9 Best Charities That Provide Financial Help (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities That Provide Financial Help (Complete 2024 List)

By
Alycia O'Dell

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From direct cash transfers to economic empowerment, there are several reasons one might require financial help. For example, while impoverished and underserved communities often rely on cash and livelihood assistance to ensure food security, some families find themselves in need after unforeseen circumstances, like sudden illness, job loss, or natural disaster. Moreover, services that enhance financial literacy or improve access to education can help break the cycle of poverty. So, we had to ask: What are the best charities that provide financial help?

The best charities that provide financial help are the HeathWell Foundation and the Salvation Army. Charities such as Scholarship America and the United Negro College Fund provide financial help to students seeking higher education.

Whether you want to offset the cost of medical treatment, help vulnerable adults maximize their insurance benefits, or ensure families facing eviction or foreclosure can stay in their homes, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that provide financial help are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to contribute.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Provide Financial Help Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact, transparency ratings, and achievements.

They operate internationally to provide financial help to individuals and families in need.

Many of these charities provide direct cash assistance to those facing sudden or ongoing financial insecurity, while others promote financial literacy and economic empowerment.

Some focus on specific financial needs, like medical treatment or disaster relief, while others provide financial help wherever it is needed most. Some distribute funds directly to families in need, while others award grants to NGOs to best meet the needs of their individual communities.

Yet, they all share the same goal of providing financial help.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Provide Financial Help in 2024

Below are our favorite charities that provide financial help (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

HealthWell Foundation: Bridging the Financial Gap to Healthcare

Logo for HealthWell Foundation
Celebrating 20 Years of Help, Healing and Hope

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The HealthWell Foundation holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

When health insurance is not enough.

HealthWell Foundation

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What they do:

The HealthWell Foundation alleviates the financial burden of medical care by providing grants to assist with costs such as prescription copays, surgeries, and pediatric treatment. They offer grants through their Disease Funds, and grants are awarded to individual applicants based on eligibility. For example, their Pediatric Assistance Fund is open to parents of children living with chronic or life-altering conditions and covers biological therapies, as well as other treatment-related costs. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the HealthWell Foundation has awarded more than $4.1 billion in financial support to over 930,000 underinsured patients across more than 1.5 million grants. And, in 2023, they received more than $730 million in individual and corporate contributions, allowing them to distribute over $1 billion in medication copayments and insurance premium assistance and serving more than 203,300 individuals in need.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the HealthWell Foundation via their website. You can also keep up to date with their work and achievements by following the charity on their social media pages

2

The Salvation Army: A Fresh Start through Financial Help

Logo for The Salvation Army
We Are There | The Salvation Army

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The Salvation Army holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator as well as a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Doing the most good.”

The Salvation Army

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What they do:

The Salvation Army provides financial help to individuals, families, and communities following unforeseen circumstances. For example, they provide rent, mortgage utility, and prescription drug assistance to struggling families. They also respond to disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires, and tornadoes by providing emergency financial assistance to help victims purchase and replace critical items like medicines, clothing, and home-repair supplies, as well as offset the cost of temporary housing. Furthermore, their Holiday Giving program supports vulnerable families throughout the holiday season by providing food items, gifts, and financial assistance.

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What they’ve achieved:

Today, in the US alone, The Salvation Army helps nearly 24 million people each year as they navigate their most dire times of need, including financial insecurity. For example, since their founding, they have provided emergency shelter and housing for more than 8 million people, served more than 155 million meals, and provided rent and utility assistance to over 3 million families in need. In 2023 alone, they prevented more than 233,000 evictions by distributing $140 million across 232,000 individuals and families and also provided more than $143 million in utility assistance.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to The Salvation Army via their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering or fundraising.

3

Scholarship America: Ensuring Student Success

Logo for Scholarship America
We Are Scholarship America

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Scholarship America holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator as well as a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Scholarship America is here to help you break down barriers, open doors, and access scholarships that help you succeed in life.

