9 Best Charities That Support Police Officers (Complete 2022 List)

9 Best Charities That Support Police Officers (Complete 2022 List)

By
Alycia O'Dell

Read Time:17 Minutes

Follow
this site

follow follow

Impactful Ninja is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more Learn more .

Affiliate Disclosure

Hey fellow impactful ninja ?

You may have noticed that Impactful Ninja is all about providing helpful information to make a positive impact on the world and society. And that we love to link back to where we found all the information for each of our posts.

  • Most of these links are informational-based for you to check out their primary sources with one click.

  • But some of these links are so-called "affiliate links" to products that we recommend.

Why do we add these product links?

First and foremost, because we believe that they add value to you. For example, when we wrote a post about the environmental impact of long showers, we came across an EPA recommendation to use WaterSense showerheads. So we linked to where you can find them. Or, for many of our posts, we also link to our favorite books on that topic so that you can get a much more holistic overview than one single blog post could provide.

And when there is an affiliate program for these products, we sign up for it. For example, as Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.

What do these affiliate links mean for you?
  1. First, and most importantly, we still only recommend products that we believe add value for you.

  2. When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission - but at no additional costs to you.

  3. And when you buy something through a link that is not an affiliate link, we won’t receive any commission but we’ll still be happy to have helped you.

What do these affiliate links mean for us?
  1. When we find products that we believe add value to you and the seller has an affiliate program, we sign up for it.

  2. When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra costs to you).

  3. And at this point in time, all money is reinvested in sharing the most helpful content with you. This includes all operating costs for running this site and the content creation itself.

What does this mean for me personally?

You may have noticed by the way Impactful Ninja is operated that money is not the driving factor behind it. It is a passion project of mine and I love to share helpful information with you to make a positive impact on the world and society. However, it's a project in that I invest a lot of time and also quite some money.

Eventually, my dream is to one day turn this passion project into my full-time job and provide even more helpful information. But that's still a long time to go.

Stay impactful,

Police officers risk their lives every day to protect their communities, and unfortunately the number of officers killed in the line of duty increased by 29% in 2021 in the US alone. The main cause of death is felonious killings which are now at their highest level for 25 years. The officers themselves are not the only ones making sacrifices; their families face duty-related hardships as well. Fortunately, organizations around the world are working to provide assistance to police officers and their families. So, we had to ask: what are the best charities that support police officers?

The best charities that support police officers are Concerns of Police Survivors and the National Policing Institute. Charities such as Cops Direct and the Gary Sinise Foundation help police officers be better prepared in the line of duty by providing necessary equipment.

Whether you want to raise awareness of the sacrifice and struggle police officers make every day, fund research to improve policing practices, or help the child of a fallen officer attend college, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that support police officers 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 Support Police Officers Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements. They operate primarily throughout the US and Canada, but some support police officers internationally.

Many of these charities focus on helping the families of police officers killed in the line of duty. Others focus on the police officers themselves, by ensuring that they have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively. Some seek to advance the field of policing through research and innovation, while others work to prevent crime by building police-community relationships. Yet, they all have a common goal; to support police officers and their families.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Support Police Officers

Below are our favorite charities that support police officers:

  • Concerns of Police Survivors
  • National Policing Institute
  • Cops Direct
  • Gary Sinise Foundation
  • Police Unity Tour
  • Project K-9 Hero
  • First Responders Children’s Foundation
  • Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation
  • National Association of Police Athletic/Activities League

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

Concerns of Police Survivors: Rebuilding Shattered Lives

Concerns of Police Survivors was founded in 1984 by attendees of the National Police Survivors Seminar to meet the needs of families of police officers killed in the line of duty. Today, they help families and co-workers of fallen police officers to rebuild their lives after tragedy.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives Concerns of Police Survivors a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

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 programs and services to families and co-workers of police officers killed in the line of duty to help them cope with the loss and thrive moving forward. For example, their C.O.P.S. Kids Counseling Program provides financial assistance to families seeking therapy for their child. In addition, their Hands-On Programs provide retreats for family members where they can grieve and process their loss among peers, such as the Spouses Retreat, Parents Retreat, and C.O.P.S. Kids Camp. Furthermore, they provide college scholarships to children and spouses of fallen officers.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Concerns of Police Survivors has reached more than 50,000 family members and co-workers of fallen police officers. For example, in 2019 alone, 255 survivors attended their C.O.P.S. Kids Camp, while their Spouses Retreat and Parents Retreat hosted 157 and 173 survivors, respectively. In the same year, they awarded $127,517 in scholarships to 55 surviving children and spouses, and funded counseling for 17 children, totaling $26,362.

Ways to contribute: You can make a monetary donation to Concerns of Police Survivors via their website. You can also show support by purchasing a Garden of Hope Paver, or a Christmas Ornament.

