The Best Alliance and Advocacy Organizations
As we enter a new decade, many citizens are thinking about the future, considering how they might make changes in the coming year. If you’ve resolved to get more involved in your community this year, consider volunteering for or donating to one of the local alliance or advocacy organizations in your city.
Often, people use the terms Alliance and Advocacy interchangeably. But these two ideas are very different. An alliance indicates a pairing or partnership with a person or group, often in a way that benefits both parties. An advocate, on the other hand, is someone who shares similar political, economic, or social views with an individual or group, and then works on behalf of that group to create political and social change.
Whether a nonprofit identifies as an alliance or advocacy organization, the main goal is the same: to help those in need get the services and government support they need to live better lives.
Here, we’re highlighting the top-rated alliance/advocacy organizations in America. Their missions are as varied as the people who run the organizations, but every nonprofit works to serve those in their communities who need the most support.
International Cancer Advocacy Network (ICAN)
ICAN has been recognized as a top-rated alliance and advocacy organization by GreatNonprofits every year since 2011. The organization serves more than 1,000 patients annually nationwide and internationally, providing treatment and quality of life options for those living with a Stage IV cancer diagnosis. ICAN strives to advocate for each patient, creating individualized treatment plans and caring attention designed to extend life and preserve the quality of life for late-stage cancer patients.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
The NAMI is a national organization dedicated to supporting children and adults with mental illness and their families. Local affiliates in each state offer education, support groups, and advocacy programs. NAMI strives to end the stigma surrounding mental illness in America by advocating for more effective local and national mental health services.
San Francisco, CA
This alliance organization helps people of all ages find proper diagnoses, treatment, and support for autoinflammatory diseases. Each year, the Autoinflammatory Alliance helps more than 5,500 people find access to specialists who know how to treat their unique illnesses. The organization provides education and support for both patients and medical professionals to increase care quality.
Positive Network Alliance
Recognized as one of the top-rated alliance and advocacy organizations in America, Positive Network Alliance serves underprivileged children nationwide. The nonprofit provides programs, encouragement, and structure to help children facing extraordinary challenges discover positive, successful futures. Primarily, the Positive Network Alliance serves three main populations: homeless and impoverished youth, children living with disabilities or serious illnesses, and surviving children of first responders and military members killed in action.
Patient Advocate Foundation, Inc
The Patient Advocate has been top-rated by GreatNonprofits two times, thanks to their tenacious advocacy efforts and exceptional support services. The organization assists more than 140,000 patients every year, helping them navigate healthcare and insurance barriers, obtain financial assistance for medical treatment, and secure short-term housing or transportation assistance. The end goal is to remove barriers to treatment for each patient, allowing them to focus on getting healthy. The organization also advocates for local and national healthcare changes that would allow easier access to care for all Americans.
National Council on Aging
The National Council on Aging has helped millions of aging Americans and their caregivers access vital assistance to help them age well. Programs include education and training for both older adults and their caregivers, local access to economic assistance and transportation, nutrition programs and health management, and money management courses. The organization also advocates for public policy changes that would impact and protect the lives of aging Americans.
Equal Justice USA, Inc
For more than 20 years, this advocacy organization has worked to reform the criminal justice system in America. Specifically, the organization works to incorporate racial and social justice into the criminal justice system, bringing attention to the unique trauma associated with prison and the death penalty. Equal Justice USA seeks to end the death penalty, work in underprivileged areas and communities of color to reduce violence, and to work with the incarcerated and those recently released to create trauma-informed restorative plans.
To learn more about these alliances and advocacy organizations, or to search for nonprofits in your area, visit the Great Nonprofits website and start your search.