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Friday, March 30, 2018

Things We Love: Philanthropy Inspired by Friends

At Charity Navigator, we believe you can find charitable inspiration anywhere. That’s why, from time to time, we feature a list of highly-rated charities inspired by one of our favorite things, like a book or a TV show.

Today, we’re finding inspiration in the 90s hit we all love to binge watch on Netflix: Friends.

Friends’ cast of unique, lovable characters make for philanthropic inspiration anyone can relate to.

In the first season, after Ross’ wife leaves him, he adopts a capuchin monkey, Marcel, to keep him company. Eventually, Ross realizes a Manhattan apartment isn’t an ideal home for a monkey and finds him a new home at the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo Global
Our driving vision: We will lead the fight against extinction!

Founded in 1916, San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG) operates the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and Institute for Conservation Research. SDZG is committed to saving species worldwide by uniting our expertise in animal care and conservation science with our dedication to inspiring passion for nature. Our vision: to lead the fight against extinction!

The 100-acre Zoo is home to over 4,000 rare and endangered animals representing more than 800 species and subspecies. 

The Safari Park is an expansive wildlife sanctuary that is home to more than 3,500 animals representing more than 400 species. 

The Institute, the world's largest zoo-based conservation research division, is dedicated to preserving and protecting rare and endangered wildlife and habitats. Through our science and curatorial efforts, we have reintroduced many species back to their native rangelands. 

The education programs at the Zoo and Park reach more than 425,000 school children every year.

Rachel’s first job was as a waitress at the gang’s favorite coffee shop, Central Perk. But her persistence and love of fashion later led to jobs at Bloomingdale’s and Ralph Lauren. 

Dress for Success Worldwide
Going places. Going strong.

Dress for Success is an international not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Since starting operations in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to almost 145 cities in 20 countries. To date, Dress for Success has helped more than 925,000 women work towards self-sufficiency.

Fans of the show will remember the episode where Monica makes multiple kinds of mashed potatoes to appease everyone’s Thanksgiving preferences and the one where she makes a dozen lasagnas and ends up passing them out to all of their friends and guests.

New York Common Pantry
☆☆☆ + Impact
An uncommon solution to hunger

The New York Common Pantry is dedicated to reducing hunger throughout New York City while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency.

Chandler is known for his classic one-liners and sarcasm. In one episode the gang bets that he can’t go a week without making fun of them. At the end of the episode, he loses, paying the bet, and unleashing all of the jokes he had been saving up.

Comic Relief, Inc.
☆☆☆ + Impact
Driving positive change through the power of entertainment

In line with its vision, Comic Relief USA makes grants to charity partners that support people living in poverty in America and some of the poorest communities in the world. In addition to running fundraising campaigns such as Red Nose Day, Comic Relief USA is also the charity behind other campaigns such as Idol Gives Back, Hand in Hand: a Benefit for Hurricane Relief, and British Airways' Flying Start in the USA.

Comic Relief USA's aim is to bring about real and lasting change by tackling the root causes of poverty and social injustice. To drive this change, Comic Relief USA delivers grants to charity partners that support people living in poverty in America and some of the poorest communities in the world.

Years later, it’s still unclear what they were feeding smelly cat. What is clear, though, is that Phoebe made fans laugh with her quirky musical style and painfully honest lyrics. And, who can't remember her teaching Joey how to play guitar chords like "bear claw" and "old lady"?

Education Through Music, Inc. (New York)
☆☆☆ + Impact
Promoting and supporting music instruction in disadvantaged schools

Founded in 1991, Education Through Music (ETM) promotes and supports music instruction in disadvantaged schools in order to enhance students' academic performance and general development. ETM forms long-term partnerships with inner-city elementary and middle schools that lack the resources to develop school-wide music programs. We ensure high-quality instruction by hiring qualified music teachers, providing ongoing training, and performing regular program assessments. We encourage academic teachers and music teachers to collaborate so that music can reinforce learning and development in all areas. And we help schools embrace music as a core subject by involving all members of the school community. ETM provides advisory services to organizations and schools around the United States, including ETM-LA, Inc., an organization founded in 2006, which we have licensed to implement our model in Los Angeles.

Throughout the show, Joey struggles to find and keep work as an actor. His resume includes everything from a musical about Dr. Freud to a stint on Days of Our Lives.

New York Theatre Workshop
Developing innovative theatre

Founded in 1979, New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) provokes, produces and cultivates the work of artists whose visions inspire and challenge all of us. NYTW is committed to the development of innovative theatre by supporting theatre artists at all stages of their careers, providing an environment where work can be created free from the artistic compromise and forbidding financial demands often associated with commercial ventures. Over the past two decades, NYTW has evolved to become a significant force in New York City's vibrant cultural landscape and is now recognized as one of the leading producing theatres of original work in the United States.

What do you think of our list? Is there another charity you think the Friends would love? If so, leave a comment!

And, always remember, you can use Charity Navigator’s Advanced Search Tool to find even more highly-rated charities.

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