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12 ideas for new ways to donate this holiday season

A family picks up their holiday gifts at Compass Family Services. | Courtesy Compass Family Services

It’s the list-making time of year!  If you’re looking for some new organizations to support during this holiday season, The Standard assembled the following list of 12 humanitarian and arts organizations that support a variety of causes in the city and beyond. 

Compass Adopt-a-Family

Compass Family Services is a social service agency in San Francisco that provides shelter, housing, childcare, mental health services, and employment support to over 6,500 homeless and at-risk families each year. Though its 25th annual Adopt-a-Family program is already fully supported, donors can still support Compass by purchasing gifts for families off their Holiday Wish List or making donations to their annual giving campaign

“The holiday season is the time of year we see the generosity of our community members come out in full force,” says Compass spokesperson Madeleine Lemos. “The generosity we see during the end of the year helps us reach our goals and provide support for families during what can be an especially difficult time of year for some.” 

Chinatown Community Development Center

This SF nonprofit supports and enhances the quality of life of community members not only in Chinatown but also in North Beach and the Tenderloin by helping to provide safe affordable housing to families and seniors. Find out more about the ways you can support the CCDC’s work on their website. 

826 Valencia

It’s no surprise that a newsroom of journalists loves a nonprofit that fosters writing skills in underresourced communities. But 826 Valencia’s 20 years of work at centers in the Mission, Tenderloin and Mission Bay continues to build skills and change lives for San Francisco youth. Click here to support their programs that help 5,000 youth every year.

Mt. Tamalpais College

Formerly known as the Prison University Project, Mt. Tamalpais College aims to provide higher learning to inmates who are motivated to reach their full academic and reintegration potential while serving out their punishment. Some former inmates continue their academic pursuits even after their release thanks to this program's impact. Click here to find out more about ways to support their work.

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

SF has countless hardworking animal rescue foundations but Muttville is the one that tugs most at our heartstrings. They focus on finding permanent homes for senior dogs looking for love in their golden years. Support their efforts at

Mission Food Hub

What started out small during the pandemic to combat inequity of the hard-hit Latino population during Covid-19, Mission Food Hub is now providing culturally appropriate groceries for more than 7,000 hungry families three times per week. Get involved and donate at

Larkin Street Youth Services

An organization dedicated to ending youth homelessness, Larkin Street Youth Services empowers homeless youth by providing healthcare, education services, housing and employment. The group operates drop-in centers in the Tenderloin and the Haight, as well as two emergency shelters. Click here to find out more about how to donate monthly or year-round.

La Casa de las Madres

This SoMa-based nonprofit delivers 24/7/365 support and a safe haven for survivors of domestic violence and their children. The group has handled more than 15,000 calls for help since January 2020. Donate or volunteer to help their mission at  


forPeace is a focused aid organization delivering much-needed support to communities in Ukraine. Unlike the major international aid organizations, which have largely failed to deliver most of the money they've received for Ukraine, this organization gives directly to the people doing the work in the places that need the aid the most. Click here to find out more and donate. 

Community Thrift

Looking to donate goods over cash? The Mission’s Community Thrift accepts your clothes, furniture and household goods and then directs the proceeds to support more than 200 Bay Area charities since 1982.  When donating, you can choose the charity you wish to receive the proceeds—and you can head back into the aisles to thrift yourself a nice outfit for the holidays while you’re there!  More details about how to donate are found on their website. 

Film Noir Foundation

On a mission to find, restore and protect endangered films, Film Noir Foundation has salvaged countless films from the ‘40s and ‘50s and converted them from 35mm prints to DVD. If you’ve got a soft spot for the classics, consider a donation to their efforts to preserve these works at

SF Fire Station Toy Drive

Okay, lots of the nonprofits on this list aren't exactly "new"—but here's a really old one with a new twist. Like so many trends, the fire department toy drive originated in San Francisco in 1949. And keeping with the city’s reputation for innovation, the fundraiser now takes place virtually. Support SF Fire Fighters Union Local 798 in its work to deliver 200,000 toys to more than 40,000 kids year-round. You can donate funds or pick out a present at