9 Best Charities That Fight for the Disenfranchised (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities That Fight for the Disenfranchised (Complete 2024 List)

By
Eniola Adeeko

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Disenfranchisement involves depriving people, particularly citizens, of their rights and privileges, such as the right to vote. About 4.6 million people in the US are prevented from voting due to a felony conviction. Fortunately, many nonprofit organizations are advocating for the restoration of the rights of the disenfranchised. So we had to ask: What are the best charities fighting for the disenfranchised?

The best charities that fight for the disenfranchised are the League of Women Voters and the Sentencing Project. Charities like the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Foundation, and Amnesty International protect the rights of disenfranchised people worldwide.

Whether you want to expand voting rights in the US, advocate for the rights of disenfranchised girls, or ensure greater participation in democracy, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about the best charities fighting for the disenfranchised, how they work, and what your best way would be to contribute.

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

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission and commitment to fighting for the disenfranchised worldwide.

They have excellent impact and transparency ratings and are dedicated to advocating for the rights of the marginalized.

Many of the charities on this list campaign to expand voting rights for disenfranchised citizens in the US. Others fight for marginalized girls and women around the world.

Yet they all share the same goal of fighting for the disenfranchised.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Fight for the Disenfranchised in 2024

Below are our favorite charities fighting for the disenfranchised (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

League of Women Voters: Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

Logo for League of Women Voters
No More Excuses: Voting Rights Now!

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Wisconsin branch of the League of Women Voters has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We work to empower voters and defend democracy.”

League of Women Voters

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What they do:

The League of Women Voters empowers all Americans to participate in democracy. They do this by increasing voters’ access to the polls by encouraging automatic and online voter registration. They also advocate in state houses and Congress and support legislation that empowers Americans to participate in the voting process. In addition, they fight anti-voter laws in court and organize activists to fight for the disenfranchised. Furthermore, they empower voters through VOTE411, a nonpartisan, ”one-stop-shop” for all the election information needed to cast a ballot in every election.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the League of Women Voters has ensured voter access and participation. For example, in 2020, their nonpartisan platform, VOTE411, served over 6.1 million voters with information on more than 40,000 candidates and specific ballot questions. They also registered over 422,000 voters across the US. In addition, they brought 77 federal electoral lawsuits in collaboration with over 250 legal partners to ensure expanded voting rights for more than 25 million American voters.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the League of Women Voters through their website. You can also assist the nonprofit by joining their campaign supporting The Equal Rights (Amendment) Act.

2

The Sentencing Project: Ensuring Voting Rights for All

Logo for The Sentencing Project
Free the Vote

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The Sentencing Project has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

Anytime a member of a society is not afforded the right to express his or her opinions by way of the democratic process, we cannot achieve the ideals of democracy.

The Sentencing Project

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What they do:

The Sentencing Project advocates for the universal right to vote for all US citizens. They do this by organizing national, state, and local campaigns to end disenfranchisement. They also promote legislation and policies that expand voting rights to citizens with felony convictions and those detained in jails and youth justice facilities. In addition, they partner with legal and political organizations to ensure that a person’s criminal status does not affect their voting eligibility.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, The Sentencing Project has partnered with 220 state-level and 76 national organizations to expand voting rights in the US. They also successfully advocated for new legislation that automatically restores voting rights to over 11,000 citizens completing their felony sentence on probation or parole. Furthermore, they supported the passage of the Restore the Vote Act, which automatically expanded voting rights to over 46,000 citizens in Minnesota on probation or parole.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to The Sentencing Project through their website. You can also contribute to this nonprofit organization by supporting the Freedom to Vote Act.

3

American Civil Liberties Union: Defending the Rights of All People Worldwide

Logo for American Civil Liberties Union
The Fight For Civil Rights and Liberties - We Show Up - ACLU

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Their transparency & ratings:

The American Civil Liberties Union has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Our most fundamental rights are under assault, and future progress will be determined by what we do right now.”

American Civil Liberties Union

⚒️

What they do:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) fights to protect the rights of Americans, including the right to vote. For example, they combat voter suppression in the courts and communities by defending constitutional rights and liberties of American citizens. They also fight for voter restoration and increase access to the ballot for all Americans, regardless of their criminal status. In addition, they work with law and policymakers to ensure the necessary statutes exist to protect civil rights in the US.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the American Civil Liberties Union has grown into a national organization comprising over 1.7 million civil rights activists. Their staff attorneys collaborate with 2,000 volunteer attorneys to handle nearly 2,000 cases annually to fight for the rights of the disenfranchised. For example, in 2022, the ACLU recruited, trained, and deployed 2,500 poll workers in Georgia to champion the right to vote.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the American Civil Liberties Union through their website. You can also contribute by making a purchase from their online shop.

4

Human Rights Foundation: Uniting the World to Fight Against Tyranny

Logo for Human Rights Foundation
Together, We Can Beat Tyranny

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The Human Rights Foundation has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We promote freedom where it’s most at risk.”

Human Rights Foundation

⚒️

What they do:

The Human Rights Foundation promotes liberal democracy and the protection of human rights in countries ruled by authoritarian regimes. For example, they fight for the rights of the disenfranchised by organizing the Oslo Freedom Forum to promote human rights advocacy worldwide. Also, they host freedom forums to educate college students on democracy and human rights. In addition, they connect investors and activists to foster the preservation of human rights globally.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Human Rights Foundation has attracted 10 million views of videos showing the work of human rights activists fighting for disenfranchised people globally. They have also raised over $1 million in new funding to advocate for the disenfranchised. In addition, they built more than 75 creative partnerships with activists to promote restoring the rights of those under oppressive governments. Furthermore, they have educated over 5,000 college students on democracy and human rights in the US.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Human Rights Foundation through their website. You can also support them by contributing to their Flashdrives for Freedom Campaign in North Korea or attending their events.

