Progressive Giving Report 2015

Progressive Giving Report 2015

About ShareProgressInside ShareProgress

Every now and then, someone will ask me what I like about working at ShareProgress. I have plenty of reasons: working remotely, the great orgs that we work with, learning that there are actually practical applications for statistics… But one of my very favorite parts of working at ShareProgress is that once a year we each get to choose an organization that will receive a portion of our annual revenue as a donation (here’s our post about our choices last year!). It’s kind of like ShareProgress Christmas.

Donating one percent of our revenue to progressive nonprofits is part of our commitment to living out our progressive values. We just went through the process of deciding where to donate, and we wanted to share a little about the organizations that we chose, and why we chose them.



How they describe themselves: “As Samaschool, we will continue to grow two models to expand access to our programs—in-person training, as we’ve done with U.S. sites and are now scaling to new countries, and online training that is available to more advanced students regardless of geography. Our goal is to provide training to 25,000 people by 2017, so they can succeed in the digital economy and move out of poverty.”

Why Cindy chose them: As we move more and more towards a more digital world, there is strong need to have individuals from different backgrounds, cultures, and ideals working in the space to ensure everyone is being considered in all things digital. Samaschool offers a great program to help low-income individuals around the globe learn the skills they need to succeed in a digital world, while focusing on providing them the support they need to believe that they can get a job and do it well.

Learn more:


How they describe themselves: “ launched in 2013 as a global platform for engaging in workplace advocacy. Our technology makes it easy for individuals or groups of employees to launch, join and win campaigns to improve their workplace. is a non-profit organization fiscally sponsored by the CEL Education Fund. Our capacity is strengthened through participation in CEL’s Powerful Communities Program. Hundreds of thousands of people have joined campaigns, and employees are winning important changes at work.”

Why Jim chose them: Living in San Francisco, I get to see first hand the amazing advances in technology that are happening these days, but I also see how a lot of new technology is disrupting the traditional employment model and leading to worse conditions for workers at some companies. provides powerful tools that allow employees to run people-powered campaigns to improve their workplaces, leveraging new technology and social media to amplify their voices. I think it’s pretty exciting to see people coming up with innovative solutions to a challenging problem like this one.

Learn more:



How they describe themselves: “At Seacology, we believe that environmental issues are human issues, too. By providing a benefit – be it a health center, a school, or a water system – in exchange for the creation of a nature reserve, we ensure the reserve works in everyone’s interests.”

Why Justine chose them: I love how Seacology provides measurable results by working with local communities to make their conservation programs sustainable. They avoid mission creep by focusing on island communities and ecosystems, they’re committed to advancing conservation science, they foster grassroots conservation efforts, and economic empowerment.

I also had multiple recommendations from various sources, social proof!

Learn more:

Sylvia Rivera Law Project


How they describe themselves: “The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence. SRLP is a collective organization founded on the understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice. Therefore, we seek to increase the political voice and visibility of low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming. SRLP works to improve access to respectful and affirming social, health, and legal services for our communities. We believe that in order to create meaningful political participation and leadership, we must have access to basic means of survival and safety from violence.”

Why Anna chose them: I’ve been horrified reading reports from this year about the incredibly high rate at which trans women of color are murdered in the United States. This kind of violence is a result of so many intertwining factors, many of which are deeply ingrained systemic issues. The SRLP works to address some of those issues by providing legal services and prison advocacy specifically for transgender, transexual, intersex, and gender-nonconforming folks. I am also deeply inspired to their commitment to working within a non-hierarchical anti-oppression framework.

Learn more:



How they describe themselves: “Thread engages underperforming high school students confronting significant barriers outside of the classroom by providing each one with a family of committed volunteers and increased access to community resources. We foster students’ academic advancement and personal growth into self-motivated, resilient, and responsible citizens. Thread weaves a new social fabric by connecting students, university and community-based volunteers, and collaborators. By radically and permanently reconfiguring the social support structure of all involved, Thread breaks the cycle of crime, poor educational and economic outcomes and replaces it with a new cycle of educational attainment, service and social well-being.”

Why Andy chose them: I picked to donate my share to Thread because they have a really cool model for helping struggling high school students that seems to be really successful. They identify underperforming high school students that are also facing significant barriers outside of the classroom and match each of these kids with a “family” of up to five mentors who agree to do whatever it takes to help the student realize his or her potential. They’ve also had a ton of success; Thread says that 80% of their student alumni have graduated from a 4 or 2 year degree or certificate program. Also, they’re from Baltimore.

Learn more:



How they describe themselves: “We first locate extremely poor communities using publicly available data. We then send field staff door-to-door to digitally collect data on poverty and enroll recipients. We target households using criteria that vary by region—including aggregating a range of factors or looking at housing materials. We use a set of independent checks to verify that recipients are eligible and did not pay bribes, such as physical back-checks, image verification, and data consistency checks. For example, we use GPS coordinates and crowdsourced labor to detect irregularities. We have experimented with using satellite imagery. We transfer recipient households roughly $1,000, or around one year’s budget for a typical household. We use electronic payment systems; typically, recipients receive an SMS alert and then collect cash from a mobile money agent in their village or nearest town. We call each recipient to verify receipt of funds, flag issues, and assess our own customer service. We also staff a hotline for inbound calls and in some cases staff follow up in person.”

Why Sandhya chose them: I decided to give my donation to GiveDirectly. They’ve been around for about 5 years, and have been studying the efficacy of unconditional cash transfers in Kenya and Uganda. I really admire their commitment to testing, and the rigor with which they analyze the effects of their work. They recently announced that they’ll be starting a 10-year experiment on the societal effects of a universal basic income, a topic I’m particularly interested in, so I’m excited to be able to contribute a little bit to those efforts.

Learn more:

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

How they describe themselves: “KFTC is a grassroots organization of 10,000 members across Kentucky. We have local chapters and at-large members in many counties. We use a set of core strategies, from leadership development to communications and voter empowerment, to impact a broad range of issues, including coal and water, new energy and transition, economic justice and voting rights.”

Why Amar chose them: When you look at my home state, it’s easy to see the legacy of many decades of exploitation and mismanagement: Kentucky ranks among the poorest and least educated states in the country. KFTC’s broad mission is to build a just, healthy, sustainable, inclusive, and democratic Kentucky. It’s an ambitious goal that can’t be won on just one front, which is why KFTC is simultaneously working to stop destructive coal mining practices, pass tax reform, transition our economy to sustainable energy, and restore voting rights to former felons. KFTC is a grassroots organization made up of ordinary Kentuckians, and among its staff and members I count many people whom I deeply admire and respect.

Learn more:


We’re thrilled to be able to help support the work of such great organizations. Next year we’ll be choosing a new group of organizations. If you think your nonprofit would be a perfect fit for our giving program, feel free to shoot us an email!

Written By

Anna Schmitz