12/17/2014 09:53 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

11 Top-Rated Charities That Changed The World In 2014

Not all nonprofits are created equal -- just ask Charity Navigator.

The watchdog group tracks charities nationwide to help donors have a better understanding of the organizations they choose to support. Taking into consideration factors like a group's sources of revenue and its spending practices, Charity Navigator has ranked the top-performing and worst-performing charities of 2014 across a variety of genres of social causes.

Here are 11 of Charity Navigator's top-rated organizations:

Best In: Civil Rights & Advocacy

Equal Justice Initiative

The Equal Justice Initiative provides legal representation to defendants and prisoners who've been denied fair treatment under the law, including marginalized people who weren't able to gain access to effective legal representation. Learn more here.

Best In: Homeless Services

Safe Haven Family Shelter

Nashville-based Safe Haven is the only shelter-to-housing program of its kind in Middle Tennessee that accepts the entire homeless family. Providing a variety of comprehensive services, Safe Haven aims to empower individuals in need to reach self-sufficiency. Learn more here.

Best In: Animal Welfare

Greenville Humane Society

Founded in 1937, the Greenville Humane Society is a no-kill facility working to create an environment where all animals are treated with compassion. It's also the largest low-cost, spay-neuter clinic in South Carolina. Learn more here.

Best In: Children & Family Services

Forever Young Foundation

The Forever Young Foundation was founded in 1993 by NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young. It provides educational resources for children, focusing on those who are facing physical, emotional and financial challenges. Learn more here.

Best In: Humanitarian Relief Supplies

Books For Africa

Books For Africa has a "simple name ... with a simple mission." It has shipped over 31 million text and library books to 49 different countries across Africa. Learn more here.

Best In: Youth Development

Place of Hope


Place of Hope is a faith-based and state-licensed child welfare group that provides a variety of services to kids and families in need, including maternity care, safety for victims of sex trafficking and transitional housing. Visit the organization's website, or find them on Facebook here.

Best In: Community & Housing Development

Habitat for Humanity of Collier County

Habitat for Humanity of Collier County in Florida is part of the larger national network building homes for those in need. The group advocates for fair housing policies and empowers families to access resources they need to improve their living conditions. Learn more here.

Best In: Patient & Family Support

Camp John Marc

happy teenagers
Camp John Marc provides year-round camping programs for children, teens and families. Programs and camp facilities are specialized to serve campers living with chronic medical and physical challenges. Learn more here.

Best In: Food Banks, Relief

Midwest Food Bank

food pantry
Created in 2003 -- when the Kieser family began providing food out of a barn on their farm -- the Midwest Food Bank now serves over 755 organizations across the Midwest and South and in East Africa. Its food reaches 550,000 people each month. Learn more here.

Best In: Diseases, Disorders & Disciplines

National Kidney Foundation of Michigan

The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan aims to improve the quality of life for those living with kidney disease, while preventing the condition for those without it. Several service programs are offered through the group, including those focused on addressing obesity, diabetes and hypertension. Learn more here.

Best In: International Peace and Security


Polaris is fighting to disrupt the conditions that allow human trafficking to persist globally. The group works with government leaders to protect victims' rights and builds partnerships with technology companies to crack down on the practice, among many other initiatives. Learn more here.

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