Like most folks, I like to feel like I'm helping - people, the environment, animals, etc. With that in mind there are a number of charities that I either support very publicly or actively take part in. So, to give them a bit of a plug, here're the 'biggies' for me personally:

Rotary

I decided to join Rotary last year and have to say that I've been continuously impressed with the organization.  For anyone out there that is a member of a 'service club' I'm sure that you feel the same sort of pride being a member of your particularly organization that I do being a part of Rotary.  Being engaged in both local issues as well as far-reaching International causes is exactly what I was looking for when I embarked on my search to be a part of an organization that is about more than just me and mine.  For those of you that don't have a good understanding of what Rotary is all about I'd recommend taking a look at the Rotary About Page and, if you live in the Minnetonka area- take a look at our local Minnetonka Rotary Club page.

If you are thinking about joining a service club, I'm sure that most are excellent, but I would highly recommend taking a long look at Rotary.

 

Nature Conservancy

As you might know, I was a forest resources major in college - natural space, the environment, wildlife, etc. are all very important to me and, in my opinion, to the world in general.  I'm a big supporter of the Nature Conservancy because they do what they do intelligently and with focus on very straightforward values.  As an organization, then tend towards action and action that is generally not provocative or sensationalistic.  They just go about doing what they do as effectively as they can.   If you can, get involved with a local office and support their work.  If you can't get involved directly, please consider giving to this excellent organization.

 

NOW (National Organization for Women)

I've got daughters.  Beautiful, intelligent, funny, delightful, charming, amazing, totally wonderful daughters.  I also have an amazing, talented, and gorgeous wife.  I'm concerned that, in this day and age, they still don't have equal rights compared to men, sexual harassment is still a major problem, and politicians (generally aging, male politicians) seem to think they can tell women what they can and can't do with their bodies.  Fuck that.  NOW works to try to fix these problems.  As an added bonus, they support gay rights as well.

 

National Public Radio (NPR)

I'm not going to say too much here...  Generally I can't stand the news - it's not news anymore, it's 'entertainment' and most of the news you see on TV or listen to on the radio is either slanted or sensationalist or both.  It sucks.  Not so NPR.  I realize that some of the die-hard FOX viewers out there think public radio is a lefty organization, but that's just because those people are ignorant.  Public radio has covered every major news story in recent years more completely and fairly than any other news 'outlet' and doesn't fill the time in between major events with sensationalist garbage.  They actually use that time to present the nuanced information and discourse that should be typical - things are rarely black-and-white and NPR does a good job of addressing the grey.

 

Movember

This one is both a good cause and a lot of fun (although my wife would claim otherwise on the 'fun' part.)  The effort is targeted at raising awareness and funds for men's health issues - primarily prostate and testicular cancer research.  It's pretty funny - last year we had a bunch of guys in the office participate and we raised almost $1,000.  Here's my Movember page - please consider sponsoring me or the NetSPI Movember team and help us raise money for a worthwhile effort.

There are certainly more organizations that I support, but these are some of the biggies.  If you are looking for a place to put funds that your family has earmarked for charity, please consider these organizations.  Thanks!

 

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