Sometimes the best gift isn't something you give to your loved ones — it's what you give to a good cause, in your loved one's name. Here are a few ideas for places you can donate money this year to help make the world a better place for science, science fiction, and rational thought.
And the best part? Donations are tax deductible, and you can get these gifts at the very last minute. This is an incomplete list, so please add other ideas in comments.
Photograph courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI/Vassar
For Science Lovers
Protect your rights online by giving to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Help a dedicated group of scientists continue the search for life on other planets, and learn more about how life originated on Earth, by donating to the SETI Institute.
Make scientific journals and research free and open to all by donating to the Public Library of Science.
Provide medical care to people who need it most around the world, by donating to Doctors Without Borders.
Crowdfund scientific research by backing a project through Petridish
Help represent scientific perspectives in U.S. politics, by donating to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Also, if you live in or near a city, it's likely that you have a local science or natural history museum that desperately needs your help. Consider donating to the museum!
For Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Fans
Protect comic book creators from censorship and legal censure by donating to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
Help fund writing workshops for people of color who are science fiction and fantasy writers by giving to the Carl Brandon Society
Give a scholarship to a budding SF or fantasy writer who wants to go to the Clarion Writers Workshops.
Make quality science fiction and fantasy stories available free online by donating to venerable, reader-supported magazine Strange Horizons
Help creators share their work and encourage fair use by donating to Creative Commons.
Make fanfic writers happy by donating to Archive of Our Own.
Help Kids Learn About Science and Science Fiction!
You can donate to programs that help educate and mentor young women who are interested in computer science and engineering by giving to the Ada Initiative.
Help defend teaching evolution and climate science in public schools with National Center for Science Education.