The monumental impact of charitable giving in Canada can be complicated but we are known for Canadian generosity. Canada, renowned for its cultural diversity and sense of community, is a country where philanthropy and charitable giving are deeply embedded in the societal fabric. Giving to charity, whether big or small, is an act of kindness and a powerful way to create positive change within society. It affirms our shared humanity, allowing us to extend our hands across communities, cultures, and countries to those in need. In 2019, according to Statistics Canada, around 84% of Canadians aged 15 and over made financial donations to charitable or non-profit organizations, reaching nearly $10 billion. These numbers highlight the profound impact that individual and collective giving can have in shaping the Canadian landscape and beyond.
Charitable giving offers a practical avenue for Canadians to address various pressing issues ranging from poverty and homelessness to education, healthcare, environment conservation, and arts and culture. Every donated dollar has the potential to provide a warm meal, an education opportunity, medical aid, or even a safe home for someone in need. It allows us to influence the sectors and causes that matter most, helping shape the world according to our deepest values and convictions.
While larger charities often receive more attention and thus a larger share of donations, it is crucial to recognize the significant work carried out by smaller, lesser-known organizations. Though they might lack the same level of visibility, their impact is no less meaningful. These charities operate in niche areas, addressing unique or underrepresented needs and causes. Their work can range from supporting a specific demographic, protecting endangered species, promoting cultural heritage, or advocating for local environmental concerns. These smaller organizations can be agile and innovative by focusing on particular needs. The size of a charity does not necessarily dictate its effectiveness or the magnitude of its impact. Smaller charities often offer advantages that larger organizations cannot. Their operations can be leaner and more adaptable, often making the most of a limited budget. They are typically deeply embedded within the communities they serve, understanding the nuances and specific needs of these communities, and thus can tailor their services more effectively. Furthermore, smaller charities can offer more transparency and connection for donors, as contributions are likely to represent a more significant portion of their budget and thus have a more visible impact.
While large charitable organizations play a crucial role in the philanthropic landscape, the contributions of smaller entities must be noticed. With their unique, targeted approach, they often serve as an integral part of the ecosystem, filling gaps and serving communities in ways larger organizations may need help with. Giving to charity is an act that amplifies our humanity, allowing us to help others in meaningful, impactful ways. Whether the charity is large or small, each has its unique role and offers distinctive opportunities for donors to support causes they care about. Canadians can take pride in our philanthropic spirit, knowing that our generosity and commitment to social good can make a world of difference. Together, we are making Canada and the world a better place, one donation at a time.
10 Interesting Causes for Lesser-Known Charities in Canada
1. A Better World Canada: A Better World Canada is a grassroots organization that implements development projects across the globe. They’re interesting because they maintain a “100% model”, meaning every cent of public donations goes directly to projects, with overheads covered by private donors. They engage in various projects ranging from health and education to infrastructure and agriculture. More details can be found on their website: [http://www.a-better-world.ca/](http://www.a-better-world.ca/)
2. Reef Conservation Society: This charity, centred around marine conservation, particularly coral reefs, is doing exceptional work. Their unique Reef Renewal program makes them stand out, which helps rehabilitate and protect threatened coral species. Visit their website for more information: [https://www.reefconservationsociety.org/](https://www.reefconservationsociety.org/)
3. Books Without Borders Canada: Focused on promoting literacy in marginalized communities, they’ve successfully established libraries and donated thousands of books across the globe. This charity also offers training workshops to empower local librarians. Their website provides more information: [https://www.bookswithoutborders.ca/](https://www.bookswithoutborders.ca/)
4. Farm Radio International: Their work is truly unique. They leverage the power of radio to empower small-scale farmers in developing countries. Their efforts ensure that important information about agriculture and climate practices reaches those who most need it. Learn more on their website: [https://farmradio.org/](https://farmradio.org/)
5. Inuit Art Foundation: The foundation helps Inuit artists gain recognition and sell their art nationally and internationally. They also offer scholarships and grants to emerging artists, allowing the rich Inuit cultural heritage to thrive. More information can be found on their website: [https://www.inuitartfoundation.org/](https://www.inuitartfoundation.org/)
