9 Best Charities for Law Enforcement in the US (Complete 2021 List)

9 Best Charities for Law Enforcement in the US (Complete 2021 List)

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Dennis Kamprad

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Members of law enforcement agencies make many sacrifices to protect civil society, and they deserve to be recognized for their hard work. But with so many charities supporting law enforcement, we had to ask: What are the best charities for law enforcement?

The best charities that support law enforcement are the National Police Foundation, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, and Concerns of Police Survivors. These charities honor members of law enforcement for their dedication to protecting communities and ensuring public safety. 

Whether you want to learn how to support your local law enforcement agencies, or you want to honor members of law enforcement for their work, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities for law enforcement are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities for Law Enforcement Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact, transparency ratings, and the unique ways in which they support law enforcement. They operate across the United States and strive to honor members of law enforcement and uplift their families after tragedies. They also strengthen law enforcement’s capacity through programming, advocacy, and fundraising efforts.

These charities are committed to the rights and liberties of the nation’s law enforcement. They work diligently on a local and national scale to bring awareness to the many sacrifices members of law enforcement make in order to defend the country, it’s communities, and its people.

These Are the 9 Best Charities for Law Enforcement

Below are our favorite charities for law enforcement (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.)

National Police Foundation: Providing Opportunities for Innovation to Law Enforcement

The National Police Foundation was founded in 1970 and was established through a grant administered by the Ford Foundation. McGeorge Bundy was the Ford Foundation’s president at the time, and he wanted to create a development fund that police could use to enhance their own local programs, test new operations, and improve the way they carried out their duties. After its formation, the National Police Foundation was initially led by a team of 13 members, which included state politicians, advocates, and businessmen. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The National Police Foundation holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar – the highest rank possible. For example, in 2020, the organization spent nearly 77% of its income on its programming and services. 

“To advance policing through innovation and science.”

National Police Foundation

What they do: The National Police Foundation strengthens law enforcement agencies by providing funding and support to their technology and innovation programs. Through the National Police Foundation’s aid, law enforcement agencies have the capacity to test new safety programs, carry out advanced training, and perform research to efficiently tackle localized crime. 

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, the National Police Foundation has reached over 1,000 law enforcement agencies and communities with its law enforcement workshops, educational training, and awareness-raising campaigns. For example, in 2020, the organization provided specialized, procedural justice training to officers located in 4 crime hot spot cities. In the same year, the organization participated in a capacity-building partnership to strengthen law enforcement agencies, and delivered technical support to more than 20 law enforcement agencies in Mexico.

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the National Police Foundation by donating through the organization’s website. 

Concerns of Police Survivors: Supporting the Survivors of Fallen Law Enforcement

Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) was founded in 1984, in Maryland, by Suzanne Sawyer, an advocate for the rights and dignity of law enforcement. Sawyer, along with more than 100 advocates, established C.O.P.S. as a way to support the families of law enforcement members who lost their lives while serving their communities. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Concerns of Police Survivors maintains a 4-star rating and an Accountability and Transparency score of 100 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. The charity has also earned a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, based on its financial reports. For example, in 2020, the organization spent over 75% of its income on peer support, benefits assistance, and its programs. 

“Rebuilding shattered lives of survivors and co-workers affected by line-of-duty deaths.”

Concerns of Police Survivors

What they do: Concerns of Police Survivors provides support and resources to surviving children, spouses, and other family members of fallen law enforcement members who have died in the line of duty. The organization aims to help survivors rebuild their lives by offering financial and emotional assistance through its hands-on program, counseling program, and scholarship program.

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, Concerns of Police Survivors has reached more than 50,000 survivors of fallen law enforcement members. The organization has also hosted more than 170 training sessions across 9 US states educating law enforcement agencies on police trauma and wellbeing. In 2020, the organization awarded scholarships to 55 family members of law enforcement officers who passed away while in the line of duty. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to Concerns of Police Survivors by donating through the organization’s website. C.O.P.S. also welcomes in-kind donations and vehicle donations to support its programs and services.

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund: Honoring Law Enforcement’s Sacrifices

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) was founded in 1984 by Mario Biaggi, a former New York City Police Department officer, and member of Congress. Biaggi was a vocal advocate for law enforcement. He wanted to establish a memorial that would pay tribute to the work and service of law enforcement, while honoring those who had lost their lives in the line of duty.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund holds an Accountability and Transparency score of 97 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. It also has a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.   

“To tell the story of American law enforcement, honor the fallen, and make it safer for those who serve.”

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

What they do: The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund stands as the nation’s symbol of remembrance for those who have lost their lives while serving in law enforcement. The organization also advocates for law enforcement through public campaigns, community outreach services, and educational programs. 

