9 Best Charities for Voting Rights Globally (Complete 2021 List)

9 Best Charities for Voting Rights Globally (Complete 2021 List)

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Dennis Kamprad

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Everyone eligible deserves the right to vote in free and fair elections. However, various social, political, and legal barriers make it challenging for everyone to participate in elections equally. And with so many charities advocating for voting rights around the world, we had to ask: What are the best charities for voting rights globally?

The best charities for voting rights globally are the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the Carter Center, and the League for Women Voters. These charities advocate for equal voting rights on local and national levels. They also campaign for fair elections and safe access to the polls.

Whether you want to encourage voter participation in your community, raise awareness on election issues, or support local voters at the polls, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities for voting rights globally 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 Voting Rights Globally Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their commitment to voting rights, their international reach and global impact, and their achievements. Each of these charities promotes democratic values, encourages voter participation, and advocates for greater civic engagement in electoral processes.

These charities operate all over the world to ensure the voting rights of all people are respected and protected. They raise awareness on voting issues, carry out election research, and implement programs to increase election integrity. And they all share the same goal of safeguarding voting rights globally.

These Are the 9 Best Charities for Voting Rights Globally

Below are our favorite charities for voting rights globally (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.)

International Foundation for Electoral Systems: Promoting Election Integrity and Voting Rights

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems was founded in 1987 by F. Clifton White, a political strategist and consultant. White established the organization to promote democracy through election integrity. Today, the organization is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia and provides electoral assistance and democratic capacity-building solutions to countries around the world. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The International Foundation for Electoral Systems has a Finance and Accountability Score of 85 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, based on its financial reports. 

To increase the participation, influence and representation of citizens in political processes and governance structures.

International Foundation for Electoral Systems

What they do: The International Foundation for Electoral Systems works to build more inclusive societies through fair and equal political participation. The organization aims to strengthen government institutions locally and nationally with programs that increase voter turnout and educate civil society on election participation. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems has expanded to provide programs in over 145 countries around the globe. They’ve supported more than 70 elections and have reached over 90 million voters with its education services. For example, in 2020, the organization activated more than 200 civil society organizations to advocate for voting rights and fair elections across 50 countries. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the International Foundation for Electoral Systems by donating directly through the organization’s website. You can also show your support by attending one of the charity’s virtual events

Carter Center: To Advance Voting and Human Rights for All

The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn. The couple established the organization to tackle global human rights issues and provide protection to vulnerable communities worldwide. As a politician, President Carter also saw the need to increase election integrity and promote voting rights for all people. The organization is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and employs over 3,000 staff members in international offices.  

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Carter Center currently holds a perfect Accountability and Transparency score of 100 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. It also has an impressive Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, showcasing the charity’s commitment to global voting rights. For example, in 2020, the Carter Center spent nearly 94% of its income on its programs. 

To support democratic elections and strengthen participatory democracy, consistent with human rights.

Carter Center

What they do: The Carter Center aims to strengthen democracy by enhancing community participation in elections, ensuring elections are safe and fair, and that voting rights are upheld. The organization achieves this by implementing political development strategies and enrichment programs. The Carter Center also strives to reduce inequalities that can hinder people from attaining their right to vote and participate freely in elections. 

What they’ve achieved: Since its inception, the Carter Center has observed 113 elections in 39 different countries to ensure voting rights are protected. For example, in 2020, the organization set up voting rights programs and services in 5 countries, including the U.S., Bolivia, and Myanmar. Similarly, the Carter Center has also provided ongoing election support services to several countries, including Guyana and China. In Guyana, it has monitored a total of 5 elections through its Democracy Program. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the Carter Center by donating directly through the organization’s website. You can also show your support by volunteering or attending one of its many in-person and virtual events.

League of Women Voters: Protecting Voting Rights for Women

The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920, in Illinois, by a group of suffragists to advocate for women’s voting rights. The organization was established as a result of the 19th Amendment’s ratification, which legally gave women the right to vote. The founders used the opportunity to pave the way for new female voters and empower women to participate in democratic elections. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The League of Women Voters has an Accountability and Transparency rating of 97 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. The organization also has a Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

To protect the rights of eligible voters and expand access for those who’ve been left out of our democratic process.

League of Women Voters

What they do: The League of Women Voters promotes equal voting rights through advocacy programs and public policy reforms. The organization also encourages more women to take up roles in government and strives to increase voter participation amongst female voters. 

