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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Charity Navigator Talks Highly-Rated Charities Delivering School Supplies

The first few weeks of August signal for the start of back-to-school shopping. Kids, and adults, alike are headed back to the classroom, but there are many families for whom back-to-school shopping is a financial burden. The numerous “Classroom supplies” lists that families can receive have the potential to be overwhelming. Charity Navigator has put together a list of charities helping families receive school supplies, so kids can head back to school with the supplies they need to start their school year.

Kids In Need Foundation is a four-star rated charity that “works to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed by providing free school supplies nationally to students most in need.” KINF works with United Ways across the country to receive school supplies through their drives, as well as with Resource Centers to directly give teachers school supplies for their students. In over twenty years, KINF has given out over $900 million in supplies! There are many ways to get involved with KINF — if you’re interested in learning more, head over to their ‘Ways to Give’ page.
DonorsChoose is a four-star rated charity that was founded close to twenty years ago by a high school teacher in the Bronx. Public school teachers from across the country request much needed materials for their students — individuals are able to donate to specific projects that are searchable by topic, teacher, school, and area. DonorsChoose also filters for the “Most Urgent Projects,” which have the highest economic need, are closest to being completed, and have the fewest days left.
United Way Worldwide is a three-star charity whose mission is to “live united.” Many United Way chapters hold school supply drives, and UWW even highlighted three steps to a successful school supply drive a few years ago on their blog. A lot of chapters hold a “Stuff the Bus” event (where the community seeks to fill an entire school bus with school supplies), have parents to fill out backpack requests, or have annual school supply drives with their local community.
The Boys & Girls Club of America is a four-star rated charity that works to “help make great futures for America’s youth.” From after school programs to school supply drives, BGCA is known across the country for being a leader in providing programs and resources to help kids thrive. They’ve partnered with Lowe’s since 2009 to provide grants to Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. They hold a drive every year on their website to collect funds for Back-to-School.
Operation Homefront is a four-star rated charity serving America’s military families. Every year, they have a “Back-to-School Brigade,” which distributes backpacks filled with school supplies to military kids across the country. For the past two years, they’ve worked with Dollar Tree to set out collection barrels across the country. Last year, Operation Homefront gave out over twenty-five thousand backpacks to kids.

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