9 Best Charities That Support Police Officers (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities That Support Police Officers (Complete 2024 List)

By
Alycia O'Dell

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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 in 2024

Below are our favorite charities that support police officers (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

Concerns of Police Survivors: Rebuilding Shattered Lives

Logo for Concerns of Police Survivors
The Reason Why

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Their 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

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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.

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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.

2

National Policing Institute: Pursuing Excellence Through Science and Innovation

Logo for National Policing Institute
LEO Near Miss Officer Safety Initiative

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Their 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

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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. 

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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.

3

COPS Direct: Saving Lives Across America

Logo for Cops Direct
Cops Direct Cryptocurrency

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Their 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

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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.

4

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

Logo for The Gary Sinise Foundation
Gary Sinise Foundation Official Promo 2022

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Their 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.

5

Police Unity Tour: We Ride For Those Who Died

Logo for Police Unity Tour
Police Unity Tour - Founding

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Their 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.

6

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

Logo for Project K-9 Hero
Project K-9 Hero - Loyalty Honor Service

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Their transparency & ratings:

GuideStar gives Project K-9 Hero a Platinum Seal of Transparency. 

Protecting those who protected us.

Project K-9 Hero

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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.

7

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

Logo for First Responders Children’s Foundation
First Responders Children's Foundation | Support Children & Families of First Responders

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Their 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

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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.

8

Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation:

Logo for Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation
"I Love You, Daddy" TV Spot ft. Mark Wahlberg - Tunnel to Towers

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Their 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

9

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

Logo for National Association of Police Athletic/Activities League
Kids given hope through National PAL programs around the US and abroad

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Their 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

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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.
  • 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:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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