Granted, the holidays didn't exactly leave us flush with cash, but as every charity we've ever contributed to has reminded us via e-mail over the past couple of days, the year is drawing to an end, which means we're running out of time to rack up those tax deductions. And what better way to do that than by donating to a cause you really believe in? In the seasonal spirit of not entirely altruistic giving, we've asked our editors to suggest some of their favorite non-profit tech organizations. Sure there's an endless list of non-tech orgas we could have included like, say, The Red Cross, the Humane Society or even the first amendment defending Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, but for the sake of brevity -- and staying comfortably within our own wheelhouse -- here's a list of tech non-profits to get you started. If we skipped one of your favorites, feel free to add it in the comments below.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: When you leave your job as the longstanding CEO of one of the world's biggest tech companies, the choices for your future are pretty clear: do-gooder, billionaire playboy or super villain. Bill Gates chose door number one, thankfully, forming an organization focused on global development, health, education and advocacy.
Center for Democracy and Technology: The CDT has been fighting to keep the internet "open, innovative and free" since 1994. The organization's goals include democratizing online participation, enhancing user privacy and limiting government surveillance.
Child's Play: Video games and toys for sick kids? Now that's a cause we can get behind. Child's Play uses your donations to buy consoles, games, peripherals, toys and books for children in hospitals.
Code.org: Code.org wants to make programming a key part of K-12 education, bringing it to the STEM system, alongside math and science. The organization also looks to increase computer science participation among women and students of color.
Electronic Frontier Foundation: Government snooping! Patent trolls! Frivolous lawsuits! Who has your back in this fast moving digital age? Why, the EFF, of course!
Khan Academy: Devoted to free education for everyone, Khan Academy covers a wide range of subjects, including a slew of computer programming courses like game design and 3D modeling.
Mozilla Foundation: The team behind the one of the world's top browsers is a non-profit 501c dedicated to the creation of "world-class open source software." The list includes the Firefox browser, the learning tool Webmaker and the new Firefox mobile operating system.
One Laptop Per Child: OLPC is dedicated to the democratization of technology by innovating and distributing laptops and tablets to developing nations and other underrepresented areas.
Watsi: An innovative site that combines social networking with crowdfunding to donate healthcare to individuals in need.
Wikimedia Foundation: We all visit Wikipedia pretty much every day, so we've all seen Jimmy Wales' face pleading for donations. The money you contribute to Wikimedia helps support the technology and staff that run the foundation's wildly popular open information sites.
Oh, and there are also plenty of ways to donate your old technology. You can find the place nearest you at DonateTechnology.com.