The nonprofit industry maintains a significant presence in Southern Arizona. Organizations specializing in everything from healthcare to animal welfare are found in the Greater Tucson Metro Area, and work year-round to achieve their various goals.
The following is a selection of various nonprofits in Southern Arizona, and a brief description of their missions.
United Way of Southern Arizona
United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona strives to advocate and provide assistance to Arizonans throughout all stages of their life. The volunteer-driven group provides resources to improve education, employment security and healthy living, as well as creates influential partnerships within the community. United Way hosts several major fundraisers, such as Days of Caring and Days of Giving, along with offering year round services and resources. For those interested in helping United Way, they offer ample volunteer opportunities and donations can be made to the group online. unitedwaytucson.org.
Friends of PACC
Caring for Tucson’s homeless pets is a large undertaking. The Friends of Pima Animal Care Center are on a mission to ensure each animal that comes to the shelter receives everything they need to flourish and ultimately, be adopted. Friends provides crucial fundraising for the shelter and helps provide much needed equipment, lifesaving services and supplies for the animals. The group organizes projects to save senior pets, provide training for shelter animals and more. For those interested in donating, all contributions are tax deductible. friendsofpacc.org.
Youth on Their Own
Each year, more than 62,000 Arizona minors find themselves living on their own for a variety of reasons. One of the largest nonprofit resources available to help them survive is Youth on Their Own. The organization provides food, clothing, temporary shelter, school supplies, counseling and more to homeless children and teens in grades 6 through 12, all with the goal of helping them earn a high school diploma. Described as a dropout prevention agency, YOTO has helped over 16,000 young people remain in school and on the pathway of independence. yoto.org.
Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona
This nonprofit is driven by a desire to advocate for women and children in Arizona and shed light on the unique issues they face. For 28 years, the Women’s Foundation has researched disparity trends in Southern Arizona, which show that oftentimes education is inaccessible to low-income single mothers. They then turn that research into specific policy and grant proposals to create a tangible difference in women’s lives. Since its inception, the organization has helped invest over $4 million in programs benefiting women and children. womengiving.org.
El Grupo Youth
Tucson’s preeminent youth bicycle-related nonprofit has sought to empower young Tucsonans through bicycle rides since 2004. The nonprofit operates an after-school program for youth ages 12 to 18 that includes practices five times a week, plus races on weekends and other bike-centric trips. The organization also operates a collective called ‘El Grupito’ open to anyone ages 8 to 12, that meets two-to-three times a week. The group’s stated goal is to develop the confidence to ride bikes for transportation, recreation and fun for all members, as well as to teach bike maintenance, safety and bike handling skills to everyone enrolled. elgrupocycling.org.
Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse
Emerge! has long served Tucson’s at-risk population of domestic violence victims and survivors, offering everything from advocacy services, education, housing, protection and support to victims and survivors of all ages. The center, which operates a 24-hour emergency service bilingual line, helps thousands of people escape abuse, while educating and training community members to recognize and prevent domestic violence. emergecenter.org.
Since 2009, GoodTHREADS has provided clothes for more than 12,000 foster children. Founded by a foster and adoptive parent, GoodTHREADS seeks to give foster children the “warmth, dignity, pride and sense of community that come with the nice clothing and accessories.” GoodTHREADS works with Goodmans Interior Structures to host a clothing exchange on the second Saturday of every month, providing clothing at no cost to foster, adoptive and kinship families. goodthreads.net
Interfaith Community Services
ICS focuses on a single mission: to help people in need achieve stable, healthy and independent lives. They do this through a number of ways, including delivering mobile meals to the elderly or disabled, offering scholarships to single mothers, operating two permanent food banks and providing financial assistance for individuals or families in emergency situations. icstucson.org
Center for Biological Diversity
With over 1 million members and environmental activists pushing their mission, the Center for Biological Diversity is a powerful resource for protecting endangered species. They use their research and legal arms to negotiate directly with government agencies and private corporations in hopes of securing protections for species and habitats in our community. While headquartered here in Tucson, the center has satellite offices in New Mexico, Nevada, California, Oregon, Illinois, Minnesota, Alaska, Vermont, Florida and Washington, D.C. In addition to fighting for the most vulnerable species, they conduct e-campaigns and produce media to get the message of environmental stewardship to the masses. biologicaldiversity.org.
Contributions to this story were made by Logan Burtch-Buus, Kathleen B. Kunz, Christopher Boan and Jamie Verwys.