National Policing Institute: Pursuing Excellence Through Science and Innovation

The National Policing Institute (formerly known as the National Police Foundation) was founded in 1970 through a grant by the Ford Foundation. Today, they work to advance policing by implementing best practices that result in safe, healthy, and trusting communities. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: GuideStar gives the National Policing Institute a Platinum Seal of Transparency.

Dedicated to advancing policing through innovation and scientific research.

National Policing Institute

What they do: The National Policing Institute assists law enforcement agencies in making strategic and operational decisions based on the latest research and innovation. They provide services in three main areas: research and evaluation, training and technical assistance, and organizational assessments and after-action reviews. Their research team conducts studies on subjects such as policing strategy, community relations, and officer mental health to support fair and equitable policing. They also provide training and technical assistance to law enforcement agencies on a variety of topics. For example, their Rural Violent Crime Reduction Initiative helps rural agencies develop and implement improved strategies for fighting violent crime. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the National Policing Institute has been at the forefront of policing innovation, impacting thousands of officers across the US. For example, in 1979, they conducted a landmark study on women in law enforcement, encouraging increased hiring of female police. Furthermore, their officer safety and wellness tools, guides and tips reached over 3,000 officers and policymakers across more than 60 local and state law enforcement agencies in 2021.

Ways to contribute: You can make a monetary donation to the National Policing Institute or become a sponsor via their website.

COPS Direct: Saving Lives Across America

Cops Direct was founded in 2016 by Aaron Negherbon to improve police officers’ access to life-saving medical equipment and training. Today, the organization is the US law enforcement’s go-to source for first-responder medical equipment and emergency response training.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives Cops Direct a 3-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Together, we have their backs.

Cops Direct

What they do: Cops Direct provides first-responder medical equipment and emergency medical response training to underfunded or undersupplied police forces. So, they can respond to medical emergencies as efficiently as possible. For example, Cops Direct supplies Trauma Support Kits which include tourniquets, face shields, and tools to treat gun shot wounds. As another example, they provide education and training on topics such as evaluating and prioritizing injuries, and hands on training with simulated victims. Furthermore, they advocate for law enforcement through public outreach and education regarding the needs and risks associated with police work.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Cops Direct has donated more than $2.4 million worth of life saving medical supplies and training to law enforcement agencies in 32 states across the US. For example, they donated more than 45,000 items per year, including a $70,000 critical care training mannequin used to train officers in 90 departments across Colorado in 2022. They also provide K-9 critical care training mannequins so officers can administer medical assistance to their police dogs when necessary.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Cops Direct via their website. You can also advocate to help spread the word about the mission of Cops Direct.

Gary Sinise Foundation: Honoring Our Defenders, Veterans, and First Responders

The Gary Sinise Foundation was founded in 2011 by American actor Gary Sinise. After his role as Lieutenant Dan in the movie Forrest Gump, Sinise founded the foundation to help servicemen and First Responders. Today the charity supports veterans and first responders, including police officers, through specialized programs that meet their individual needs.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the Gary Sinise Foundation a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

While we can never do enough for our defenders and their loved ones, we can always do a little more.

Gary Sinise Foundation

What they do: The Gary Sinise Foundation supports veterans and first responders, including police officers, by evaluating their needs on a case-by-case basis and providing help through their specialized programs. For example, their First Responders Outreach Program provides grants for emergency medical equipment and training. Furthermore, they help police officers wounded in the line of duty to regain their independence by building specially adapted smart homes, or modifying their existing homes and vehicles. And, their H.O.P.E. Initiative provides financial support to veterans and first responders in need.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Gary Sinise Foundation has helped thousands of veterans and first responders, including police officers. For example, they built 81 smart homes for wounded heroes, and modified an additional 81 homes. They also awarded 428 emergency relief grants to police, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel, and donated 12,887 pieces of essential equipment. Furthermore, through their H.O.P.E. initiative, the charity provided financial support to 411 heroes in 2020 alone.

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 their programs.

Police Unity Tour: We Ride For Those Who Died

The Police Unity Tour was founded in 1997 by Patrick Montuore to raise awareness for police officers killed in the line of duty, with 18 participants riding bicycles from New Jersey to Washington D.C. Today, thousands of participants make the trip to ensure the sacrifice of fallen officers is never forgotten and to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the Police Unity Tour a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

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 runs an annual event in which participants ride bicycles and motorcycles from New Jersey to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. After fundraising throughout the year, riders embark on the 4-day journey to bring awareness of the dangers police officers face in the line of duty and to honor fallen officers. All fundraising efforts benefit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, thousands of riders have joined the Police Unity Tour to honor police officers killed in the line of duty. For example, in 2022 alone, over 2,000 people participated in the event. In the same year, they donated over $2 million to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, bringing their total donations to over $33 million.

Ways to contribute: You can make a monetary donation to the Police Unity Tour via their website. Surviving family members of fallen officers can also register to become a member and join the ride.

