddle, gaining consensus on the next play, and then sending everyone off onto the field to execute a well-planned, coordinated action. They keep messages aligned to have the greatest reach and impact. They keep activities coordinated to maximize efficiency and visibility. They keep the entire movement headed in the same direction with the greatest momentum and strength in numbers.

This is what I've gleaned from my own research, but I'll go straight to the source for more details on the movement's positions:

About Us

The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), formed in December of 2014, was created as a space for Black organizations across the country to debate and discuss the current political conditions, develop shared assessments of what political interventions were necessary in order to achieve key policy, cultural and political wins, convene organizational leadership in order to debate and co-create a shared movement wide strategy. Under the fundamental idea that we can achieve more together than we can separately.

Who We Are

We are Abolitionist:

We believe that prisons, police and all other institutions that inflict violence on Black people must be abolished and replaced by institutions that value and affirm the flourishing of Black lives.
We believe in centering the experiences and leadership of the most marginalized Black people, including but not limited to those who are trans and queer, women and femmes, currently and formerly incarcerated, immigrants, disabled, working class, and poor.

We believe in transformation and a radical realignment of power:

We build kinship with one another:

We draw from political lessons, grow in our leadership, and expanding our base to build a stronger movement.

We are anti-capitalist:

We believe and understand that Black people will never achieve liberation under the current global racialized capitalist system.

Our 5 Year Plan

Project 2024: Black Power Rising

Our movement and Black communities overwhelmingly are not currently in a position to set agendas to scale, control the institutions that affect our lives, or create mechanisms to mitigate harm. This assessment should not be interpreted as a failure of our social movements, but it does expose a critical gap. Over the next 5 years, we have created a popular strategy rooted in transformative goals that can impact the millions of Black people looking for direction and leadership in this moment. Chiefly, Black governance and ultimately positioning our communities to set agendas sits at the heart of M4BL Project 2024: Black Power Rising.

So please visit the page of nominee The Movement for Black Lives to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this 3 minute video explaining the work M4BL does and how they're uniquely organized:

Like us, follow, & share:

May 2020 winner Rapha International

Like us, follow, & share:

Charitocracy's 45th check to May winner Rapha International for $1281

We have good news about May winner Rapha International, right after this quick update...

Productivity Struggle Bus

I just wanted to make it official: I've been struggling to remain productive during this pandemic. Without my house empty during the day, and without my twice weekly escapes to my favorite coffee shop / office away from home, I'm not getting as much done. I have big plans for Charitocracy, but they're progressing slowly. I do what I can each day. I don't beat myself up about it too much. I live more in the moment, and these weeks are zipping by. I look at this as (maybe?) a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really live (and be present) full-time with my family. I'm enjoying the hell out of them. Sooner or later things will go back to "normal." I'll be firing on all cylinders again. Kicking ass, taking names, growing Charitocracy. And I bet I'll miss these stay-at-home days forever after.

May 2020 winner Rapha International

Last night we named Charitocracy's 45th monthly winner. Congratulations to Rapha International, nominated by donor MADNK, who happens to be my own dear mother. (Hi, ma!) 😘 She nominated it back in October 2017, close to 3 years ago, and it's slowly made its way to the top! In fact, as of last night it was tied with Feeding America for number of votes (22.2) AND number of voters casting at least partial votes for them (25). The next tie-breaker was number of likes, where Rapha had 26 vs. Feeding America's 24. 😲 Anyway, thanks for keeping things exciting, everyone! Rapha International work to end trafficking and sexual exploitation of kids via aftercare for survivors, prevention for the vulnerable, and awareness for all. You can find their web page here.

Now you have a week to further sweeten the pot with a special one-time donation of any amount, which we'll add straight to the check we write to Rapha.

Before you go, check out this short video explaining the work and heart of Rapha International, and feel good about your part in our collective $1281+ grant to help with their ongoing work!

Have a great June, stay safe, and be sure to log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

Like us, follow, & share:

Spotlight on Feeding America

Like us, follow, & share:

Nominee Feeding America

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Feeding America's Coronavirus Response Fund, nominated by donor zardoz. Feeding America respond to the needs of individuals struggling with food insecurity in the U.S. with a mission to end the fight against hunger. You can find their web site here.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post (scroll down for social sharing icons) and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About nominee Feeding America

No One Can Thrive on an Empty Stomach

37 million people face hunger in the U.S. today — including more than 11 million children and nearly 5.4 million seniors. Hunger knows no boundaries — it touches every community in the U.S., including your own.

Working Together to End Hunger

The Feeding America network is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, working to connect people with food and end hunger. Donors, staff, and volunteers all play an important role in our efforts to end hunger in the United States.

Food today. Food security tomorrow.

In a country that wastes billions of pounds of food each year, it's almost shocking that anyone in America goes hungry. Yet every day, there are millions of children and adults who do not get the meals they need to thrive. We work to get nourishing food – from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers – to people in need. At the same time, we also seek to help the people we serve to build a path to a brighter, food-secure future.

For more than 40 years, Feeding America has responded to the needs of individuals struggling with food insecurity in this country. In times of uncertainty, we have not wavered from our mission to end the fight against hunger.

