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5 Creative Nonprofits That America Loves

Some of America’s most popular nonprofits are also the most unique.

In 2017, Americans donated $410 billion to charitable organizations—the most ever given in a single year.1 That’s great news for American nonprofits. And it shows that Americans recognize the importance of supporting organizations devoted to improving the nation and the world.

While many Americans already have a select group of nonprofits to which they regularly donate money and/or time, many are also on the lookout for additional organizations that could use their support. Among the many options, some nonprofits offer a more creative use of resources—and a more unique service—than others, which has helped them become quite popular. Among such creative nonprofits, five of the most beloved include:

5 Creative Nonprofits That America Loves


An acronym for Technology, Education, and Design, TED exists to spread ideas. The organization is best known for hosting and producing TED Talks, an ongoing series of mini-lectures given by people in a wide variety of fields. Explorative in nature, these talks address difficult questions and/or present new ideas on ways to understand ourselves and the world. It’s a popular series, with the most popular talks racking up millions of views on YouTube.

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Every day, doctors diagnose children with critical illnesses. And every day, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America helps children fighting those illnesses make a wish come true. Whether it’s sending a family to Disney World, arranging for a child to be a police officer for a day, or building a backyard treehouse, Make-A-Wish works hard to make every wish a reality, helping empower and strengthen children fighting for their lives.

The Y

With a history stretching back 160 years, the YMCA—or the Y as it’s now called—is a global organization with a local touch. Built around the needs of each, individual community in which it has a presence, the Y focuses on youth development, healthy living, and community outreach, giving people of all ages the tools and spaces they need to improve their health, gain new skills, and welcome new people into the community. From community gyms to family programs, the Y is a vital part of many people’s local life.

The Nature Conservancy

From coast-to-coast, America is filled with natural beauty. And preserving that beauty is what inspired The Nature Conservancy to form in the 1950s. But unlike some environmental organizations that take a combative approach to business and capitalism in general, The Nature Conservancy believes in working with businesses to give them the motivation and ability to treat the environment well. When possible, The Nature Conservancy even buys land or facilitates the private purchase of land for the purpose of preservation, using the property rights inherent to free societies to keep America and land around the world beautiful.


There’s the old saying that if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day, but if you teach him to fish, he eats for a lifetime. Kiva takes a modern twist on that axiom: it seeks to give the man the loan he needs to buy his fishing gear. Formed in 2005, Kiva provides microloans to help people start their own enterprises and raise themselves out of poverty. It’s an innovative way to give people the tools they need to help themselves. And it’s become quite popular, connecting nearly 2 million lenders with borrowers in 81 countries.2

How Can You Help Nonprofits Succeed?

No matter how noble the mission or how devoted the volunteers, a nonprofit can’t succeed unless it’s well run. This is why every nonprofit needs managers with strong leadership qualities and excellent organizational acumen. In the past, many of these managers started their careers by earning a business degree, such as an MS in Management. But in a world where specialization is increasingly important, there’s now a better graduate degree for those who want to advance a nonprofit career: an MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership.

Through this graduate program in nonprofit management, you can gain the specialized knowledge and leadership skills you need to help a nonprofit create meaningful social change. It’s one of the most useful nonprofit degrees you can earn. And, the good news is, you can earn it through an online university.

What’s the advantage of online learning? First and foremost, online graduate degree programs don’t require you to upend your life to earn your MS degree. When you enroll in an online master’s program in nonprofit management, you can complete your coursework right from home. You can also continue working full time while you earn your master’s degree, thanks to the fact that online education gives you the freedom to attend class at whatever time of day works best for your schedule.

Nonprofits play an important role in our society. With an MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership, you can help nonprofits continue to help our world.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,