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has opened a 57,000ftÂČ museum to honor members of law enforcement. The museum holds over 21,000 artifacts pertaining to law enforcement and their history. Within the museum, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund also hosts workshops and carries out its programs. For example, in 2019, the organization held 10 educational workshops for adults, and another 75 for children and students. In the same year, the charity organized its annual ‘Run for the Badge’ marathon, which saw over 1,000 participants raising funds and awareness for law enforcement.  

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund by donating through the organization’s website. You can also get involved by volunteering or participating in the organization’s annual fundraising events

First Responders Children’s Foundation: Providing Financial Support to First Responders’ Families

The First Responders Children’s Foundation was founded in 2002 by Alfred R. Kahn, an American businessman. He began the organization by hosting a Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast in November 2001, shortly after the September 11th attacks. The gathering was designed to bring together the families of first responders, such as law enforcement, who had lost loved ones during the tragic 9/11 events. The gathering would eventually become an annual tradition. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: First Responders Children’s Foundation holds a Finance and Accountability score of 100 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. The organization also has a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.  

“To provide financial support to children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.”

First Responders Children’s Foundation

What they do: The First Responders Children’s Foundation provides financial support and education funding to the surviving children of first responders who have lost their lives during the line of duty. The organization also provides bereavement assistance to the first responders’ families, and raises awareness of their sacrifices through programs, fundraisers, and community events.

What they’ve achieved: Since its inception, the First Responders Children’s Foundation has reached nearly 530,000 surviving children with its services. It also delivered financial aid to another 232,000 families of first responders. For example, in 2019, the organization provided 44 college scholarships to children of first responders, and in 2020, it paid for 174 funerals of fallen emergency response providers.

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the First Responders Children’s Foundation by donating through the organization’s website. You can also attend some of the organization’s many events, held throughout the year. First Responders Children’s Foundation also has an online shop, where you can purchase attire to show your support for first responders, including members of law enforcement.

Police Unity Tour: Raising Public Awareness for Law Enforcement’s Work

The Police Unity Tour was founded in 1997 by Patrick Montuore, a police officer from New Jersey. He organized the Police Unity Tour as a fundraising event to honor members of law enforcement who had lost their lives in the line of service. He also wanted to highlight law enforcement’s hard work across the country. The tour began with 18 members of law enforcement, who rode from New Jersey to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Police Unity Tour holds a Financial rating of 84 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. For example, in 2019, nearly 90% of the organization’s income was spent on its programming. 

“To raise awareness of Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the line of duty.”

Police Unity Tour

What they do: The Police Unity Tour raises funds and awareness for members of law enforcement who lost their lives during their service. The funds raised during their 4-day long ride are donated directly to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The organization also participates in advocacy work to emphasize some of the dangers law enforcement officers face, and the sacrifices they make to protect society.

What they’ve achieved: Since its inception, the Police Unity Tour has expanded across the United States, with 9 chapters in total, in 6 different states. Within those chapters, nearly 2,600 active members participate in the fundraising event annually, and regularly contribute to the organization’s advocacy and success. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the Police Unity Tour by donating through their website. 

National Association of Police Athletic/Activities League: Law Enforcement Partnering To Empower Youth

The National Association of Police Athletic/Activities League was founded in 1940 and is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. The organization began as a service program providing mentorship and outreach activities to youth as a way to combat juvenile crime. Years later, as the success of the program and its activities grew, six chapters on the east coast decided to convene and discuss how athletics could be incorporated into the organization’s programs. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The National Association of Police Athletic/Activities League has an Accountability and Transparency score of 92 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. The organization also has a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“To promote the prevention of juvenile crime and violence by building relationships among kids, cops and community through positive engagement.”

National Association of Police Athletics/Activities League

What they do: The National Association of Police Athletic/Activities League aims to minimize juvenile crime through outreach programs that pair officers with youth. The charity’s programs focus primarily on education, mentorship, and athletic activities that empower youth. Today, the organization has over 300 chapters across the country working to create positive change in local communities. 

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, the National Association of Police Athletic/Activities League has expanded to provide youth enrichment and mentor services to communities in 46 US states. The organization maintains over 400 active law enforcement mentors and has also managed to impact over 3,000 with its outreach programs. For example, in 2020, the organization used its expansive reach to deliver education resources to 37 students in Atlanta that needed them most. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the National Association of Police Athletic/Activities League by donating through their website. You can also purchase some branded merchandise from the charity’s online shop to support their cause.

Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation: Supporting the Nation’s First Responders

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was founded by Frank Siller in 2001, shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City. Frank Siller is the older brother of Stephen Siller, a New York firefighter, who heroically responded to the attacks. Frank Siller used his brother’s story as the inspiration to start the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and honor other first responders who lost their lives or were affected by the 9/11 attacks.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation maintains an impressive 4-star rating, and an Accountability and Transparency score of 100 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. The organization also has a high Financial score of 97 out of 100, also from Charity Navigator. For example, in 2019, approximately 93% of the charity’s income was spent on its programming and services. 

“To honor our military and first responders who continue to make the supreme sacrifice of life and limb for our country.”

Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers

What they do: The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation honors first responders, such as members of law enforcement, who have died during their service. The organization also provides substantial support to the victims’ families by giving them mortgage-free homes, and by paying off any existing mortgages that could cause them insecurity or instability.

What they’ve achieved: Since its inception, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation has provided hundreds of mortgage-free homes to the families of fallen first responders, including law enforcement members. The organization has successfully delivered homes across more than 15 US states. For example, in 2020, it provided nearly 250 mortgage-free homes to victims’ families. It has also reached more than 500,000 people with its mobile 9/11 exhibit

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation by donating directly through the organization’s website. You can show your support in other ways too, including hosting an event to fundraise for the charity, or by purchasing some branded merchandise via their online shop

Gary Sinise Foundation: Empowering the Country’s Defenders Through Tailored Programs

The Gary Sinise Foundation was founded in 2011 by American actor, Gary Sinise. Sinise is best known for his role in the movie, Forrest Gump, as Lieutenant Dan Taylor. After playing the role of Lt. Taylor, Sinise developed a profound connection and understanding to the country’s servicemen and first responders. He wanted to give back to them and their families through specialized programs and public advocacy.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Gary Sinise Foundation has an impressive 4-star rating and an Accountability and Transparency score of 100 out of 100, both from Charity Navigator. The organization also holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, showcasing its commitment to the wellbeing of the country’s defenders. For example, in 2019, the organization spent nearly 89% of its income on unique programming for members of law enforcement, the military, veterans, and first responders.  

“To serve and honor America’s defenders, veterans, first responders, Gold Star families and those in need.”

Gary Sinise Foundation

What they do: The Gary Sinise Foundation offers educational, entertaining, and wellness programs that empower members of law enforcement, the military, first responders, veterans, and their families. The organization delivers one-of-a-kind services to meet the individual needs of the country’s defenders, including developing smart homes for wounded servicemen, and providing mental health retreats and counseling for those struggling after their service. 

What they’ve achieved: Since its inception, the Gary Sinise Foundation has reached thousands of heroes with its specialized programs. For example, they have provided 74 specially adapted smart homes to wounded defenders. They have modified more than 60 homes and donated 43 mobility devices for the country’s defenders in the most need. In conjunction with their home and mobility programs, the organization has also delivered more than 500,000 meals to the nation’s defenders. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the Gary Sinise Foundation by making a donation through the charity’s website. You can also start a local fundraiser to promote the organization’s causes and raise funds for its programs. 

Project K9 Hero: Providing Care to Canine Law Enforcement

Project K9 Hero was founded in 2016 by Jason Johnson, a former US military officer and State Department official. He recognized the lack of resources available to law enforcement dogs after their service, especially since many retired with more health problems than the average pet. With this in mind, Johnson established Project K9 Hero to provide funding and support to retired military and police dogs for their post-service care and needs.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Project K9 Hero has a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The organization publishes annual reports indicating their financial transparency and commitment to the wellbeing of military and police dogs. For example, in 2020, Project K9 Hero spent nearly 71% of its income on its programming and services. 

“To protect those who protected our families, communities, and our America.”

Project K9 Hero

What they do: Project K9 Hero advocates for the care of military and police dogs after they retire. The organization also collects funds and donations, oversees adoptions into suitable homes, and raises awareness on the issues many retired law enforcement dogs encounter once they stop working.

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, Project K9 Hero has expanded across the country, providing care to dogs in 34 US states. Every year, the organization welcomes several newly-retired law enforcement dogs to its care program. For example, in 2020, Project K9 opened its doors to 40 newly-retired dogs. In the same year, it covered life-saving surgery costs for 4 retired military and police dogs.

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to Project K9 Hero by donating directly through the charity’s website. You can also show your support for retired law enforcement dogs by purchasing some of the organization’s branded gear from their online shop.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities for law enforcement. 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 the progress a charity makes in reaching its targets, the chances are not making 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 website 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. The 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.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • 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 just 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 law enforcement – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,



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:

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