Five nonprofits in honor of Autism Awareness Month

We are inspired by the work these five nonprofits are doing for people with autism.
April 4, 2024
Clair Lofthouse
Technical Writer

Autism relies on a spectrum for a very important reason: Every person with autism, aka Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is unique. Some people with autism have an identified difference in their brain, such as a genetic condition, while others don’t. Some may have exceptional conversation skills whereas others may be nonverbal. Some need a lot of help in their daily lives, versus others who can work and live with little or no support. Everyone with autism falls somewhere on the spectrum. 

“People with [autism] often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. People with ASD may also have different ways of learning, moving or paying attention. These characteristics can make life very challenging,” the CDC shares.

Building awareness of this disability is vital as the number of people diagnosed with autism is on the rise. “Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States, with 1 in 36 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” writes the Autism Society of America.

Importantly, by spreading awareness and increasing acceptance of autism, not to mention making inclusive practices universal, the things that make people with autism different can bring us together, neurodivergent and neurotypical people alike. 

Join us in celebrating differences this Autism Awareness Month and learn about these five nonprofits supporting the autistic community.

The nonprofits

Autism Society of America

For 58 years and counting, this nonprofit has connected people with autism to the resources they need through education, advocacy, support, information and referral, and community programming. The Autism Society supports federal policies and initiatives to increase employment; boosts access to inclusive, safe, accessible and affordable housing; ensures access to general education and inclusive educational experiences; and provides a comprehensive range of support and accommodations for meaningful engagement within the community for those with autism.

Autism Society of America uses a Give Lively-powered Branded Donation Widget to raise funds through its website

Chicago Autism Network

This nonprofit is dedicated to helping families find and afford effective autism therapy and support. While the Chicago metropolitan area has a wealth of autism service providers, too often families can’t access these services due to lack information and funding. Chicago Autism Network believes autism therapy should be accessible to everyone on the spectrum, regardless of income, race, neighborhood or gender. It offers free monthly Autism Parent Workshops and financial aid for effective therapy.

Chicago Autism uses a Give Lively-powered Simple Donation Widget, with dedications enabled, to collect donations on its website. It also built a Campaign Page to raise money during the “Chicago Autism Network Fall Gala.” 

Madison House Autism Foundation

This nonprofit works to improve the health and wellbeing of adults on the spectrum throughout their lives and across the country. The goal of Madison House Autism Foundation is to promote, model and advocate for the full inclusion of adults with autism and their families in the life of their communities; and to expand choice and opportunity in housing, employment and social participation. It achieves this by hosting conversations, educating families and first responders, hosting Arts for Autism events, researching and developing sustainable solutions and creating tools, models and templates to help families and communities support autistic adults. The result is a shared, creative and sustainable response that empowers families and communities through a proactive, planned approach to help individuals live full, productive lives. 

Madison House Autism Foundation uses a Give Lively-powered Campaign Page to raise funds for their “Autism Housing Network” program, the only national platform connecting emerging housing project starters with experts, best practices and existing models. The nonprofit also uses a Simple Donation Widget to collect donations on their website. 

Autism Pensacola Inc.

This nonprofit aims to be a beacon of light in the darkness and a source of answers to all the uncertainty for individuals and families affected by autism in Florida’s Pensacola Bay Area. Autism Pensacola strives to change the way the community thinks and feels about autism by serving individuals and families affected by autism as a resource for autism support, advocacy, education and networking opportunities.

Autism Pensacola used a Give Lively-powered Campaign Page in combination with Peer-to-Peer Fundraising and Team Fundraising during the “2023 Steps for Autism” fundraising event. A total of 72 individual fundraisers and 20 teams contributed to the fundraiser. The nonprofit also uses a Branded Donation Widget to collect donations on their website. 

The Answer Inc. Autism Awareness & Support Agency

This organization is committed to providing education to the autism community in the greater Chicago area. The Answer Inc provides first responder training, municipal staff training and anti-bullying workshops and seminars. The organization also offers “Music n Me,” a program combining fitness, expression and social interaction, and “Spectrum University,” an education program for ages 13 to 40 that gives opportunities for students to interact with their peers while improving their academic skills.

The Answer Inc. used a Give Lively-powered Campaign Page to collaborate with peer-to-peer fundraisers during the “2023 Autism & Special Needs Walkathon.”