10 D.C. charities that WANT your un-downtime


Let’s admit it; when it comes to giving back, people are a tad less motivated to take action than they would like to admit.

So we’ve made it easy. If you want to volunteer or donate (and know that your money is going somewhere good) we’ve listed ten organizations with high volunteer retention rates and high ethicality rating according to The Charity Navigator. 


SOME, short for So Others Might Eat, is a faith-based organization that aims to bring the bare necessities to people experiencing homelessness. It offers drug counseling, food, housing, clothing, healthcare, and more in order to break the cycle of homelessness.

Their ratings:

4 stars Financial: 97.50/100

Overall score: 98.23/100 Transparency: 100/100


2: Miriam’s Kitchen

Miriam’s Kitchen helps provide healthy meals, case management, advocacy, housing services, and an outreach team to work towards ending “chronic homelessness.”

Their ratings:

4 stars Financial: 85.90/100

Overall score: 90.02/100 Transparency: 100/100


3: Higher Achievement

Higher Achievement was voted one of D.C.’s best places to volunteer in 2014. It is an after school program that offers life coaching and tutoring for middle school students.

Their ratings:

3 stars Financial: 73.21/100

Overall score: 80.42/100 Transparency: 93/100


4: Food & Friends

Food & Friends cares for a community of people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses by customizing meals to each person’s nutrition requirements. Their volunteer opportunities include meal and grocery deliveries, food preparation and packaging, special events, and administrative support.

Their ratings: 3 stars Financial: 85.43/100

Overall score: 89.31/100 Transparency: 96/100


5: KaBOOM!

KaBOOM helps works to transform cities into safer play areas for kids. Particularly within low-income communities children tend to miss out on staying active and exercising mental imagination. KaBOOM builds playgrounds, provides grants, and accesses neighborhoods on how “playable” they are.

Their ratings: 4 stars Financial: 87.01/100

Overall score: 90.81/100 Transparency: 100/100


6: The National Environmental Education Foundation

NEEF works to educate as many American’s they can about environmental conservation in order to protect our planet and plan for a more sustainable future.

Their ratings: 4 stars Financial: 84.21/100

Overall score: 88.48/100 Transparency: 96/100


7: Bright Beginnings

Bright Beginnings is a day-care for homeless infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in D.C. You can donate, volunteer, attend upcoming events, support one of their campaigns or offer gifts.

Their ratings: 3 stars Financial: 100/100

Overall score: 89.39/100 Transparency: 85/100


8: Beyond Borders

Beyond Borders supports  ending child slavery in Haiti, preventing violence against women and girls, providing universal quality education, and supporting sustainable livelihoods.

Their ratings: 3 stars Financial: 80/100

Overall score: 85.85 Transparency: 100/100


9: D.C. Central Kitchen

D.C. Central Kitchen is D.C.’s favorite places to volunteer. You can also donate. The program recycles food to feed the hungry, trains aspiring and unemployed chefs, and serves healthy school meals.

Their ratings: 3 stars Financial: 83.13/100

Overall rating: 88.07 Transparency: 100/100


10: Rebuilding Together

Rebuilding Together improves the safety and health of low-income homeowners and revitalizes their communities. You can donate, volunteer, or become a partner!

Their ratings: 4 stars Financial: 88.38/100

Overall rating: 91.31/100 Transparency: 96/100



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