4 billion meals, one act of kindness at a time

When you support Feeding America, you are helping our nationwide network of food banks deliver programs at the front line of hunger. Programs like school-based food pantries, emergency disaster relief, and Kids’ Cafe.

Hunger is a complex issue.

When people face hunger, they often struggle to meet other basic needs as well — such as housing, employment and healthcare. That’s why Feeding America is committed to more than providing food for people in need.

So visit the page of nominee Feeding America to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out Hidden Hunger, their 3 minute film bringing to life the work they do and lives they impact:

Like us, follow, & share:

April 2020 winner Equal Justice Initiative

Like us, follow, & share:

Charitocracy's 44th check to April winner Equal Justice Initiative for $1284

We have good news about April winner Equal Justice Initiative, right after this quick update...

GuideStar Platinum 2020

Allow me to toot our own Charitocracy horn. We've once again earned GuideStar Platinum status. That's GuideStar's highest level of nonprofit transparency. If ever you want more information about how Charitocracy operates, don't be shy. We're happy to fill in any information gaps! We're an open book, so pick us up and read us.

GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency 2020

April 2020 winner Equal Justice Initiative

Last night we named Charitocracy's 44th monthly winner. Congratulations to Equal Justice Initiative, nominated by 3rd-time winning donors Alistair and Rebecca, the same power duo that nominated last month's winner! EJI work to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, challenge racial and economic injustice, and protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. You can find their web page here.

Now you have a week to further sweeten the pot with a special one-time donation of any amount, which we'll add straight to the check we write to Equal Justice Initiative.

Before you go, check out the trailer for film Just Mercy, based on the true story of winner Equal Justice Initiative's founder and director, Bryan Stevenson. Then, after you inevitably go rent it, feel good about your part in our collective $1284+ grant to help with their ongoing work!

Have a great May, stay safe, and be sure to log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

Like us, follow, & share:

Spotlight on Save The Children

Like us, follow, & share:

Nominee Save the Children

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Save the Children, nominated by donor Stephanie. Save the Children do whatever it takes to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm. You can find their web site here.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post (scroll down for social sharing icons) and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About nominee Save the Children

In the U.S. and around the world, Save the Children does whatever it takes — every day and in times of crisis — to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.

When crisis strikes and children are most vulnerable, we are always among the first to respond and the last to leave. We ensure children's unique needs are met and their voices are heard. We deliver lasting results for millions of children, including those hardest to reach. We do whatever it takes for children — transforming their lives and the future we share — because we believe every child deserves a future.

So visit the page of nominee Save the Children to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this 30 second video about Jennifer Garner's #SaveWithStories campaign. She and fellow actor Amy Adams are raising money for Save The Children, as well as December 2019 Charitocracy winner No Kid Hungry, to make sure kids can learn and get the nutrition they need while they’re out of school due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak:

Like us, follow, & share:

Spotlight on Foodshare

Like us, follow, & share:

Nominee Foodshare

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Foodshare, nominated by donor MegaMom104. Foodshare maximize access to nutritious food and resources that support food security for Greater Hartford, CT and beyond. You can find their web site here.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post (scroll down for social sharing icons) and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About nominee Foodshare

Foodshare is changing what it means to be a food bank.

Providing food for people who are hungry has been at the heart of who we are for 35 years. With food assistance as our cornerstone, we will continue this work for as long as there are people in need.

But hunger is bigger than food. Hunger is one piece of a patchwork of social issues and it needs solutions that deal with all sides of the causes and consequences. This is the work that lies ahead.

Collecting and distributing nearly 12 million meals worth of food each year through a network of partner programs gives us a stark understanding of the everyday realities of food insecurity.

This perspective is critical to creating a complete picture of the issue and establishing a shared foundation on which anti-hunger organizations, policy makers, and the broader community can build effective solutions.

We are under no illusions about the challenge we are embracing.

Hunger is indeed big. We believe the Foodshare community is bigger.

So visit the page of nominee Foodshare to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this 1 minute video bringing to life Foodshare's story:

Like us, follow, & share:

Spotlight on Equal Justice Initiative

Like us, follow, & share:

nominee Equal Justice Initiative

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Equal Justice Initiative, nominated by donors Alistair and Rebecca. EJI work to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, challenge racial and economic injustice, and protect human rights. You can find their web site here.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post (scroll down for social sharing icons) and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About nominee Equal Justice Initiative

Founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer and bestselling author of Just Mercy, EJI is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. We challenge the death penalty and excessive punishment and we provide re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people.

EJI works with communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment. We are committed to changing the narrative about race in America. EJI produces groundbreaking reports, an award-winning wall calendar, and short films that explore our nation’s history of racial injustice, and we recently launched an ambitious national effort to create new spaces, markers, and memorials that address the legacy of slavery, lynching, and racial segregation, which shapes many issues today.

EJI provides research and recommendations to assist advocates and policymakers in the critically important work of criminal justice reform. We publish reports, discussion guides, and other educational materials, and our staff conduct educational tours and presentations for thousands of students, teachers, faith leaders, professional associations, community groups, and international visitors every year.

So visit the page of nominee Equal Justice Initiative to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this 1 minute video featuring the cast of the 2019 film Just Mercy. It's based on the true story bestselling book of the same name by Equal Justice Initiative's founder and director, Bryan Stevenson:

Like us, follow, & share: