The Anachronistic Mom's
Charity and Nonprofit page (with some politics thrown in)
There are many websites nowadays that promise to help you navigate charities.  This page lists some, as well as some charity orgs that I want to log for my own edification.

Civil liberties and other political
Pleased to meet you.  I'm a card-carrying member of the ACLU.  I'm personally kind of fond of  the bill of rights.  Like, who wouldn't be?

Have you heard of the Anti-Defamation League?  It's against hate crimes.  Those are UP, by the way.
I really like People for the American Way.  It was founded by Norman Lear 20 years ago. 
How about Not in Our Name?
Amnesty International needs no introduction.

Choice and women's health
Planned Parenthood, of course.
And the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Center for Reproductive Rights

Health issues
Muscular Dystrophy Assocation  (remember Jerry?)

Save trees
National Resources Defense Council is good.
Save-the-Redwoods League
The Nature Conservancy

Various categories of people

Babies and children
Obviously these categories overlap, but hey.
March of Dimes.  For babies and babies with problems.

Hungry people
Meals on Wheels association of America
See also the San Francisco organizations list, below.

People of color
United Negro College Fund.

People without houses
I really like Habitat for Humanity.  I think that Mr. and Mrs. Carter have done absolutely cool stuff, and it's always nice to hear about their vision being carried out.

People with health problems
Seva is a nonprofit that helps to give the gift of sight. (among other things)

San Francisco/Bay Area-specific Charities and Organizations

Meals on Wheels of San Francisco.  Shut-ins.  Aids patients, older folks, you name it.
Bay Area Rescue Mission
Project Open Hand

Palo Alto
Here is a recommendation for the Palo Alto area:  "I love the Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo Alto.  My experience with them has been very positive. It's a wonderful direct service option as they accept all household items, clothing, children's books & toys, and non-perishable food items. They make sure all donated items go directly to a family in need.  You can drop things off, or a truck will come to you. "

Ecumenical Hunger Program is located at 2411 Pulgas Avenue in East Palo Alto, 323-7781, or

Parks and museums
Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo
For San Francisco: Friends of Recreation and Parks
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Smithsonian museum
Museum of Natural History in NYC
Museum of Modern Art
SF Museum of Modern Art

Charity Registration Service:

What goes around lets you register your charity interests so that people can donate in your name.  Interesting.  Actually, the part that I like the most is that kids can register.