9 Best Charities That Fight for Police Reforms (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities That Fight for Police Reforms (Complete 2024 List)

By
Eli Boles

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Stay impactful,

Calls for police reform in America are more prevalent than ever. Movements such as Black Lives Matter and prison abolition have forced communities all across America to take a critical look at whether their police officers are working for their community or against it. Through evidence-based policy reforms, policing in America can become the force for good it was intended to be, but the concerted effort of committed non-profits is necessary to generate the needed change. So, we had to ask: What are the best charities that fight for police reforms?

The best charities that fight for police reforms are the Center for Policing Equity, the ACLU, and LEAP. Other charities like The Marshall Project provide vital reporting on harmful police policies, while the National Urban League fights for racially equitable policing.

Whether you want to support legislative advocacy to improve police oversight, programs that seek to transform policing from the inside out, or legal aid for individuals seeking justice from police abuse, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that fight for police reforms are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Fight for Police Reforms Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their sustained mission to reform policing, their open transparency, and their tangible impact on creating change in America’s police departments.

Many of their operations and goals grow more ambitious every year as police-community interactions continue to lead to fractious altercations.

These charities may fight for police reforms in different ways—from conducting research and spurring discussion to seeking justice for people who have been victimized by the criminal justice system.

Yet, they all work toward a common goal: to fix the major inequities present in policing and to hold those accountable who have caused harm from behind their badge.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Fight for Police Reforms in 2024

Below are our favorite charities that fight for police reforms (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

Center for Policing Equity: Data Science for Justice

Logo for Center for Policing Equity
Center for Policing Equity Introduction Video

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Center for Policing Equity holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator with a 100% transparency rating. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We do science to promote justice.”

Center for Policing Equity

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What they do:

The Center for Policing Equity publishes peer-reviewed research on racial equity, works with communities to implement new public safety policies, and manages the National Justice Database to both track national statistics on police behavior and encourage police departments to adopt data-driven reforms. They also utilize data to identify and reduce racial disparities in policing through their COMPSTAT for Justice program. This program connects government, law enforcement, and community officials to understand the systemic causes of racism in police interactions, and how data can be used to identify solutions. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Center for Policing Equity has partnered with 60 law enforcement agencies across 30 states, serving over 85 million people. Furthermore, police departments that have partnered with them have all adopted at least 1 recommended policy (such as bans on no-knock warrants, neck and carotid restraints, and tear gas). 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Center for Policing Equity via their website. You can also sign up as a Justice Nerd to stay up-to-date with their latest research and events. 

2

ACLU: Defend the Rights of All People Nationwide

Logo for American Civil Liberties Union
When the Police Break the Law, We Show Up - ACLU

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Their transparency & ratings:

The ACLU holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from Guidestar, a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, and an A Grade from Charity Watch

“We work to stop the erosion of civil liberties before it’s too late.”

ACLU

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What they do:

The ACLU fights to reform policing by advocating in courts and legislatures for policies that remove officers who use excessive force and prevent future violence by improving police training and oversight. For example, they have filed lawsuits on behalf of individuals and their families who have been hurt by police violence in Louisiana and also published a report analyzing the rise in police shootings during the COVID-19 pandemic with recommendations on how to reverse the rising trend. Other policies they advocate for include the demilitarization of police departments, and hiring mental health professionals as first responders for mental health crises. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the ACLU has produced research and reports exploring racial bias in policing, prosecutorial practices that shield violent cops, militarization of the police, and police department corruption that leads to unfair policing practices. When possible, they have also filed lawsuits directly against corrupt police departments and even correctional facilities to help protect the rights of prisoners as well.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the ACLU via their website. You can also sign up to place calls on behalf of the ACLU.

3

Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP): Advancing Justice and Public Safety Solutions

Logo for Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)
LEAP Turns 20: Lt. Diane Goldstein (Ret.) and Det. Sergeant Neil Woods (Ret.)

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Their transparency & ratings:

LEAP holds a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. They also hold a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator with an 88% transparency rating.

“We advance local, state, and federal solutions that focus law enforcement resources on the most serious threats to public safety, reduce our reliance on incarceration, and heal police-community relations.”

Law Enforcement Action Partnership

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What they do:

LEAP advocates for police reform by sending experts in criminal justice to advise state and local law enforcement agencies, testifying at Congressional hearings, being interviewed for reports and documentaries, and speaking at events for groups that share the mission of creating more equitable policing. One of their largest programs is the Community Responder Model, which seeks to educate and advise police departments on how to reduce their community footprint to increase trust, and also how to establish 9-1-1 call procedures that ensure the right kind of first responder is sent to every emergency call.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, LEAP speakers have been featured in many media outlets such as NBC News, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times. They have also testified in federal and state Congressional hearings against outdated policing policies and in favor of reforms to increase diversity in police departments.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to LEAP via their website. 

4

The Marshall Project: Non-profit Journalism About Criminal Justice

Logo for The Marshall Project
The Marshall Project — Who We Are

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Marshall Project holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We focus on criminal justice as an arena where power is often abused; our goal is to expose injustice.”

The Marshall Project

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What they do:

The Marshall Project is solely focused on providing non-partisan, non-profit journalism centered on the criminal justice system to spur change. For example, their reporting has covered unconstitutional police tactics in Memphis, TN, abuse of victim’s privacy laws to shield officers suspected of excessive force, the slow pace of police reforms in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and prison issues such as solitary confinement and the death penalty

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

The Marshall Project was recognized for its journalistic excellence in 2023 by the Online News Association with the General Excellence award in part for their coverage of New York prison guards and their “Inside Story” video series. They also partnered with Frontline in 2023 to produce the two short documentaries (“Two Strikes” and “Tutweiler”) that showed what life is like behind bars for America’s prisoners. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to The Marshall Project via their website to support their independent journalism.