Project K-9 Hero: Acknowledging and Rewarding K-9 Heroes

Project K-9 Hero was founded in 2016 by Jason Johnson, a former police officer and police dog trainer, to support retired police and police working dogs. Today, the organization is dedicated to ensuring all police dogs enjoy the retirement they deserve.

Their impact and transparency ratings: GuideStar gives Project K-9 Hero a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Protecting those who protected us.

Project K-9 Hero

What they do: Project K-9 Hero ensures that retired police dogs have the resources they need to enjoy retirement by providing assistance with medical costs, rehabilitation, adoption, food, and end-of-duty services. They also work to raise awareness of the costs and responsibilities associated with caring for a retired police dog through conferences, social media, and televised appearances. Furthermore, their Rehoming and Rehabilitation Facility, expected to be completed by 2025, will serve as a transition facility for dogs entering retirement, and will feature a veterinary clinic, kennels and play areas. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Project K-9 Hero has helped 200 dogs transition from lives of service to retirement. They have also raised millions of dollars to support their mission, with $3.8 million raised in 2021 alone. 

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.

First Responders Children’s Foundation: Providing Support to the Families of First Responders

The First Responders Children’s Foundation was founded in 2002 by Alfred R. Khan to provide support to children of first responders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Today, the charity provides financial assistance to children of first responders killed in the line of duty.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the First Responders Children’s Foundation a 4-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

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 helps children of fallen first responders, including police officers, by providing a variety of financial assistance opportunities. For example, their Individual Financial Hardship Grant helps families with emergency financial assistance for costs such as housing, childcare, or medical care. As another example, their Scholarship Program helps children of first responders pay for college tuition. Furthermore, their Bereavement Assistance Program provides financial support and community response in the immediate aftermath of the death of a loved one.

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, the First Responders Children’s Foundation has provided support to thousands of surviving children of first responders. For example, in 2021 alone, they reached more than 530,000 children with $12 million of financial assistance. In the same year, they awarded 498 individual grants, and provided 209 scholarships to students attending college. 

Ways to contribute: You can contribute to the First Responders Children’s Foundation by donating through the organization’s website. You can also support the charity by fundraising or by shopping at selected retailers.

Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation:

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was founded in 2002 by Frank Siller. Siller founded the foundation in honor of his brother, Stephen, a firefighter who died in New York City on September 11, 2001. Today, the organization helps families of fallen or severely wounded veterans and first responders, including police officers, by ensuring they have a home that suits their needs.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation a 4-star rating. 

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 Foundation

What they do: The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation supports wounded or fallen veterans and first responders, including police officers, by providing them with housing. For severely wounded veterans and first responders, the foundation builds smart houses equipped with features that encourage independence, such as wider doorways and hallways or automated doors. And, their Fallen First Responders Program pays the mortgage for families who have lost a loved one in the line of duty. Furthermore, their Russell F. Miller Memorial Scholarships provide financial assistance to children of fallen veterans and first responders.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers has raised more than $250 million to support their cause. They have built or paid off the mortgage of more than 450 homes for wounded or fallen heroes and their families. Additionally, their 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit has traveled to 50 states and Canada and reached more than 600,000 people.

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

National Association of Police Athletic/Activities League: Engaging Kids, Cops, and Communities

The National Association of Police Athletic/Activities League was founded in 1940 to decrease juvenile crime by fostering the relationship between law enforcement and at-risk youths. Today, the organization’s chapters provide mentorship, service, and athletic opportunities to children across the US.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity Navigator gives the National Association of Police Athletics/Activities League a 3-star rating. GuideStar gives the charity a Gold Seal of Transparency. 

Working to change the headlines!

National Association of Police Athletic/Activities League

What they do: The National Association of Police Athletic/Activities League supports police officers by encouraging positive interaction between law enforcement and at-risk youths in an effort to reduce future crime. Their Member Chapters engage youth through athletics, education, and recreational activities led by members of local law enforcement agencies. For example, a Chapter established in Syracuse, NY, helps children in grades 3-8 by incentivizing school attendance and good grades. They also offer children the opportunity to participate in a basketball league coached by police officers. Furthermore, the organization hosts two annual conferences which provide members with training, networking opportunities, and inspirational speakers.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the National Association of Police Athletic/ Activities league has grown to include over 300 Member Chapters in 46 states plus the US Virgin Islands and Nigeria, Africa. Their programs have impacted thousands of children, including 3,089 in 2020 alone.

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.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

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

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

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

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

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

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the 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 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 supporting police officers – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Alycia

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

Sources

Photo of author

Alycia O'Dell

Alycia loves to research and write about organizations that invest in the health and welfare of marginalized communities. She holds a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and works with children with autism. Outside of work, she is a new mom to twins and loves helping them learn and explore.

Did you know that the internet is a huge polluter of the environment? But fortunately not this site. This site is powered by renewable energy and all hosting-related CO2 emissions are offset by three times as many renewable energy certificates. Find out all about it here.

Three Related Posts

One Unrelated Post