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, the League of Women Voters has won over 100 legal victories for voting rights. The organization has engaged more than 400,000 volunteers to help advocate for voting rights across the US. It has also expanded to the US Virgin Islands and Hong Kong, providing voting rights and education to local women. Because of its widespread influence, the organization has reached more than 10 million voters with its voting rights campaigns. For example, in 2018, it filed 4 lawsuits on behalf of suppressed voters. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the League of Women Voters by donating directly through their website. You can also take action by calling on your elected officials to back the Freedom to Vote Act. 

National Endowment for Democracy: Supporting Democratic Elections Abroad

The National Endowment for Democracy was founded in 1983 after President Ronald Reagan’s Westminster speech, as a program to encourage democracy and human rights protection abroad. It was established in Washington D.C. and is funded primarily by the U.S. Congress to promote equal voting rights and empower civil societies.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The National Endowment for Democracy has a Finance and Accountability score of 85 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. For example, in 2019, nearly 74% of the organization’s income was spent on programs that strengthened civil society, voting rights, and election integrity. 

Strengthening the institutions and procedures of electoral democracy to ensure free and fair elections.

National Endowment for Democracy

What they do: The National Endowment for Democracy provides financial and capacity-building assistance to grassroots movements to foster democratic societies. The organization works with local partners to ensure that elections are free, fair, and peaceful. It also researches country-specific issues and mobilizes activists to advocate for equal, political participation. 

What they’ve achieved: The National Endowment for Democracy has delivered election and democracy-building services to over 90 countries annually. For example, in 2017, the organization deployed nearly 50 partners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to educate the local communities on voting rights and fair elections. In the same year, the organization also backed voting and human rights programs in more than 5 countries, including Kenya, Angola, and Liberia.

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the National Endowment for Democracy by subscribing to the organization’s online publication, Journal of Democracy. The funds raised from subscription fees are distributed towards the organization’s programs. You can also show your support by contributing to the organization’s World Movement for Democracy campaign, to help advocate for equal voting rights and democracy.

National Democratic Institute: Promoting Inclusion Through Fair Elections

The National Democratic Institute was founded in 1983 as a result of the National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) creation. The National Democratic Institute was established to advocate for democratic ideals abroad, such as fair elections and voting rights. It later became an affiliate association partnering with NED to promote international democracy.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The National Democratic Institute has a good Finance and Accountability score of 85 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. The organization also receives funding from a range of high-profile donors, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Department of State, and the National Endowment for Democracy.

To strengthen and safeguard democratic institutions, processes, norms and values to secure a better quality of life for all.

National Democratic Institute

What they do: The National Democratic Institute works to protect voting rights by ensuring elections are free and fair, and that governments are transparent about their political practices. The organization also strives to increase civic engagement and participation through advocacy and education programs. 

What they’ve achieved: Since its inception, the National Democratic Institute has provided electoral support to more than 60 countries. The organization has trained over 600,000 poll-watchers and they have helped more than 4 million election observers ensure voting rights were upheld. Through its electoral support, the National Democratic Institute has also increased the number of women and youth participating in electoral processes in over 90 countries, including Botswana, Burkina Faso, and Uganda. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the National Democratic Institute by donating directly through the organization’s website. You can also show your support by signing up for the organization’s newsletter to stay up-to-date on their democracy and voting rights initiatives.

Freedom House: Advocates for Election Transparency

Freedom House was founded in 1941 by a group of politicians, journalists, and scholars. These individuals wanted to create an organization that would promote democratic values and sustain long-term peace, as countries were edging towards a second World War. The organization was initially established in New York, and one of its earliest leaders was First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Today, the organization is popularly known for its Freedom in the World report, an annual report that provides assessments and ratings for countries’ government transparency, civil participation, and much more.   

Their impact and transparency ratings: Freedom House maintains a Bronze Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The organization is also committed to workplace diversity and inclusion, with nearly 38% of its staff coming from minority backgrounds. Women also make up approximately 57% of the organization’s senior staff.

To advance the efforts of people around the world to live in freedom and exercise their rights.

Freedom House

What they do: Freedom House promotes global democracy and civic participation through groundbreaking research and advocacy programs. The organization also delivers emergency support to journalists, human rights defenders, and civil rights activists at risk in political crises. 

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, Freedom House has expanded internationally to over 30 countries. It researches evolving political and human rights situations, especially in times of elections. For example, in 2021, the organization followed and reported on more than 20 countries that cut off internet connections during election periods, which prevented people from accessing election and voting information. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to Freedom House by donating directly through the organization’s website. 

Amnesty International: Defending the Civil Rights of All People

Amnesty International was founded in 1961 in the United Kingdom, by Peter Benenson, a British attorney. He established the organization to bring awareness to international human rights abuses and civil injustices, after reading a newspaper article that detailed the arrest of two Portuguese students who were wrongfully jailed for ‘toasting to freedom.’ 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Amnesty International maintains an Accountability and Transparency score of 97 out of a possible 100 from Charity Navigator. The organization also has a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. For example, in 2020, more than 70% of the organization’s income was spent on its programs and advocacy.

“Fight injustice and help create a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.”

Amnesty International

What they do: Amnesty International promotes the civil and human rights of all people through grassroots advocacy. The organization mobilizes activist groups across countries to drive local and national change. They also conduct invasive research and case studies to raise awareness on human rights violations, such as the right to vote or election fraud. 

What they’ve achieved: Today, Amnesty International has active chapters across all 50 US states and in more than 150 countries around the globe. It also has more than 1 million active members in the U.S. advocating for a range of civil rights, including fair elections and equal access to the polls. Due to its influential reach, the organization was able to send an open letter to more than 40,000 U.S. officials, which advocated for civil rights protection to vulnerable people during election periods. Internationally, the organization has also investigated several cases of voting rights violations, including in the Central African Republic, Kenya, and Nicaragua

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to Amnesty International by donating through their website. The organization also encourages you to take action by getting involved in local grassroots campaigns, attending events or conferences, or by joining an activist group in your community.

Women for Women International: Empowering Women to Vote

Women for Women International was founded in 1993 by Zainab Salbi, to reach and empower forgotten communities of women through social and economic enrichment programs. Having survived a previous war in her native Iraq, Salbi was passionate about helping women who were also war survivors and affected by armed conflict. Today, Women for Women International offers a range of development programs, some of which equip women with the necessary skills to participate in their local elections.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Women for Women International currently holds an Accountability and Transparency score of 96 out of 100 from Charity Navigator. For example, in 2019, nearly 73% of the organization’s income was spent on its programs and services. 

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: The organization assists women affected by war and armed conflict with education and empowerment programs. Women for Women International also teaches women about their right to vote, how to participate in local government, and to be a pillar for positive change in their communities.  

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, Women For Women International has aided nearly 519,700 women affected by war and armed conflict with its programs and services. For example, in 2020, the organization enrolled over 8,500 new participants in its education program, which taught women about their right to vote. In the same year, approximately 3,200 men were also educated on how to support women’s rights, including their right to vote. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to Women for Women International by donating through their website. You can also show your support for women’s voting rights by sponsoring a sister.

Civil Rights Defenders: Safeguarding Civil and Political Rights Defenders

Civil Rights Defenders was founded in 1982 by Gerald Nagler, a human rights advocate, to promote global civil and political rights. The organization was established in Sweden, and was originally called the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights. In 2009, the organization was renamed to Civil Rights Defenders to highlight its commitment toward civil and political rights globally.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Civil Rights Defenders operates an Emergency Fund to provide legal aid and security services to human rights defenders during social and political crises. The organization regularly spends the majority of its income on the Emergency Fund. For example, in 2020, nearly 86% of their income went into the Emergency Fund, which supported over 700 civil and political activists worldwide. 

To improve people’s access to freedom and justice through increased respect for their civil and political rights.

Civil Rights Defenders

What they do: Civil Rights Defenders empowers people’s political rights, including the right to vote and participate in civil society, through capacity-building programs. The organization supports human rights defenders working on local levels to hold governments accountable, and to ensure individuals can safely and securely exercise their political rights.  

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, Civil Rights Defenders has expanded to assist human rights defenders in more than 50 countries across Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia. Within those countries, the organization has implemented several programs to enhance voting rights and fair elections. For example, in 2019, Civil Rights Defenders served as election observers in Colombia. During crucial election periods, the organization has also supported political rights activists in more than 3 countries, including Belarus, Venezuela, and Myanmar.

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to Civil Rights Defenders by following the instructions on their website to make a donation

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities for voting rights globally. 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 voting rights globally – 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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