Food & Water Watch
Despite being a national organization, they haven't lost sight of the fact that often the most impactful change is local. They have been partnering with local environmental groups and leaders to defend public ownership of water (think: preventing the next Flint crisis) from the likes of Nestle and Coca Cola, farmers from encroachment by Monstanto and Tyson, and of course, have championed the OFF Fossil Fuels Act along with Tulsi Gabbard, leading it to reach 42 cosponsors. If you want high bang for your buck for Climate Change, Water, and Factory Farming, this is your organization.
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, Inc.
You all know this one, but that's for good reason, and they've recently started more grassroots training and organizing (see: https://www.thenation.com/article/can-the-aclu-remake-itself-as-a-mass-movement-for-progressive-change/). Their support of Citizens United is still a sore spot (similarly some of the free-speech issues in North Carolina), but they are nothing if not self-consistent and the best at what they do -- defending civil liberties. I also do see positive movement on the gnarly areas around free speech, which gives me more confidence going forward.
National Womens Law Center
I have a high school friend who worked for them, and they cover a wide range of issues that are important to me -- equal pay, child care, reproductive rights, and social safety nets like Medicaid and Social Security that are a tremendous support to many single mothers. Since I don't have any personal expertise on many issues affecting women, the NWLC was a trusted place to delegate making decisions about where best to allocate my money.
Project Heal Help To Eat Accept & Live
Project HEAL is one of few mental health charities focusing specifically on eating disorders. They started initially as an organization providing treatment funding for those who can't afford it, but as they've grown, they've started focusing more broadly on treatment access (particularly as it relates to insurance) and trialed some other methods like community support groups. I've been incredibly impressed by their commitment to being data driven and having measurable milestones for their work (read more under Program & Results: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/26-2614278), and I'm excited to be a partner in their work.
Glide is a longstanding SF institution based in the Tenderloin and (formerly) affiliated with the United Methodist Church (https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Battle-over-future-of-Glide-comes-down-to-money-13075752.php). They do a ton of “direct action” — they run one of the largest free meal programs in the country, and they work with a lot of families to help overcome issues of domestic violence, among others. I actually got this recommendation from another Dropboxer’s Brightfund list, which is evidently not uncommon — Glide is a darling in the tech scene (https://www.wired.com/2017/02/san_francisco_gentrification_tenderloin_glide/). It definitely is a bit “big money” and the concerns notes in the SF Chronicle article about their transparency might warrant a bit of concer, but they do an obvious amount of good so I’m happy to direct some of my money to it.
SF Public Library
Libraries are one of the most important civic institutions we have, as they promote education and access to resources to which many people and marginalized groups might not otherwise have access. The SFPL is consistently ranked as one of if not the best libraries in the world because of all of their community support and programs, and I'm happy to contribute to that mission.
The Tides Center is an umbrella organization supporting a number of progressive causes. Specifically, I supported Poder (project # 1014) (https://www.podersf.org/), who works with the Latino community in SF to promote local civic engagement and environmental justice.
William J Brennan Jr Center For Justice Inc
The Brennan Center is one of the leading organizations in the field of voting rights, doing well-cited research into voter access (and purges), gerrymandering, money in politics (including the judicial branch!), and more.