Since there are hundreds of charities and non-profit organizations based in the Washington DC area, it can be overwhelming to decide which charities to support. Many people prefer to give their time and make financial contributions to local organizations. The following guide highlights the top charities that serve the Washington DC area including the suburbs of Maryland and Northern Virginia. These organizations were given a four star rating by Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator, for demonstrating excellence in organizational efficiency and organizational capacity.
(Listed in alphabetical order)
American Architectural Foundation
1799 New York Avenue NW Washington DC 20006 (202) 626-7318. Through outreach programs, grants, scholarships and educational resources, AAF educates people about architecture and improving the way we live.
American Lung Association of the District of Columbia
530 7th St. SE Washington DC 20003 (202) 546-5864. ALADC’s mission is to prevent lung disease through education, research and advocacy
1101 6th Street SW Washington, DC 20024 (202) 488-3300. The regional theater specializes in the production of new and classic American plays. Arena Stage's Community Engagement programs include performance arts classes and workshops for students and community organizations.
Arlington Food Assistance Center
2708 South Nelson Street Arlington, VA 22206 (703) 845-8486. This local charity provides supplemental groceries to individuals in need.
Carnegie Institution for Science
1530 P Street NW Washington, DC 20005 (202) 387-6400. The organization is dedicated to scientific research in the fields of plant biology, developmental biology, Earth and planetary sciences, astronomy, and global ecology.
802 N Henry Street Alexandria, VA 22314 (703)548-7500.
The homeless shelter in Alexandria is dedicated to providing services, education and advocacy to help children, families, and adults find affordable housing.
Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School of Greater Washington
Lower school - 1901 E. Jefferson St. Rockville, MD 20852 (301) 881-1400.
Upper School - 11710 Hunters Lane, upper school Rockville, MD (301) 881-1400.
Private elementary and secondary schools
Chesapeake Bay Trust
60 West Street, Suite 405, Annapolis, MD 21401 (410) 974-2941. The non-profit organization promotes the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.
The Children's Inn at NIH
7 West Drive Bethesda, MD 20814 (301) 496-5672. National Institutes of Health provides a place for sick children and their families to stay when they travel from across the country and around the world to receive groundbreaking medical treatments.
DC Bar Pro Bono Program
1101 K Street NW, Suite 200 Washington DC 20005 (202) 737-4700. The program recruits, trains and mobilizes volunteer attorneys to take cases serving individuals who are living in poverty.
DC Central Kitchen
425 2nd Street NW Washington, DC 20001 (202) 234-0707. DCCK seeks to combat hunger by recycling unused food and delivering meals to the needy.
The Culinary Job Training Program provides homeless men and women with professional skills and a means to support themselves.
Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation
5151 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Suite 420, Washington, DC 20016. (202) 298-9211. The organization’s goals are to find the cure for diabetes and to educate the public about prevention and living with the disease.
Doorways for Women and Families
PO Box 100185, Arlington, VA 22210 (703) 522-8858. Doorways is a temporary community shelter and resource center for abused, homeless or at-risk women and families.
The Ellington Fund
3500 R Street NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 333-2555. The organization provides support for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, the only DC public high school that provides professional arts training and college preparation to talented DC students.
Food & Friends
219 Riggs Road, NE Washington, DC 20011 (202)269-2277. The local charity provides nutrition counseling and prepares, packages and delivers meals and groceries to more than 1,400 people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses throughout Washington, DC, the Maryland suburbs and Northern Virginia.
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37th and O Streets, NW, Washington, DC 20057 (202) 687-0100. The nation's oldest Catholic and Jesuit University offers undergraduate and graduate programs.
Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University
3301 N. Fairfax Dr., Ste. 440 Arlington VA 22201 (703) 993-4880. HIS assists undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in individual liberty with scholarships, grants, internship programs, and free summer seminars.
Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
1529 16th Street NW Washington, DC 20036 (202) 536-3899. The organization strengthens the Jewish community in the Washington area, in Israel, and around the world raising funds for social services, educational opportunities, humanitarian assistance, and more.
Jewish Foundation for Group Homes
1500 East Jefferson Street Rockville, MD 20852 (301) 984-3839. The non-profit organization provides support and services for adults with disabilities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Jewish Social Service Agency
200 Wood Hill Road, Rockville, MD 20850 (301) 838-4200. The organization provides a wide range of counseling, educational and career services, in-home support, hospice and nursing care and social services to those in need in the Washington DC metropolitan area regardless of their religious background, race or ability to pay.
Little Sisters of the Poor of Washington, DC
4200 Harewood Road NE Washington, DC 20017 (202) 635-2054.
The local charity provides nursing and assisted living services to the elderly poor.
Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic
5272 River Road, Suite 700 Bethesda, Maryland 20816 (301) 962-9474. The nonprofit organization fulfills the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions who live in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Manna Food Center
614 Lofstrand Lane Rockville, MD 20850 (301) 424-1130. The nonprofit organization strives to eliminate hunger in Montgomery County, Maryland through food distribution, advocacy and education.
National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area
5335 Wisconsin Ave NW Ste 300, Washington, DC 20015 (202) 244-7900. The organization educates the public about preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases and provides funding for medical research and organ donation programs.
National Museum of Women in the Arts
1250 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20005 (202) 783-5000. The museum is dedicated exclusively to recognizing the contributions of women artists.
Sabin Vaccine Institute
2000 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 7100 Washington, DC 20006 (202) 842-5025. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to preventing and curing infectious diseases.
SOME (So Others Might Eat)
71 'O' Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (202) 797-8806. The interfaith, community-based organization offers services to help the homeless and poor such as affordable housing, job training, addiction treatment, and counseling.
1025 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW Suite 500 West Washington, DC 20007 (202) 624-7000.
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is a global research and educational organization that provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities.
Washington Animal Rescue League
71 Oglethorpe Street NW Washington, DC 20011 (202) 726-2556. The organization is an animal protection group that provides care to homeless and abused dogs and cats until a good, loving home can be found. The League also provides free and low cost veterinary care for those who can not afford it.
300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown, Maryland 21620 (410) 778-2800. Private liberal arts college.
Youth For Tomorrow
11835 Hazel Circle Drive Bristow, VA 20136 (703) 396-7239. YFT is a residential treatment program founded by Joe Gibbs, former Head Coach of the Washington Redskins, providing a safe, healthy, and compassionate environment for at-risk youth who have been abandoned or abused.