9 Best Charities That Fight to Prevent School Shootings (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities That Fight to Prevent School Shootings (Complete 2024 List)

By
Eli Boles

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In 2022, school shootings reached an all-time high, resulting in over 43,000 children experiencing a shooting. Students and parents face a daily fear that a school in their community could be next due to the relatively easy access to firearms in most parts of the US. The need for committed nonprofits that work to bring an end to school shootings is greater than ever before. So, we had to ask: What are the best charities fighting to prevent school shootings?

The best charities that fight to prevent school shootings are Sandy Hook Promise, Giffords, and March for Our Lives. Other charities like Everytown for Gun Safety and the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions provide invaluable research to further the gun violence prevention movement. 

Whether you want to support programs that seek to stop school shootings before they happen, or you want to support gun laws that make it harder for potential shooters to acquire a firearm, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities fighting to prevent school shootings are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Fight to Prevent School Shootings Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their constant commitment to preventing school shootings, their transparency, and their unique methods for addressing gun violence.

These charities strive to prevent school shootings in different ways such as crisis intervention programs, educational PSA campaigns, and even legal action to make it harder for potential shooters to cause harm.

Many of their operations and goals grow more ambitious every year as the issue of gun violence grows larger.

Yet they all worked toward a common goal: preventing violence in schools and in our communities. 

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Fight to Prevent School Shootings in 2024

Below are our favorite charities fighting to prevent school shootings (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

Sandy Hook Promise: Preventing Gun Violence Before it Happens

Logo for Sandy Hook
Make the Promise  | Sandy Hook Promise

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Their transparency & ratings:

Sandy Hook Promise holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, including a 100% transparency rating. They also have a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, their highest ranking.

“Know the Signs. Save Lives.”

Sandy Hook Promise

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What they do:

Sandy Hook Promise offers training and resources (collectively known as their Know the Signs programs) to help students and teachers recognize the warning signs of potential violence and intervene before a shooting occurs. For example, their Start With Hello program teaches students empathy and empowers them to end social isolation. Their Say Something program trains students to look for warning signs and threats, knowing that most attackers tell people of their plans ahead of time. And their SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) Promise Club are youth-led organizations that encourage young people to take charge of keeping their friends, schools, and communities safe.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Sandy Hook Promise has reached over 23,000 schools nationwide, with more than 18.5 million participants. More importantly, they prevented 14 planned school shootings, saved 406 lives with crisis intervention, prevented 105 acts of violence with a weapon, and received 171,000 tips that were anonymously reported. In addition, in 2018, they helped pass the STOP School Violence Act.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Sandy Hook Promise via their website. You can also support them by making a purchase from their online clothing store, hosting your own local fundraiser, or becoming a volunteer, called a Promise Leader.

2

Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence

Logo for Giffords
Decade of Impact: Celebrating Giffords’ 10-Year Anniversary

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Their transparency & ratings:

The legislative-action branch of Giffords, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, holds a 4-star rating on Charity Navigator, with a 100% transparency rating. 

“We’re on a mission to save lives from gun violence.”

Giffords

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What they do:

Giffords’ primary activities include violence intervention programs, voter education, organizing marches and rallies, and fighting the gun lobby’s influence in Congress and the courts. For example, they implement community violence intervention (CVI) programs that connect people in crisis with local resources and to empower community peacemakers. They also operate their Action Network which notifies members of local events and allows those affected by gun violence to share their stories. Regarding legal activity, they file lawsuits directly against gun-lobby groups such as the NRA, as well as amicus briefs nationwide in support of public safety measures. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Giffords have helped pass gun safety laws in 48 states. Most notably, they successfully flipped the Virginia General Assembly in 2019, resulting in a state assembly that passed 7 landmark gun-safety bills and established a nearly $3 million fund for violence intervention programs. In Congress, they supported the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, which helped to limit the accessibility of firearms to potentially dangerous people. In 2019, they published “The Truth About School Shootings,” which helped to debunk myths spread by the gun industry to dissuade new gun legislation from being passed. And, in 2021, the charity organized the Gun Violence Memorial display across multiple cities to honor victims of gun violence. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Giffords via their website. You can also volunteer to join their Action Network and you can vote for pro-gun control leaders if you are eligible to vote in your state. 

3

March for Our Lives: Not One More

Logo for March for Our Lives
Thoughts and Prayers...

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Their transparency & ratings:

March for Our Lives holds a Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator with a 97% Transparency Rating. They also hold a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Born out of a tragic school shooting, March for Our Lives is a courageous youth-led movement dedicated to promoting civic engagement, education, and direct action by youth to eliminate the epidemic of gun violence.”

March for Our Lives

⚒️

What they do:

March for Our Lives is primarily focused on grassroots organizing efforts to motivate young people to be more politically active in order to prevent future gun violence. These efforts come in the form of organized marches to draw the national spotlight on gun violence as they did in their inception, and they also draft petitions and send letters to Congress demanding policy changes to reduce gun violence nationwide. They also encourage young people to mobilize their peers to vote via text and phone banks, and even support young political candidates who seek to end gun violence from within Congress. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since being created, March for Our Lives has demonstrated in over 400 cities, grabbing the nation’s attention with marches and public displays. For example, in 2022, they created the Thoughts and Prayers Body Bag Art Installation. Again in 2022, they marched in D.C. with over 70,000 people in attendance, and a further 400+ sister rallies in other cities nationwide. Since these demonstrations, some former members have successfully won political offices such as Maxwell Frost, who became one of the first Gen-Z member of Congress in 2022.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to March for Our Lives via their website. You can also volunteer to work with a local chapter.

4

Everytown for Gun Safety: Reducing Gun Violence in America

Logo for Everytown for Gun Safety
We fight until we win.

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Everytown for Gun Safety holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator with an 85% transparency rating. They also hold a Gold Seal of Transparency from Guidestar.

“We can prevent gun violence in schools.”

Everytown for Gun Safety

⚒️

What they do:

Everytown for Gun Safety helps prevent school shootings by conducting research and analysis to create evidence-backed policy solutions to lobby for in Congress, as well as by advocating on behalf of victims to challenge states with dangerous gun laws that could lead to more violence. Through the Everytown Research and Policy Center, they have exposed the causes and factors involved in child gun violence, and developed policy solutions based on this research. They also fight dangerous gun laws in states such as Ohio and Missouri.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Everytown for Gun Safety has produced nearly 100 studies into gun violence, ran successful PSA campaigns across various states, and won major legal battles to help prevent future shootings. Their independent studies have been featured in accredited outlets such as CNN and The Hill, and their Be SMART campaign, which focuses on safe gun storage, has reached over 2 million students. In 2023, the efforts of Everytown Law resulted in the overturning of a dangerous Missouri gun law that inhibited federal law enforcement, and also led to the passing of multiple gun safety bills in Michigan for safe storage and increased background checks.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Everytown for Gun Safety via their website. Other ways to help include joining a local chapter of Moms/Students Demand Action, or joining the Gun Sense Action Network to place calls directly to potential voters and volunteers.

5

Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions: Research and Practice

Logo for Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions
Using Center Data in Practice

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, including a 100% transparency rating.

“We conduct rigorous research and use advocacy to implement evidence-based, equitable policies and programs that will prevent gun violence in our communities.”

Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions

⚒️

What they do:

As part of the well-respected Johns Hopkins University, the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions conducts rigorous independent research to inform policymakers about the most effective ways to combat gun violence. These published studies can inform not only policymakers, but also nonprofit organizations, and local organizers who fight to stop gun violence in their communities. Furthermore, two areas the charity emphasizes in their research are the impact of safe gun storage laws on school shootings, as well as the role handgun purchase licensing plays in national gun violence. 

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What they’ve achieved:

The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions has published research showing the effectiveness of policies such as safe gun storage laws and stricter firearm licensing requirements to reduce mass shootings. Their data has been used by other gun violence prevention organizations such as Everytown for Gun Safety and the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence to bolster their efforts with the Center’s extensive data. Their studies have also been covered in the media by outlets such as CNN, NPR, and CBS News

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions via their website. 

6

Brady: Take Action, Not Sides

Logo for Brady
Brady: United Against Gun Violence

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Their transparency & ratings:

Brady holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Brady. More than a name, it’s a movement.”