6. Teach For Canada: They work to ensure that every child can receive an excellent education. The charity recruits teachers and places them in rural and remote communities, which often need more educators. Visit their website for more details: [https://teachforcanada.ca/](https://teachforcanada.ca/)
7. Urban Wildlife Care: This charity provides medical care and rehabilitation to injured or orphaned wildlife in Ontario. They also conduct public awareness programs on coexisting with urban wildlife. Learn more about their work here: [https://www.urbanwildlifecare.com/](https://www.urbanwildlifecare.com/)
8. Cycling Without Age Canada: This organization aims to allow seniors to continue enjoying the outdoors by offering rides on specialized bicycles. Their initiative promotes intergenerational relationships and helps seniors battle isolation. Check out their work on their website: [https://cyclingwithoutage.ca/](https://cyclingwithoutage.ca/)
9. PeaceGeeks: PeaceGeeks utilizes technology to advance peace and humanitarian action. Their projects range from building digital tools for NGOs to facilitating access to information for marginalized communities. Learn more about their projects here: [https://peacegeeks.org/](https://peacegeeks.org/)
10. Shelter Movers: This national charity provides moving and storage services at no cost to people fleeing abusive situations. Their work helps reduce barriers that might keep someone from leaving an abusive situation. More details about their services can be found on their website: [https://sheltermovers.com/](https://sheltermovers.com/)
11. Engineers Without Borders Canada: EWBC tackles systemic issues that keep people trapped in poverty. Their approach involves systemic innovations, ventures, and a leadership curriculum to foster a new generation of engineers. Learn more about them on their website: [https://www.ewb.ca/](https://www.ewb.ca/)
12. The First Nations Technology Council: This organization ensures that Indigenous peoples have equitable access to the tools, training, and support required to maximize the opportunities presented by technology and innovation. More about their initiatives here: [https://technologycouncil.ca/](https://technologycouncil.ca/)
13. Community Veterinary Outreach: Providing veterinary medical care to pets of those experiencing homelessness or near homelessness, this charity not only aids animals but also assists in social work. Their work can be found on their website: [https://vetoutreach.org/](https://vetoutreach.org/)
14. Learning Disabilities Society of Greater Vancouver: This charity provides specialized one-to-one teaching for children with learning disabilities, helping them gain confidence and academic skills. Visit their website for more information: [https://www.ldav.ca/](https://www.ldav.ca/)
15. Indspire: Indspire provides financial aid to Indigenous students to pursue post-secondary education. They aim to close the gap in Indigenous education by 2025. Check out their initiatives on their website: [https://indspire.ca/](https://indspire.ca/)
16. ArtStarts in Schools: ArtStarts is dedicated to promoting art and creativity among the young generation in British Columbia. They organize various programs, exhibitions, and workshops to make art accessible for kids. Learn more about them here: [https://www.artstarts.com/](https://www.artstarts.com/)
17. Bat Conservation Canada: As the name suggests, this organization works towards conserving bat species in Canada, which play an essential role in maintaining our ecosystem. Visit their website for more information: [https://batconservationcanada.org/](https://batconservationcanada.org/)
18. Help Lesotho: Despite its international focus, this Canadian charity is worth mentioning for its work to mitigate the effects of HIV/AIDS and poverty in Lesotho. They focus on education, gender equity, and youth leadership development. More about their work here: [https://www.helplesotho.org/](https://www.helplesotho.org/)
19. Salmon Coast Field Station: They study and protect wild salmon populations in British Columbia. They involve community members, students, and early-career researchers in their research and conservation efforts. Learn more on their website: [https://www.salmoncoast.org/](https://www.salmoncoast.org/)
20. Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology: SCWIST aims to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). They provide networking, mentorship, and professional development opportunities. More details can be found here: [https://www.scwist.ca/](https://www.scwist.ca/)
Each of these lesser-known charities, from various sectors, exemplifies the remarkable breadth of Canadian philanthropy. They address diverse, unique needs, contributing meaningfully to communities within and outside Canada. While smaller than some, these charities significantly impact their respective fields. They are proof that size does not determine the value of work, and sometimes, the lesser-known entities are those making fundamental, tangible differences in the lives of others. They remind us that every dollar counts when supporting charitable endeavours.