5

Malala Fund: Supporting Girls’ Education

Logo for Malala Fund
Malala Yousafzai: Speech at the United Nations General Assembly

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The Malala Fund has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“To amplify girls’ voices and ensure that every girl has access to twelve years of free, safe, quality education.

Malala Fund

⚒️

What they do:

Malala Fund invests in local educators and advocates to improve girls’ education rights worldwide. Through their Girl Programme, they empower disenfranchised girls to have equal access to education in their communities. They also advocate for resources and policy changes to give all girls a secondary education. In addition, they fund research for local, national, and international advocacy for girls’ education.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Malala Fund has invested over $17 million in grants for educational resources provided to marginalized school girls. In addition, from 2017-2019, the organization sponsored training for 85 teachers in Turkey to provide quality education to disenfranchised students – with an estimated 11,714 schoolgirls receiving support. And in 2019, the organization also delivered literacy and numeracy classes to 418 disenfranchised girls in Nigeria. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Malala Fund through their website. You can also contribute to this nonprofit organization by hosting a fundraiser or purchasing Malala’s book.

6

Amnesty International: Fighting for a World Where Human Rights Are Enjoyed by All

Logo for Amnesty International
Join The Movement. Amnesty International mobilizes the humanity in everyone for human rights change.

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Amnesty International has a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Only when the last prisoner of conscience has been freed, when the last torture chamber has been closed, when the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a reality for the world’s people, will our work be done.”

Amnesty International

⚒️

What they do:

Amnesty International fights for the disenfranchised by exposing human rights violations and promoting freedom worldwide. For example, they campaign for freedom of expression for people in oppressive countries under authoritarian governments. They also promote child rights by increasing awareness about violations and supporting child rights activists. In addition, they fight for better access to international justice for disenfranchised and marginalized citizens deprived of their rights.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Amnesty International has gathered massive support from over 10 million people globally. They have also published over 40 annual reports detailing instances of disenfranchisement and human rights violations worldwide, with recommendations for governments and non-governmental organizations. In addition, they have received several awards, including the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize and the 1978 UN Human Rights Award.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Amnesty International through their website. You can also support the charity by joining their campaign to support those whose right to life has been revoked unjustly.

7

Human Rights Watch: Defend Rights. Secure Justice.

Logo for Human Rights Watch
Demanding Change

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Human Rights Watch has a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Together, we can use our influence – from advocating with world leaders to sharing the truth of what’s happening on the ground – to help stop repression around the world.”

Human Rights Watch

⚒️

What they do:

Human Rights Watch investigates and reports human rights violations worldwide. They also influence governments, businesses, and armed groups to enforce just laws and eradicate oppression. For example, they advocate for disenfranchised women who have been denied access to education and political participation. In addition, they expose economic policies and practices that promote wealth through human rights violations of the marginalized.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Human Rights Watch has become a global organization comprising over 550 staff working across 100 countries to fight for the disenfranchised. They expose instances of disenfranchisement to over 13 million social media followers to increase awareness and implement reforms. For example, in 2021, through 3 reports, over 40 publications, and social media engagement, they successfully advocated for restoring access to education for adolescent mothers in Tanzania.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Human Rights Watch through their website. You can also join their #WelcometoCanada campaign to fight for disenfranchised immigrants in Canada.

8

Common Cause: Holding Power Accountable

Logo for Common Cause
Together, We Can Protect Our Freedom To Vote (Short)

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Common Cause has the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

We work to ensure that every vote counts, that every eligible voter has an equal say, that our elections represent the will of the people, and that our government is of, by, and for the people.”

Common Cause

⚒️

What they do:

Common Cause ensures democracy works for everyone. They do this by advocating for laws that ensure voters’ access to the ballot box, regardless of their criminal status in the US. They also campaign against issues like felony disenfranchisement that fuel mass incarceration and undermine democracy. In addition, they host a platform, Democracy Wire, where people can disseminate relevant and pressing information about democracy, voting rights, and other human rights.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their establishment, Common Cause has been on the frontline of ensuring greater access to democracy for all Americans. For example, in 1971, they led the campaign that won the 26th amendment to the US Constitution, allowing 18-year-olds to vote. Today, they are a national movement comprising over 1.5 million supporters advocating for the eradication of felony disenfranchisement in the US.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Common Cause through their website. You can also support them by volunteering or making a purchase from their online shop. In addition, you can join their campaign to ensure accountability from public officers.

9

Women for Women International: Empowering Women to Vote

Logo for Women for Women International
What makes Women for Women International different?

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The charity has a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator

“To create a more just world where every woman’s voice, role, and contribution are visible and valued.”

Women for Women International

⚒️

What they do:

Women for Women International provides disenfranchised women a space to learn and grow. They do this by offering financial support and relevant information to support isolated and disenfranchised women worldwide through a 12-month-long program. They also train and equip them with resources to learn a skill to support themselves and their families. In addition, they connect these women to financial services, advanced business and vocational training, and support networks to increase opportunities to grow their businesses and income.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Women for Women International has reached 553,437 marginalized and disenfranchised women worldwide. For example, in 2022, 25,572 women participated in their program across 7 countries, where they formed connections, acquired financial literacy skills, and learned about their rights. They also reached 7,734 men and worked with them to engage local leaders to use their influence to promote women’s rights. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Women for Women International through their website. You can also support them by volunteering or joining their Solidarity Network to raise funds and awareness for disenfranchised women.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities fighting for the disenfranchised. 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 the disenfranchised – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Eniola

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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