Scholarship America

⚒️

What they do:

Scholarship America provides financial help for students to achieve their college dreams by working directly with students, parents, colleges, businesses, and communities. For example, they provide Scholarship Management Services to help corporations, foundations, and individuals maximize their philanthropic impact, from designing custom scholarship programs to managing the administration of funds. Also, their Dollars for Scholars program supports a network of community-based scholarship organizations dedicated to ensuring local scholarships go to local students. Moreover, they provide resources for students to bolster their success, including topics like scholarship application tips and finding a mentor. And, they provide emergency grants to help students stay in school in the face of unforeseen circumstances.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Scholarship America has distributed $5.4 billion in scholarships to more than 3 million students, making them the nation’s largest and most experienced provider of private scholarships. In 2022 alone, they distributed more than $303 million across more than 100,000 students through custom scholarships, emergency grants, Dollars for Scholars affiliates, and more. For example, their custom Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship awarded $16 million across 400 recipients, while their Dollars for Scholars network awarded almost 21,000 scholarships, valued at $25.5 million in total.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Scholarship America through their website where you can also support specific programs, like emergency grants or their Dream Award. In addition, you can volunteer with your local Dollars for Scholars affiliate.

4

United Negro College Fund: Enhancing African American Higher Education

Logo for United Negro College Fund
UNCF's Promise: The Promise of Black Higher Education

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The United Negro College Fund holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

United Negro College Fund

⚒️

What they do:

The United Negro College Fund helps African American students and Historically Black Colleges and Universities through financial support and advocacy. For example, they award more than 10,000 scholarships and internships to Black and minority students annually. Furthermore, their Institute for Capacity Building provides direct and technical support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions. They also advocate for local and federal policies that remove barriers to higher education and promote college readiness within the African American Community.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the United Negro College Fund has helped more than 500,000 students earn their college degrees. Furthermore, their 37 member schools educate more than 50,000 students each year, and their graduates account for over 17% of all bachelor degrees earned by African American students. And, in 2015, their advocacy efforts contributed to an increase of $32 million in federal funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other minority-serving institutions.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the United Negro College Fund via their website. You can also contribute by registering to participate in events, or by volunteering with a local affiliate.

5

AARP Foundation: Economic and Financial Guidance for Older Adults

Logo for AARP Foundation
Senior Poverty By the Numbers - Part 1

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The AARP Foundation holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“For a future without senior poverty.”

AARP Foundation

⚒️

What they do:

The AARP Foundation works with older, vulnerable adults to increase their income and decrease expenditures to avoid poverty. For example, their Work for Youself@50+ program helps older adults explore options for self-employment and provides them with tools for success. As another example, they operate AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, the largest free, volunteer-run tax assistance program in the US, helping older adults file taxes accurately and with maximum benefit. The organization also offers in-demand skills training and food security resources, as well as advocating for policies that protect the finances of vulnerable adults.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the AARP Foundation has increased economic opportunity for and protected the finances of millions of vulnerable older adults, serving almost 950,000 individuals in 2022 alone. In the same year, their Tax-Aide program secured over $374 million in tax refunds and credits for more than 693,000 older adults with low income. Furthermore, their workforce programs helped to generate more than $125 million for financially vulnerable seniors.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the AARP Foundation via their website. You can also support the organization by volunteering.

6

Save the Children: Supporting Students in Rural America

Logo for Save the Children
I Am The Future | Save the Children TV Advert

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Save the Children holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

All children deserve a healthy start in life.”

Save the Children

⚒️

What they do:

Save the Children provides financial help to struggling families around the world through direct cash assistance and economic empowerment. For example, they enhance food security in underserved communities by providing cash and voucher assistance to help families afford healthy food and protect their livelihoods. As another example, they provide cash assistance following both natural disasters and humanitarian crises, like the 2022 Kentucky Floods and the ongoing War in Ukraine. Furthermore, they help increase access to education for children facing inequality and discrimination through cash transfer programming, child protection case management, and behavioral change.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Save the Children has changed the lives of over 1 billion children through their programs, including providing financial help. In 2022 alone, they provided $165 million in cash and voucher assistance to struggling families around the world. For example, they distributed over $17 million to 136,500 families in Afghanistan. Furthermore, they are continuously developing new ways to improve cash assistance distribution; for example, in the same year, they launched U-CAN, a digital cash platform in Ukraine to expand their reach.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Save the Children via their website. You can also participate in a fundraiser, volunteer, or sponsor a child.