Brady

⚒️

What they do:

Brady works to prevent school shootings by using their vast legal resources to fight for stricter gun ownership requirements and advocate for responsible gun ownership to reduce gun violence. For example, Brady’s legal team has been a part of litigation regarding gun industry reform, negligent gun dealers, and holding gun manufacturers accountable for their irresponsible practices. They also pursue programs such as their “Safe Stories” campaign to educate gun owners on how to safely store their firearms to prevent misuse. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Brady has filed over 250 lawsuits in 40 states on behalf of victims of gun violence, resulting in over $50 million in verdicts and settlements. They have also filed suits against major manufacturers such as Smith & Wesson, and secured victories against firearms dealers whose negligence resulted in violence. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Brady via their website. And you can join a local Brady chapter to work in your community.

7

Newtown Action Alliance Foundation: We Are All Touched by Gun Violence

Logo for Newtown Action Alliance Foundation
Join us at the National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Newtown Action Alliance holds a Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Our mission is to achieve the steady and continuous reduction of gun violence through legislative and cultural changes.”

Newtown Action Alliance

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What they do:

The Newtown Action Alliance supports candidates and policies that work to reduce gun violence and hosts community events aimed at empowering survivors and concerned citizens to fight to end gun violence. For example, they’ve endorsed gun-safety candidates at both the national and state level by supporting presidential candidates and gubernatorial candidates. They also promote programs such as The Campaign to Keep Kids Safe, which encourages communities to host gun buyback events.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

The Newtown Action Alliance has launched several gun safety campaigns including the Campaign Against Assault Weapons, a successful campaign to enact universal background checks, and the Campaign to #KeepKidsSafe from Unsecured Guns, which led to the passing of Ethan’s Law in 2022. Their efforts also resulted in Dick’s Sporting Goods taking a stand and hiring a firm to lobby Congress for gun reform measures. They also backed the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was the first major gun safety legislation passed in nearly 30 years

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Newtown Action Alliance Foundation via their website. You can also volunteer to work in your community, or at events all over the country.

8

Survivors Empowered: Your Soft Place to Land

Logo for Survivors Empowered
California couple a step closer to having gun law named after their daughter killed in mass shooting

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Their transparency & ratings:

Survivors Empowered holds a Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Our mission at Survivors Empowered is to empower survivors of violence to use their stories to create a reduction in violence that we all desire.”

Survivors Empowered

⚒️

What they do:

Survivors Empowered operates programs to quickly connect gun violence survivors with the resources they need to heal, foster a community, and empower them to transform their tragedy into triumph for the gun violence prevention movement. For example, they offer the free Survivor’s Toolkit, which guides gun violence survivors through the initial shock and educates them on how to tell their stories and advocate in their communities. They also host town hall events that give survivors an opportunity to talk directly to policymakers.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Survivors Empowered has strived to be a resource that empowers victims of gun violence to create positive change from their traumatic experiences. For example, in 2022, they partnered with Giffords to create the free Survivor’s Toolkit. In addition to guiding survivors through the first few weeks following a shooting, the Toolkit offers suggestions for how to join the gun violence prevention movement. In 2023, their advocacy succeeded in passing Jessi’s Law in Colorado, allowing lawsuits against reckless firearms producers and dealers under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Survivors Empowered via their website. You can also make a purchase from their online store.

9

Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence: Elevating Stories of Gun Violence

Logo for Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence
Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence founders talk Texas shooting

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Their transparency & ratings:

Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence holds a Silver Seal of Transparency from Guidestar.

“Elevating stories to impact and pass local, state, and federal gun violence prevention legislation and to help change the culture of gun violence.”

Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence

⚒️

What they do:

Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence’s main activities include publishing the stories of educators and other school staff who have been hurt by gun violence to amplify their voices, and to teach educators how to be activists in their communities and fight for safer schools. For example, their Teachers Unify Podcast compiles the stories of teachers who have been impacted by gun violence to share their experiences and perspective. They also host video conferences to teach educators the skills to empower themselves in their communities and become stronger advocates for safer schools.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence has over 1,800 members who have spoken at events for the Just Majority campaign, in which they partnered with over 30 other advocacy organizations. The founders and their stories have also been featured in interviews with Time Magazine and The Washington Post

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Teachers Unify to End Gun Violence via their website. You can also volunteer your story if you are an educator or other school staff member.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

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

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Eli

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

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

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