There are so many ways to give of time and money during the holidays. If you are able, we have some ideas from the poker community that might fit with your giving spirit.

Double Up Drive

Dan Smith founded Double Up Drive to serve as a vehicle for charitable donations. Specifically, he wanted to capitalize on the generosity of poker players to benefit top charities via effective altruism. This ensures that funds go directly to organizations that are the most transparent and efficient, effective with their funds and focused on issues that seem overwhelming but are actually solvable.

This is how it works.


This year, Smith launched the ninth annual Double Up Drive. While he accepts donations throughout the year, he noted that this holiday season is going to be tougher than usual for funding.

So, Smith set about raising funds by a variety of means. He hosted his first-ever charity poker tournament in October in Las Vegas. It attracted some of the biggest names in poker and raised more than $66K. He also did a charity chess stream with Alexandra Botez and continues to try to raise awareness.

The list of 2022 charities for which Double Up Drive will double your donations includes:

  • Against Malaria Foundation works to prevent the spread of malaria with mosquito nets in developing countries, focusing on sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Animal Charity Evaluators awards grants and evaluates animal-related charities.
  • Clean Air Task Force pushes technology and policy that will work toward zero emissions and a high-energy, environmentally sustainable planet.
  • Evidence Action focuses on safe water dispensers in rural Africa and deworming in schools in several countries.
  • Founders Pledge empowers entrepreneurs to help with the world’s most pressing issues.
  • International Refugee Assistance Project offers legal assistance and promotes sound policies so displaced people know their rights.
  • New Incentives focuses on incentivizing caregivers to increase childhood vaccination rates in Nigeria.
  • Strong Minds helps people in low-income countries deal with depressive disorders through therapy and public education.
  • Good Food Institute accelerates the research and development of meat alternatives.
  • The Life You Save curates nonprofits to work toward a world with no suffering or death due to extreme poverty, with an eye toward emergency relief in African countries.

Poker Gives

Industry leaders Mike Sexton, Jan Fisher, Linda Johnson, and Lisa Tenner developed Poker Gives in the mid-2000s. They wanted to support various charities, and Poker Gives provided a way for poker players to donate to a variety of causes.

Since then, Poker Gives evolved into a multi-faceted nonprofit. It now operates as a part of Vegas Connected. And Barbara Zangaro Jones joined the organization as Vegas Connected Executive Director. While she plays numerous roles, her focus is the unhoused people in Las Vegas. She organizes a weekly meal program and giveaways of everything from water to clothing, towels to toiletries.

One way to give is to contact her about joining the group of volunteers that serve food and help unhoused people every Monday and Tuesday night in Las Vegas. She welcomes anyone willing to work and help.

As for fundraising, they use donations to help military families and provide youth services in the Las Vegas area, as well as to help homeless people. And in particular, for the holidays, Poker Gives is trying to raise money to provide 50 Thanksgiving meals to people in need.

Charity Series of Poker

CSOP was the brainchild of Matt Stout, a way to organize poker charity events and minimize the setup while maximizing the poker community’s generosity and availability. He started it in 2014, and it has grown into an organization that organizes and promotes dozens of charity tournaments and events each year.

Just last week, CSOP hosted events to benefit Families for Effective Autism Treatment and the Folded Flag Foundation. There are no events on the immediate schedule, but keep your eyes peeled for future events.


Jennifer Newell

jen newell profile

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years.
Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. She has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years.