So you may have gotten misty-eyed at Idol Gives Back. It’s a great show for a great cause. But we don’t want to neglect other good charitable/social entrepreneurship organizations out there because we’re momentarily inspired by TV Land. If you’re in the giving spirit due to Ryan Seacrest and the gang, here are a few good philanthopies — ones that focus on more than alms, and are designed to help create sustainable means of subsistence and opportunity (in no particular order):
1. Kiva – Individual to Individual micro-lending.
2. Ashoka – Organization devoted to fostering social entrepreneurship.
3. Omidyar Network – Org devote to investing in social entrepreneurship.
4. Prosper – Domestic micro-lending.
5. Grameen Foundation – Non-prof arm of the original microlender devised by Nobel Prize winner Mohammed Yunus.
6. Open World – Helping people in the third world develop free zones, technology and property rights institutions.
7. Mercy Corps – Helps the very poor while supporting the benefits of trade.
8. Heifer International – Helps people gain property in valuable livestock.
9. Red Cross – New CEO, great brand, good work.
10. City Year – Diverse set of people spend a year mentoring, teaching and giving.
Just think of how much these organizations could grow/do if the government didn’t take so much of our money.