Public Interest Impact List

December 1, 2020

Our List of the Top 21 Charities for 2021


It’s Giving Tuesday in the season of giving. And to provide a little inspiration, Ceartas Advisors is pleased to share its Public Interest Impact List of the 21 best charities for 2021.


This year has been hard for everyone. But it has been devastating for friends and neighbors who have lost loved ones or are facing health crises, financial hardship and even hunger.


America’s nonprofits offer hope and a lifeline. But too many of these groups now face financial hardships of their own.


If you are employed, if your family is healthy, and if you have the means to do so, please consider a generous and recurring gift to the great organizations below.


None of the nonprofits on our list is a household name –yet. Most operate on less than $10 million a year – and many have far fewer resources.


These groups are scrappy and looking for champions like you to help tell their stories. Your contribution will have a big impact on their ability to succeed.


What the nonprofits on our list DO have are dynamic and capable leaders. They have compelling missions that have grown in importance during the pandemic and/or that we believe are poised for important progress in the coming year.


Some are tackling problems made worse by the pandemic – hunger, homelessness and mental health. Others are protecting the most vulnerable among us, including older people.


Still others will have a critical role to play in the coming year as our nation and the world begin to build back better by developing communities, tackling the climate crisis, empowering youth and reforming our criminal justice system.


In many cases, the nonprofits on our list have pioneered and proven models that can be scaled and spread in the months ahead. In one way or another, all are working to advance the causes of social justice, inclusion and equality.


While some groups have not yet been – or cannot be – evaluated by organizations like Charity Navigator (including because they are too new or their annual revenues are too small), most routinely rank among the very best run nonprofits on measures of financial performance and transparency.Evaluate and decide for yourself.


All of the nonprofits listed are based in the United States. Some are focused regionally, others nationally. A few support programs in countries around the world.


We excluded organizations that are current or past Ceartas Advisors clients, though a Ceartas Principal does proudly volunteer on the board of one organization – HelpAge USA.


These are a few of the nonprofits WE are most excited about. But they are just some of the many causes that can use your help today and in the year ahead.


We welcome feedback on this list and your recommendations for great organizations to feature in future lists. Whatever you do, give what you can today.



21 for 2021

(in alphabetical order)


1. – environment

2.     Acadia Center ( – environment

3.     Alliance to End Hunger (– food security

4.     Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice ( – environment

5.     City First Enterprises ( –community development

6. – STEM education

7.     The Confess Project ( –mental health

8.     Crisis Text Line ( – mental health

9.     Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide ( environment

10.  HelpAge USA ( – champions the rights of older people

11.  The Innocence Project ( – criminal justice

12.  Loveland Foundation ( – mental health

13.  Low Income Investment Fund ( – community development

14.  Nashville Street Barbers ( - homelessness

15.  National Center for Transgender Equality ( – transgender rights

16.  National Immigration Law Center ( – immigration

17.  National Women’s Health Network ( – women’s health

18.  Next Century Cities ( – closing the digital divide

19.  Saving Our Next Generation ( – empowering youth

20.  The Trevor Project ( – mental health

21.  World Central Kitchen ( – food security


(Thanks to Ullash Borah for the wonderful photo of healing hands.)