If you love true crime, you're probably obsessed with learning everything you can about the most captivating cases. But spending night after night reading 9-1-1 transcripts and obituaries can make you feel helpless, frustrated, and well, sad.
Luckily, there are plenty of organizations out there that work to support victims of crimes and their families. These organizations range in their individual missions—from sexual violence prevention to advocating for victims' rights—and they rely on the kindness of people who understand and appreciate their goals. (Also, every nonprofit on this list is a registered 501(c)3, which means that donations made before the end of the year are tax deductible!)
Here are nine incredible nonprofits that are taking their passion for justice to the next level.
Law & Order: Special Victims’ Unit fans will recognize the issue this organization tackles as one close to Olivia Benson’s heart. Founded by actress and activist Mariska Hargitay, End the Backlog focuses on shining a light on the thousands of untested rape kits that sit on police station shelves across America. End the Backlog has not only raised awareness but has launched a nationwide campaign to pass comprehensive rape kit reform legislation in all 50 states. Learn how to take action now.
Have you ever wondered if anyone behind bars is innocent? The work of the Innocence Project has led to the freeing of more than 350 wrongfully convicted people based on DNA, including 20 individuals who spent time on death row, and the finding of 150 real perpetrators. They have spent the last 25 years working to free the wrongly convicted and reform the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. You can donate here to help them continue their work for another 25 years!
RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. They created and operate the National Sexual Assault Hotline and also carry out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. An average of 558 survivors get help from RAINN’s hotlines every day, and you can help keep the lines open by donating here.
Based right here in Maryland where Hunt a Killer is located, House of Ruth is a haven for victims of domestic violence to get food, shelter, counseling, legal advice and other services. Their 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, and therapy help thousands of victims a year. Active since 1977, House of Ruth is now one of the nation’s most comprehensive domestic violence centers and has a staff of more than 90. There are many ways to give, which you can explore by clicking here.
Books change minds and hearts, and that’s how they can change futures. Based in Philadelphia, Books Through Bars is a volunteer-run organization that distributes free books and educational materials to incarcerated people. On average, they send approximately 2,100 books to about 700 incarcerated people every month! Books Through Bars asks for donations in the form of money, volunteers, and (of course) books.
In 2017 alone, law enforcement in America reported more than 464,000 entries of missing children in the national crime database. In that same year, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received over 10.2 million CyberTipline reports about sexually exploited children. The NCMEC works tirelessly to lead the fight against abduction, abuse, and exploitation— because every child deserves a safe childhood. Click here to help the NCMEC find children and reunite them with their families.
The National Center for Victims of Crime advocates for victims' rights, trains professionals who work with victims, and serves as a trusted source of information on victims' issues. After more than 25 years, they remain the most comprehensive national resource committed to advancing victims' rights and helping victims of crime rebuild their lives. Everyone has been affected by crime in some way, and you can help support them through the NCVC by clicking here.
The Victims’ Rights Foundation has worked since 1996 to perform volunteer support services on behalf of victims of violent crimes and attacks. They focus on going above and beyond to raise reward and medical funds and provide comfort and burial assistance. They have even opened a preschool in Kenya! Click here to support their efforts this holiday season.
Cold Case Foundation: This organization is especially close to our hearts here at Hunt a Killer; for every episode we deliver, we donate a portion of proceeds to help fund the efforts at Cold Case Foundation. This organization works to support law enforcement agencies in their efforts to successfully close cold homicide, missing persons, unidentified bodies, and serial sex abuse cases. It’s an incredible cause that they tackle through funding, training, networking, and victim support, but they can’t do it alone. To support the Cold Case Foundation directly, donate here.