If I am able to encourage anybody to do anything on my birthday, it would be to give what you can to people who need it more than you do.
For giving money directly to individuals who need it (over “slow-moving institutional methods of philanthropy”), I have found leveler.info the best website that facilitates this. The current database is focussed on supporting freelancers, service industry and gig economy workers who are without an income because of Covid-19.
If you would like to donate to an organisation, here is a little list of my UK recommendations:
Heart and Parcel is a Manchester-based language school that teaches and supports women English language skills through cooking. They are online now, reaching even more people.
The Manchester & District Beekeepers' Association (est. 1895) is focussed on educating the regions' young folk (and also not-so-young folk!) about the importance of bees.
The Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Education, also based in Manchester, is focussed on sharing stories and histories from underrepresented minorities in the United Kingdom, and supports and develops anti-racist curriculum for educators.
Arts Emergency is a nationwide initiative that helps marginalised, underrepresented young people enter and succeed in the creative and cultural industries.
The Trussel Trust is a network of foodbanks across the UK. They provide emergency food and support for those living in poverty.
These organisations are small — a donation of even £5,- will be appreciated.