Bill Gates speaks during the Lin-Manuel Miranda In conversation with Bill & Melinda Gates panel at Hunter College on February 13, 2018 in New York City.
John Lamparski—Getty Images
By Bill Gates
Updated: November 20, 2018 2:58 PM ET | Originally published: January 4, 2018

My parents were huge believers in the importance of giving back. My mom used to ask me at the dinner table how much of my allowance I planned on giving to the Salvation Army at Christmas. Melinda had a similar upbringing, and even before we got married we talked a lot about how we would give back. I encourage you to choose your own cause and get involved – whether you can donate your funds, your time or your voice. Here are a few of my favorite nonprofits and some resources that can help you find an organization to support.

Charity Navigator and GuideStar

There are thousands of incredible nonprofits that could use your help. These two databases can help you find reputable organizations working on the causes that you care about the most.

DonorsChoose.org

Melinda and I are big fans of this organization, which was started by a teacher to help his colleagues get the supplies they need for their classrooms. You can support a school in your neighborhood, pick a specific project that seems interesting or help a classroom recover from a natural disaster.

Giving Tuesday

This international movement was created to celebrate philanthropy on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving – a time of year that is usually focused on gift-giving. You can find countless ways to get involved, and a lot of organizations will even match your donation that day.

UNICEF

There are many great organizations that focus on global health issues. UNICEF works to keep children around the world healthy and safe, which is a top priority for our foundation.

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