While May is known as the unofficial start of summer, there are also many ways you can give back to causes you care about, from mental health awareness to saving endangered species.
You will also notice each cause’s alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is a global framework that was adopted by the United Nations in 2015 to address the world’s most pressing causes.
Looking for more inspiration? Be sure to follow our social media accounts where we provide more content about the events, campaigns and partners who are joining us in the #PledgeToDoGood. You can also download a link to a printable May Cause Calendar linked here.
Here is your monthly guide of causes and nonprofits that you can easily support through Pledge as a way to honor these special dates. Our platform and products make it easy to donate to any cause of your choice. Happy Giving!
Mental Health Awareness Month (All Month)
SDG Alignment: #3 Good Health and Well-being
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, NAMI joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. This is done by actively fighting the stigma, providing support, educating the public while advocating for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.
With the pandemic shining a spotlight on the dire state of mental health and wellbeing of others, this year’s focus and central theme is the amplification of the message that “you are not alone,” while learning the healing value of connection and belief that no one has to feel alone in their struggle. If you’d like to support an organization working to promote mental health awareness, take a look at these organizations below:
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation (BLHF)
- International Suicide Prevention
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Awareness Month (All Month)
SDG Alignment: #10 Reduced Inequalities
Asian American and Pacific IslanderHeritage Month is a month to celebrate and pay tribute to the contributions from generations of AAPI communities to American history, society and culture. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7th, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.
As a company, we pledge to unite against racism and support our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) friends, families and communities, especially during this time of alarming escalation in hate crimes and discrimination. We stand in solidarity with AAPI communities and the greater community impacted by these attacks.
Here are just a few of the many nonprofits doing inspiring work on the frontlines to end racial injustices:
To see a full list of organizations working for AAPI rights, head to our comprehensive article here.
May 3rd - May 7th: Teacher Appreciation Week
SDG Alignment: #4 Quality Education
Teacher Appreciation Week is a week-long celebration in recognition of teachers and the contributions they make to education and society. It is held in the first full week of May every year and provides an opportunity for students, their parents, and school principals to show their appreciation for the hard work teachers do and the long hours many of them put in. This is a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to the educators in your life through a donation to your school’s PTA or an organization that helps promote education, like these below:
If you would like to learn more about how to fundraise for Teacher Appreciation Week and beyond, click on our latest blog post here.
May 8th: World Fair Trade Day
SDG Alignment: #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
A global celebration every second Saturday of May to showcase the small-scale producers at the heart of the fair trade movement and the contributions they make to healthy and sustainable communities around the world. This year, they are putting a special concentration on the devastating effects that the worldwide pandemic has had on fair trade, and working to stimulate our economics to build back a fairer and more sustainable future. If you would like to support organizations working to help this cause, here are a few suggestions:
May 12th: World Nurses Day
SDG Alignment: #3 Good Health and Well-being
World Nurses Day is celebrated on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birthday, honoring the amazing nurses and healthcare workers that have given their lives to save others. On this day, we raise awareness of all nurse contributions and acknowledge the vital role nurses play in society. To observe this day, you can contribute to one of the organizations below that directly supports and benefits nurses and other healthcare professionals in a variety of ways:
May 17th: International Day of Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia
SDG Alignment: #5 Gender Equality
On May 17, 1990, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization approved the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, which no longer listed homosexuality as a diagnosis. Launched in 2004, the IDAHOT commemorating that day has become a global occasion to educate about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, and to advocate for sensible public policies that affect LGBT people.
The observance has caught on widely as an international opportunity for individuals, groups and organizations anywhere to do anything they wish to mark the day. If you would like to participate by donating to an organization that directly impacts and helps the LGBTQIA+ community, here are a few suggestions:
May 21st: Endangered Species Day
SDG Alignment: #13 Climate Action
Every year on the third Friday in May, thousands of people around the world participate in Endangered Species Day by celebrating, learning about, and taking action to protect threatened and endangered species. Wildlife refuges, zoos, aquariums, gardens, schools, libraries, museums, community groups, nonprofits, and individuals hold special programs or events for people of all ages. Due to the global coronavirus crisis, the programs organized for Endangered Species Day 2021 will primarily be online events, digital actions, and remote activities. However, if you would like to participate and do your part, you can contribute to one of these organizations:
- The Ellen Fund
- Endangered Species International
- Wildlife Conservation Network
- World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
May 23rd: World Turtle Day
SDG Alignment: #14 Life Below Water
Started by the American Tortoise Rescue in 2000, the day was created as an annual observance to help people celebrate and protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world. If you would like to support organizations and nonprofits working to protect our turtles and the wildlife surrounding it, take a look at these below:
May 29th: International Day of UN Peacekeepers
SDG Alignment: #16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
This day offers a chance to pay tribute to the uniformed and civilian personnel’s invaluable contributions to the work of the UN and to honour more than 3,900 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 102 last year.
This year, the challenges and threats faced by our peacekeepers are even greater than ever, as they, like people around the world, are not only having to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, but also support and protect the people in the countries they are based in. They are continuing their operations to the best of their abilities and supporting the governments and the local populations, despite the risk of COVID-19.
If you’d like to help support and raise money for their selfless mission, you can donate directly to the United Nations Foundation here.
Lastly, we want to continue recognizing how Racial Justice and COVID-19 remain important causes to support throughout the year:
- For a more comprehensive list of 20+ organizations fighting for racial and social justice, please visit this link. You can also find a list of organizations to directly support AAPI justice here.
- For a more comprehensive list of 20+ organizations fighting against COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 Relief Efforts Blog Post.
What do you #PledgeTo support this month? Share your fundraising campaigns powered by Pledge on your social media accounts for a chance to be featured to our global audience. Thank you for being part of the #PledgeToDoGood!