5

National Urban League: Empowering Communities and Saving Lives

Logo for National Urban League
We Are Here

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Their transparency & ratings:

The National Urban League holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator with a 100% transparency rating. They also hold a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“To help African-Americans and others in underserved communities achieve their highest true social parity, economic self-reliance, power, and civil rights”

National Urban League

⚒️

What they do:

The National Urban League fights for police reforms by advocating for bold changes to redefine policing methods and supporting community leaders who implement their recommendations. For example, they tour with their “21 Pillars” Tour that encourages changes to policing such as ending broken window policing, empowering police accountability through courts, improving police transparency, and improving police hiring practices. They also support anti-police brutality measures introduced by political leaders such as President Joe Biden, with his administration’s 2022 executive order on policing that reflects the same themes as the 21 Pillars program. 

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What they’ve achieved:

To date, the National Urban League has grown to encompass 90 affiliates across 37 states offering direct assistance and building social programs to help those in underserved communities. Along with their publication of the “21 Pillars” for redefining policing in America, they have also expanded their social programs, resulting in 8.3 million people receiving health services, and 246 thousand people placed in new jobs.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the National Urban League via their website.

6

National Police Accountability Project: Holding Law Enforcement Accountable

Logo for National Police Accountability Project
8/1/23 Webinar with the National Police Accountability Project

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Their transparency & ratings:

The National Police Accountability Project holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, including a 92% transparency rating.

“With hundreds of members and growing, we continue to effect change in the flawed legal system and fight to put an end to police brutality of all forms.”

National Police Accountability Project

⚒️

What they do:

The National Policing Accountability Project writes amicus briefs and advocates for legislation that improves police oversight. For example, their published white papers are an educational resource used by the public and policymakers to gain context around key issue areas as well as teach people how to implement solutions in local communities. The issues covered include ending qualified immunity for officers, explicit bias in policing, use of force, and department transparency. They have also published amicus briefs in cases that challenge wrongful warrant executions that violate the Fourth Amendment, as well as challenging qualified immunity in multiple cases

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the National Policing Accountability Project has written amicus briefs in 35 different cases including challenges to qualified immunity and lawsuits against police departments and officers who have caused harm. They have also expanded to create the Co-Counsel Program that supports NPAP members who are actively challenging law enforcement misconduct. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the National Policing Accountability Project via their website.

7

Mothers Against Police Brutality: Justice for Victims of Police Brutality 

Logo for Mothers Against Police Brutality

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Their transparency & ratings:

Mothers Against Police Brutality holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator

“We must summon the courage to challenge existing laws and practices that leave our families vulnerable to police brutality and official murder.”

Mothers Against Police Brutality 

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What they do:

Mothers Against Police Brutality members speak at events and work with human rights organizations to raise awareness and advocate for police accountability for violence against African Americans. They also use their platform to amplify the voices of families who have lost family members to police violence. For example, they have worked with the UN Office for Human Rights to pursue research and investigations into incidents of police violence in America. They also work with victims of police violence to both spread their stories and collect data on police violence that can be used to help decrease it. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Mothers Against Police Brutality has succeeded in building awareness for police killings through campaigns such as the 2023 “Say Their Names” billboard campaign that placed billboards across 10 cities. They have also responded to highly publicized police killings by offering analyses of the interactions and hosting community events to encourage and educate citizens to speak up via protest. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Mothers Against Police Brutality via their website. You can also volunteer to help with event planning or social media posts.

8

Police 2 Peace: Redefining Policing

Logo for Police 2 Peace

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Their transparency & ratings:

Police 2 Peace holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Bridging the gap between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve by implementing positive changes in policing practices.”

Police 2 Peace

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What they do:

Police 2 Peace seeks to redefine police officers as peace officers to prioritize empathy and justice, while also strengthening relationships with the communities they serve to decrease tension and violence. For example, their Peace Officer Training courses address the organizational culture of law enforcement to change the image of law enforcement to foster community trust and increase police recruitment and retention of skilled, empathetic officers. Completion of these courses by a department earns them certificates and plaques to communicate to the community that they have received training as Peace Officers. Funding programs are also offered to make sure police departments that want to become Peace Officers have the opportunity regardless of budget limitations. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Police 2 Peace has grown as a national organization with police officers in over 40 states taking on the Peace Officer Promise, the first step in the Peace Officer Project. Their ever-expanding catalog of training courses now helps not only officers but also police leaders, representatives, and elected officials to understand how to transform policing into a system that works for communities across the country. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Police 2 Peace via their website.

9

Dignity and Power Now: Ending State Violence

Logo for Dignity and Power Now
Civilian Oversight! IT'S OUR RIGHT!

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Their transparency & ratings:

Dignity and Power Now holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. They also hold a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator

“Building power and dignity for all incarcerated people, their loved ones, and communities.”

Dignity and Power Now

⚒️

What they do:

Dignity and Power Now offers financial and legal assistance for formerly incarcerated individuals and their families, while also advocating for policies that ensure oversight of penal facilities to prevent sheriff violence and inhumane treatment. For example, the Mutual Aid Fund provides direct financial aid to prison-impacted community members to uplift them, and the DPN Legal Support Program supports communities in seeking class-action lawsuits against prisons or prison staff that have caused personal injury. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Dignity and Power Now has helped over 1,800 formerly incarcerated individuals with direct aid via their Mutual Aid Fund. They have also established community oversight commissions, such as the LA County COC, which allows for an unlimited number of complaints to be filed against the sheriff’s department as well as for the sheriff’s department to be subpoenaed by the commission to investigate their conduct. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Dignity and Power Now via their website.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that fight for police reforms. 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. Familiarize 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 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.
  • 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 fighting for police reforms—based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Eli

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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