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3 Nerdy Charities to Consider in 2018

Now that the first of the year has come and gone, a lot of us are combing our records to find anything that might serve as a tax deduction for the previous calendar year.  Qualifying business expenses, student loans, tithes, children…We’ll take anything!

Sadly, any donations we make to our favorite streamer and any funds we throw at Patreons and Kickstarters doesn’t qualify as tax deductible.  However, the right kind of charitable giving can help!

Here are three qualifying, tax deductible (501c3) charities associated with three different nerdy pursuits to consider for the 2018 tax year!

The Bodhana Group: A Tabletop/RPG Charity

The Bodhana Group leverages tabletop games and RPGs to achieve therapeutic ends; using them to develop individuals developmentally, socially, mentally, and emotionally.  Instead of using games specifically designed for therapeutic play – which they found were a bit too focused – they use games ranging from Monopoly and Uno to Carcassonne and Dungeons and Dragons.

It is super clear with even the most casual browse of their website how much thought has gone into the therapeutic application.  If you read nothing else of theirs, make it their Heroes of the Game page.  On it, they cover five key skills developed by tabletop gameplay:

  • Social
  • Educational
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creative
  • Resiliency

Each is embodied by a hero and comes with a detailed description of the kind of skill development afforded by each and even which games do so exceptionally well.

The Bodhana Group hosts an annual fundraising convention called Save Against Fear that boasts a library of more than 300 board games for play, along with organized RPGs, panels, workshops, and more.  2018’s is set for October 12-14 in Harrisburg, PA.

You can donate funds directly to The Bodhana Group here, or you can even donate gently used games to expand their library.  Just contact thebodhanagroup[at]gmail[dot]com for more information!  They are relatively new, but growing – and are definitely worth consideration.

First Book: A Book Charity (And More)

Reading is so darned near and dear to me.  Entire walls in my home are absolutely covered with them. But I know that’s not the case in so many – too many – homes across the world.

In steps First Book.

First Book recognizes the connection between wealth and education.  Less money spent on education leads to poor educational outcomes in individuals who are then more likely to live in poverty.  So they partner with educators in low-income areas that aren’t receiving the funding necessary to avoid these outcomes and meet the educational and personal needs of students.

Their Needs page is sobering and heartbreaking.  Their Take Action page provides you with a number of ways to give personally (including Planned Giving) as well as corporately (seeking Matched Gifts from employers).

First Book’s reach is astounding (over 3 million students worldwide!) and supremely important.  If you fondly recall your own love of reading as a child, consider granting that same feeling of discovery, escape, freedom, and imagination to another by giving to First Book in 2018.  Click here to give today!

Extra Life: A Video Game Charity

Lastly, we present Extra Life.

Extra Life is partnered with 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the US and Canada.  Odds are that one of the benefitting hospitals is in your community!  In fact, if you visit the Children’s Miracle Network website directly, it’ll alert you to the closest facility automatically!

The money raised go to hospitals in the Children’s Miracle Network as unrestricted funds which they can use to facilitate research, purchase life saving equipment, and even help cover bills.

So where does Extra Life fit in?

Extra Life is an inroad to giving to the Children’s Miracle Network, and it does so in three ways:

  1. A standard monetary donation.  Yeah, you can just give some money if you’d like…but where’s the fun in that?!
  2. Become a Player!  Set up an account as an individual or a team, set a fundraising goal, select your local CMN hospital, and get to fundraising!
  3. Participate in the worldwide 24 hour game-a-thon.  Each year, gamers and gaming communities from all over the world set out to game for 24 hours straight and raise money for Extra Life.  Live streamers, podcasters, and local gaming communities raise millions of dollars each year – like our boys at the Glass Cannon Podcast!

So you can do more than donate with Extra Life, you can organize and execute a larger-scale fundraiser to maximize your impact and reach.  And, of course, you’ll do so by playing your favorite video games (really any game counts) with friends.  Double win!


In 2018, you can choose to use your money to pay a bill, provide a book, and/or facilitate developmental therapy for someone less fortunate than yourself.  Sure, you’ll get a tax break…but that’s not the point!

Do your research.  Pick one that you trust and empathize with.  Give charitably in 2018.

Hopefully one of the three options appeals to your particular brand of nerd!  Let us know in the comments to this post in our Facebook Group what other nerdy charities our readers can choose from this year.