7

New Moms: Strengthening Moms to Strengthen Families

Logo for New Moms

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

New Moms holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

We envision a future where every young family thrives.”

New Moms

⚒️

What they do:

New Moms utilizes a comprehensive approach to support young mothers, including providing financial help. For example, their College Success program supports young mothers pursuing postsecondary education through monthly stipends, childcare support, and coaching. Also, their Family Support program helps young mothers build their parenting skills through services like in-home coaching and support groups. In addition, they offer a paid job training program through their own candle company, Bright Endeavors, where young mothers build their job skills and career readiness. Furthermore, their Housing program provides both transitional and permanent housing in a safe environment, where mothers work with a family coach to set goals for the future.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, New Moms has supported thousands of young mothers in Chicago with resources and financial aid. For example, in 2022, they served 309 mothers and their 386 children on the journey to independence and stability, including providing 40,212 nights of shelter across 74 families and helping 87 young mothers obtain permanent employment. And, they expanded their reach nationwide by launching The Hub @ New Moms, a project to provide their Executive Skills Training and Consulting to human services organizations. To date, they have trained 2,070 practitioners across the US.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to New Moms via their website. You can also support the organization by volunteering, fundraising, or purchasing branded merchandise or Bright Endeavors products.

8

National Urban League: Promoting Economic Empowerment

Logo for National Urban League
National Urban League in Action

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Their transparency & ratings:

The National Urban League holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Uplifting and empowering African Americans since 1910.”

National Urban League

⚒️

What they do:

The National Urban League provides financial help to underserved families in America through programs aimed at economic empowerment. For example, their Education and Employment initiatives include programs that provide scholarships, promote professional development, and break the cycle of poverty for previously incarcerated individuals. As another example, their Restore Our Homes program helps struggling families avoid home foreclosure through financial assistance, mortgage counseling, and advocacy. Moreover, their Financial Empowerment Center provides services to help low and middle-income families reach financial stability, including increasing access to public benefits and direct financial aid.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Today, the National Urban League operates a network of 92 affiliate offices in 37 US states, serving over 300 African American communities. For example, since 2013, they have impacted the lives of over 22 million people across all of their programs, with more than 3 million benefiting from their education services. As another example, their Restore Our Homes program has served 100,000 families, 71% of whom were able to prevent foreclosure of their homes.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the National Urban League via their website. You can also contribute by volunteering to be a mentor, purchasing branded merchandise, or joining their digital community.

9

Center For Disaster Philanthropy: Maximizing the Impact of Every Dollar

Logo for Center for Disaster Philanthropy
#CDPPlaybook: Our Story

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator as well as a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Supporting equitable disaster recovery worldwide.”

Center for Disaster Philanthropy

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What they do:

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy provides financial help following disasters through strategic grantmaking that allows donors to maximize their impact. Their collection of funds allows donors to choose exactly which initiatives they want to support, and they distribute funds directly to carefully selected non-profits and other organizations to aid their response as they help communities recover from disaster. For example, in 2022, following intense flooding in Oklahoma, they partnered with Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma to provide financial help to victims who did not qualify for federal aid. As another example, in 2023, they provided financial backing to Alliance Global to assist Ukrainian refugees.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy has utilized their strategic grantmaking process to provide financial help for disaster recovery organizations. In 2022 alone, they awarded 117 grants, totaling $28.2 million across their various disaster recovery funds. For example, they provided 11 grants valued at $2.5 million from the CDP Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund and $3.8 million across 8 grants from their CDP Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Recovery Fund

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy through their website. You can also support the organization by attending an event or subscribing to their newsletter.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that provide financial help. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the websites of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. Charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to providing financial help—based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Alycia

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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