End of Year Giving
a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others, especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.
Once upon a time, I would never dare to call myself a philanthropist. I thought that was a word reserved only for the über wealthy capable of making donations in the five-, six-, seven-figure range. You know what though? Fuck that.
If I, if you, if anyone, shares their material wealth (whether that wealth be meager, modest or massive), that person, in my mind, is a philanthropist.
You've got a few more days to get your philanthropy on for 2016, folks. Let's do the damn thing.
Here are some organizations and projects I've given to, in alphabetical order:
If you know me, this organization should be familiar to you. It's so important to sustain the first, and I'd argue only, online home for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to engage in discourse, actions, advocacy and art around the diverse and beautiful identity that is being AAPI. I put oh so many blood, sweat and tears into helping to create this organization and now, one of most spectacular humans I know, Cayden Mak, is at the helm. AAPIs are an important demographic in America but also an invisibilized, under-resourced and under-represented one. Also, in the wake of the fucked up year that has been 2016 (November, in particular) I think political homes like 18MR.org will be of the utmost importance to Muslim, Sikh, refugee, queer and non-binary AAPIs.
I like things like civil liberties and rights. I'm pretty into free speech and the right to protest, too. Reproductive freedom, yup, we still need to fight for that. This was an incredibly easy decision on my giving this year, especially after kicking it with their rad principal technologist, Chris Soghoian, who shares an affinity for sweet reggae music and throwing mild shade at Washington D.C.
Unless Chaédria forgot to tell me, this was a charitable contribution in spirit, but not in the land of tax deductions. I was on sabbatical for most of the first half of this year and one of the ways I eased back in to my productivity was donating my expertise (and modest material contributions) to this project. Chaédria is doing big things in the worlds of art, justice and fashion. Read more about her supreme flyness and sharpness here.
Showed a little support for friend, colleague, comrade, academic and activist Terry Park. He's running out of love and support for his mom fighting stage 4 stomach cancer while and, "as the child of Korean immigrants, one of whom is a limited English speaker, [Terry] grew up with an intimate awareness of the challenges that often prevent Asian immigrants from realizing their full potential in the U.S." This donation was out of love of friends, family and immigrants. Straight up.
A perfect, San Francisco-based amalgamation of my technologist, artist and civic engagement hearts. Need I say more?
It felt a touch silly to donate to a client. However, the more I learn about what Mozilla is up to and what they're building towards, the more I realize that I want to contribute to their efforts on all fronts I'm able to do so. If you give a shit about privacy and security, if you value transparency, if you believe in decentralized power, if you believe in equity and inclusion online, if you think the internet should be a pubic resource, if you believe an open internet is a healthy internet, I really think you should make an investment in Mozilla. It's an investment in our collective online future.
If I have to explain why I donated to Planned Parenthood, you should just go away. Now. Please and thank you. If I don't have to explain this to you, consider donating to the Planned Parent Action Fund. While donating to the 501(c)4 isn't tax deductible, it is more valuable for political fights since it isn't bound by the same nonpartisan rules as deductible 501(c)3 money.
Full disclosure, wifey is Board Chair of this outrageously great organization. SWB's programs create avenues for friendship, language acquisition, community, integration into new societies, and civic engagement. Oh, and of course, playing soccer. They work all over the world and all over the United States to create inclusive soccer teams that are comprised, almost entirely, of newcomer and refugee youth. Check out the 10-minute video below to learn more about SWB.
UHAI makes 1 of every 6 LGBTI grants globally, and is the world’s 9th largest funder of sex worker rights. In terms of supporting queer and sex worker rights worldwide, especially in the global south, there isn't a single organization that I'd trust more to do this work. UHAI is extra awesome for being a collaborative fund, with each of their grantees have a say in who gets what amounts. As a result, their process isn't as competitive as other grantmaking process I've seen and participated in, and appears to be more equitable. UHAI also happens to have one of the biggest badasses as their ED and one of the most fun and sharp staffs I've ever had the privilege of romping around with in Mombasa.
Debra Cleaver, in addition to keeping snarky wit alive for me in the Bay, has single-handedly built an organization dedicated to making registering to vote and voting as frictionless as possible in the United States. Learn more about who Debra is and why she rocks so hard here.
For a bit less money than what LiveIntent made offering e-mail advertising and marketing services, Wikimedia Foundation runs (amongst other things) Wikipedia. In case you've been living under a rock, Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that's also the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet. If the adage "knowledge is power" is true, then that would make Wikipedia one of the most powerful things in the age of the internet. Seems like a good thing to support, yeah? Bonus points to any organization wise and fortunate enough to have one of the dopest humans and friends on the planet, aka Katherine Maher, as their ED.
When I first started DJing, the amount of bullshit I had to put up with a female DJ was, well, fucking bullshit. According to Women's Audio Mission's website, "less than 5% of the people creating the sounds, music and media in the daily soundtrack of our lives are women" and there is a "70% decline in women/girls enrolling in college STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) programs since the year 2000." In San Francisco, this organization is doing more than their part to address these two things. I became a member of their organization this year.