Sometimes the best gifts are the gifts that give back. Whether you’re making a cash donation, giving your time, donating in a friend’s name or buying a non-profit’s merch or tickets, there’s no better time than the season of giving.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art @ any amount
Where to give: nelson-atkins.org/give/
The Nelson is one of the cornerstones of KC. Because it’s primarily funded by private donations, the Nelson relies on contributions to continue its programming. Since most of us don’t have actual art to gift to the museum, you can choose a cash donation and know you’ve done your part to keep KC’s art hub alive.
BikeWalkKC Membership @ $3 and up (monthly or one-time)
Where to give: BikeWalkKC
BikeWalkKC’s main goal is to make KC a safer and more accessible place to walk, bicycle, live, work and play. Programs like BikeWalkKC’s B-Cycle bike sharing initiative help make this a reality.
Volunteer to help with an event or advocacy program or make a one-time or monthly donation in an amount of your choice. As a bonus, members get discounts on BikeWalkKC classes, discounts at local businesses, free stickers and the first chance to volunteer at events like New Belgium Clips and Tour de Bier.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City @ any amount
Where to give: bbbskc.org
While Big Brothers Big Sisters is a national organization, its Greater Kansas City chapter is especially active in the community here in town. BBBS’s mission is “to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever,” and they offer several routes to empower Kansas Citians to do so.
First, you can give a cash donation, which can be a one-time gift or an ongoing contribution. These donations go toward recruiting and matching Bigs, as well as sponsoring ongoing projects. Second, BBBS accepts clothing donations. Third, you can donate your time by volunteering to be a Big for a Little in need, which can be hugely rewarding for both parties— just ask #InkUnder30 Brooke Wilbur.
Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey @ any amount
Where to give: kcfaa.org/donate
You may have read about Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey through the Ink 30 Under 30 campaign’s coverage of Godfrey Riddle, its development director. KCFAA teaches underserved kids critical life skills through dance and multi-cultural community partnerships. In addition, KCFAA is Kansas City’s sole presenter of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey II, and puts on a number of other events including its Symposium series.
When donating one-time or monthly to KCFAA, you get to decide where your money will go, including AileyCamp, dance education programs, Symposium or wherever it’s needed most.
KC STEM Alliance @ any amount
Where to give: kcstem.org
As science and technology companies grow in Kansas City, we need to ensure our citizens have the technical skills required to enter the industry. KC STEM Alliance connects the many STEM education and workforce initiatives in our community by supporting and increasing access to STEM programs in underserved communities.
If you want to help Kansas Citians, especially women and girls, continue to develop skills through educational and mentoring programs, this is the place to do it. Support the organization through a one-time or monthly donation in cash amounts of your choosing, or donate your time and expertise, if applicable.
The Literacy Lab @ $10 and up
Where to give: theliteracylab.org
#InkUnder30 program and communications associate Anna Selle increased our awareness of The Literacy Lab, whose mission is “to provide low-income children with individualized reading instruction to improve their literacy skills.”
This organization makes sure underserved children can read by grade three by starting as early as age three, and partners with local schools by embedding full-time tutors in schools and early childhood centers, as well as supporting families experiencing homelessness.
The Literacy Lab allows you to make a donation in honor of someone else, making it a great gift for charitable friends who love to read and appreciate the need for literacy in our community.
90.9 The Bridge Membership @ $5 and up (monthly or one-time)
Where to give: The Bridge
90.9 The Bridge is a listener-supported, non-commercial music radio that incorporates as much local and independent music as possible into its rotation and interview slate, and it also helps promote some of Kansas City’s biggest events in local music. It’s powered by listener contributions, and by signing up for a monthly sustaining donation you can help keep the station going.
Of course, you can give a one-time donation, but for $10 per month for a year you can get a free The Bridge T-shirt. The perks keep on going from there, including ongoing invites to unique experiences (909 Sessions, tickets and meet and greet opportunities, sound-check parties, member concerts), having your name listed on KCPT's Live on The Bridge, and access to intimate, in-studio 909 Sessions (up to 5 national acts).