Today is National Philanthropy Day, a special day to recognize and pay tribute to the awesome philanthropies, foundations and nonprofits working hard every single day to make things better across our communities. At Prichard Communications, we spend most of our time working with folks in the philanthropy industry and know, first-hand, what a great job they do, finding ways to thrive and grow with often challenging circumstances and limited resources.

Today, we want to take a minute to recognize some of the nonprofits closest to our hearts and encourage you to check them out if you’re looking for an organization to celebrate or support on this very important day.

Mac Prichard, President:

Restore Oregon: I’ve always enjoyed old buildings, especially historic theaters, so I’m a big fan of Restore Oregon and its work to preserve the state’s noteworthy homes and neighborhoods, bridges and barns, churches and Main Streets. This Portland-based nonprofit highlights Oregon’s most endangered places every year and the list for 2013 includes the Egyptian Theater, a 1920s movie palace in Coos Bay.

Human Rights Watch: Early in my career I was researcher for human rights groups in Washington, DC, and Boston. Nobody does this important work better than Human Rights Watch which uses rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy to bring greater justice and security to people around the world.

Lori Howell, Senior Account Director:

Friends of Spring Garden Park: This Portland group is designing a nature-based play area to get kids outside and connected to nature. Please donate to build the park, connect kids to nature and fight obesity and mental health problems that often plague kids suffering from nature deficit disorder.

Smile Train: The Smile Train is on a mission to solve a single problem: cleft lip and cleft palate. They provide a child born with a cleft the same opportunities in life as a child born without a cleft by offering free surgeries and medical training in 87 countries. Help them reach their goal of 1 million smiles.

Jennie Day-Burget, Account Director:

The Pixie Project: Pixie is a Portland-based, nonprofit, animal adoption center and rescue organization which also provides low cost spay and neuter services for homeless and low-income pet owners. My husband and I adopted our dog, Newman, from Pixie and it was truly a match made in heaven. Their dedication to both pets and the families who adopt them is relentless and inspiring.

Water for People: During my time working at the City of Portland’s Water Bureau, I got involved with Water for People which supports the development of sustainable drinking water resources in developing countries. I believe that while they’re often overshadowed by other, larger and more well-known clean water groups, they’re every bit as deserving. They also host the ‘World Water Corps’ a program for volunteers who want to travel abroad and use their unique skills and experiences to help develop infrastructure and resources. Joining the World Water Corps has been a dream of mine for many years.

Jessica Williams, Sales & Marketing Manager (Mac’s List):

World Pulse: World Pulse is an international nonprofit based in Portland. They are using digital media to connect women worldwide into a powerful force for change. With a focus on grassroots women change leaders, their programs nurture community, provide media and empowerment training, and channel rising voices to influential forums.

Hollyhock, based on Cortez Island in B.C., is an internationally renowned centre for learning and well being. This place is a wonderful retreat center located right in our PNW backyard. Hollyhock offers workshops, retreats, and an opportunity for escape. I spent a month at Hollyhock in 2009, and it was one of the most meaningful times of my life.

David Backes, Account Manager:

Friends of Trees: Based in Portland, Friends of Trees works to plant and maintain green spaces throughout the city. In addition to making communities more vibrant, studies have shown that tree-lined streets even slow traffic, making our neighborhoods safer for everyone.

Kiva: Kiva is a national nonprofit that combats poverty by making small loans to borrowers around the world. Anybody can sign up and make a loan for as little as $25. The best part? Loans through Kiva have a 98.96% repayment rate.

Cecilia Bianco, Intern:

WaterWatch of Oregon: WaterWatch is a nonprofit organization based in Portland that is dedicated to protecting and restoring water to Oregon’s rivers, streams and lakes for fish, wildlife and people. Last month, 3,000 fish were killed due to the extremely low water level in the upper Deschutes River. WaterWatch needs our support and donations to prevent major fish kills like this.

Optimist International: Optimist International is an association of more than 2,600 Optimist Clubs around the world dedicated to empowering and bringing out the best in kids. The Optimist Clubs conduct 65,000 positive service projects each year and serve more than six million young people.

What other organizations will you celebrate today? Tell us in the comments!