The Ten Best Non-Profits and What Makes Them So Great

The Ten Best Non-Profits and What Makes Them So Great

Non-profit organizations are businesses that do not have a goal of making money for shareholders. Non-profits aim to serve their communities and/or further a cause with programs or services. There are many different types of non-profit organizations, including religious, social service, educational, and charitable groups. While most non-profits must follow strict rules and regulations, the good they do eclipses the limitations. Non-profits come in all shapes and sizes but what makes them stand out is the way they give back to their communities. Whether it’s offering free tutoring services to local children or organizing food drives for those in need, non-profits have a positive influence on society. Non-profits also tend to pay much less than other businesses because no shareholders are expecting a return on investment; volunteers are commonplace and most operate without paid staff members and minimal overhead costs. From human rights to domestic violence, here is our list of the top 10 non-profit organizations:

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a non-profit that works to protect human rights worldwide. Since its founding in 1961, Amnesty has inspired individuals to take action in their communities to promote human rights. The organization uses research and public education to drive and inform global discussions on human rights and the implementation of international laws. Their mission is to improve lives and end extreme poverty, fight discrimination, and preventable deaths. Amnesty International is the largest grassroots human rights movement in the world. Volunteers donated more than 2 billion hours in 2017, which is enough time to wrap the earth 10 times. In this list, Amnesty International is our number one non-profit.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters matches children facing adversity with mentors who are trained to provide a caring and supportive one-to-one relationship. Most of the children in the BBBS program have faced significant challenges in their lives. The organization has been around since 1904 and is one of the oldest and largest non-profit mentoring organizations in the world. BBBS is the largest donor-funded mentoring organization in the United States. Big Brothers Big Sisters aims to improve the quality of life for children by providing them with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships.

Child Help

Childhelp is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping abused and neglected children. Childhelp began as a group of concerned citizens in 1958 and today has chapters in all 50 states and several other countries. The group’s mission is to end all forms of child abuse and neglect. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline receives more than 19,000 calls annually, and in 2017, helped more than 10,300 children who were being abused or neglected.

The Children’s Guild

The Children’s Guild provides residential treatment, day treatment, and school-based programs to children with emotional and behavioral disorders. The organization’s national network of 29 facilities provides care for children ages 6 through 21, with services based on the child’s individual needs. The Children’s Guild also has international locations in Mexico, China, and Taiwan. The Children’s Guild is committed to excellence in providing best-practice treatment and quality services to meet the needs of children and families from all socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. The organization has served thousands of children since its founding in the 1960s.

Good Shepherd Services

Good Shepherd Services helps people with developmental disabilities live, work and participate in the community. The organization has provided services since 1942 and today works with more than 1,000 people in 11 states. Good Shepherd Services uses a strengths-based approach to help people lead happier, more productive lives. The organization has won numerous awards and recognition for its work. In 2017, Good Shepherd Services was named one of the top 100 nonprofits in the country by Philanthropy Roundtable.

Halo: Helping All Orphans

Halo was founded in 2015 by two childhood friends, Matthew Ricci and Tyler Hanson. Their mission is twofold: to raise awareness about the worldwide orphan crisis and to help orphans in Haiti find permanent families. The orphan crisis is largely due to poverty and disease. There are more than 60 million children who have lost one or both parents around the world. Haiti has the highest concentration of orphans in the Western hemisphere. Halo partners with an adoption agency in Haiti to help families find children who need a home.

K-9 Buddy Program

The K-9 Buddy Program is a non-profit that trains and places disabled veterans with service animals. The organization has been around since 1993 and uses a network of volunteers, including other veterans, to train the dogs and place them with veterans. Dogs are sourced from breeders, shelters, and purebred rescue organizations. The K-9 Buddy Program relies entirely on donations and volunteers. The organization has placed more than 1,000 dogs with veterans in need.

Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation

The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation advocates for and supports law enforcement officers, veterans, and their families. The foundation’s programs include a scholarship fund for children of fallen law enforcement officers, a public awareness campaign, and a fund that assists families of fallen officers in need. The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation was founded in 1991 by the United States Marine Corps. The organization is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity. The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation is one of the top non-profits on this list.


MusiCares offers music people financial assistance and support in times of need. The organization began in 1989 and is a wing of the Recording Academy. MusiCares provides help for musicians and music industry professionals, as well as their dependents, in times of financial need. The organization’s assistance includes medical payments, emergency funds, prescription medications, and more.

Operation Smile

Operation Smile is a non-profit that provides cleft lip and cleft palate repairs to children around the world. The organization was founded in 1982 and has helped more than 1 million people. Operation Smile works in more than 60 countries and trains local doctors and surgeons to perform the surgeries. The surgeries are often done in developing countries where medical care is limited. Operation Smile is a top non-profit on our list.

Teach for America

Teach for America is a non-profit that recruits and trains college graduates to teach in low-income communities. The organization has been around since 1990 and partners with schools, the government, and other organizations. Teach for America places teachers to help reduce educational inequality. The organization has received praise and recognition for its work, including a top spot on Charity Navigator’s list of top-rated charities.


This list of the top 10 non-profit organizations highlights the difference between a non-profit and a for-profit business. While both are successful, a non-profit organization is not driven by profit. Instead, they are driven by a cause they believe in, and they use their resources to support that cause. A non-profit organization is a great way to make a difference in the world, and it can be a great opportunity for someone who wants to make a difference but doesn’t want a regular 9-5 job.