Want to engage in the world and help others? We’re building a list of secular agencies, charities, organizations and events for humanists to contribute to social and environmental action in their communities. Help us gather information! Send your suggestions to: info@Ontariohumanists.ca or post on our Facebook page.
[note: the Ontario Humanist Society does not endorse or recommend any of these organizations – we are building this list as a public information service, and caution you to do your own research about the organization and how it functions. Send us your own suggestions for our list!]
Here are some examples of charities with humanist goals. Canadian organizations, or organizations with a Canadian branch, are marked.
AI’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.
In pursuit of this vision, AI’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights.
Art for AIDS International is a registered Charitable Organization based in Canada dedicated to raising funds and awareness for women and children affected by HIV and AIDS. We do this by encouraging young people to play an active and creative role in the global AIDS response through art.Need: volunteers, Social Media support, art workshop hosts. Beautiful limited edition prints created by students during art workshops are available in the website shop.
ArtsCan Circle sends teams of musicians and artists to remote Canadian Indigenous communities to link creative artists with Indigenous youth at risk. The teams conduct hands-on workshops in playing instruments, song writing, singing, drama and visual arts to build self-esteem amongst Indigenous youth and encourage positive outlets for self-expression through the arts. They also deliver donated musical instruments to each participating community to ensure youth have access to instruments on an on-going basis.
Need: donations of funds and used instruments, trip volunteers, benefit organizers.
Arts for Children and Youth’s (AFCY) mandate is to engage young people living in priority neighbourhoods in high quality and accessible arts educational programs that are meaningful, relevant and collaboratively developed with community and education partners. AFCY positions arts programs in schools and neighbourhood venues as a means of building community, and empowering marginalized children and youth to reach their full potential as artists and social contributors.
Need: donations, equipment and volunteers
The Canadian Federation for Sexual Health is a pro-choice, charitable organization dedicated to promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights in Canada and internationally. Search the locations pages for Ontario organizational members and Planned parenthood locations (e.g. Toronto, Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Ottawa, Kitchener).
Need: donations. Various member organizations may require volunteers or other kinds of assistance.
Engender is an international nonprofit organization that has been working for 60 years to make reproductive health services safe, available, and sustainable for women and men worldwide.
The HSSE is a heterosexual voice of equality in regards to same-sex issues.Our mandate is to bring our message of tolerance and understanding to society, by correcting misinformation and cultural myths which negatively affect civil rights surrounding same-sex issues.We enable heterosexual participation, providing the means for all people to develop and demonstrate their support for same-sex equality. Needs: publicity, social media participation, or support them by buying a t-shirt!
MyGSA.ca is Canada’s national LGBTQ-inclusive and safer schools website. With resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning (LGBTQ), and allied youth, parents, and educators, the site exists to help Canadians in their work of starting Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) and other safer space clubs.Need: publicity and donations
Oxfam International is a confederation of 12 organizations working together with over 3,000 partners in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty, suffering and injustice. The Oxfams operate in over 100 countries worldwide working with local partners to alleviate poverty and injustice.
ONE is a grassroots campaign of more than 3 million people committed to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support smart and effective policies and programs that are saving lives, helping to put kids in school and improving futures. Co-founded by Bono and other campaigners, ONE is nonpartisan and works closely with African activists and policy makers.
The PACT Urban Peace Program is an award-winning, result driven and cost conscious registered Canadian charity dedicated to working with, supporting and empowering under privileged and at-risk youth, as well as youth already in conflict with the law. PACT has a grassroots beginning and a social entrepreneurial approach. To that end, PACT believes it is the community’s responsibility to provide the best programs at the earliest stages to create and maintain peaceful and safe environments.
PACT is a program without barriers working with youth across the whole risk spectrum, including newcomer, at-risk and disadvantaged youth from low-income and priority neighbourhoods, youth already in conflict with the law, as well as incarcerated youth who need a more serious intervention and help reintegrating back into society.Need: donations, volunteers, PACT Store supporters, community leaders and social entrepreneurs.
The word ‘PARO’ is Latin for “I Am Ready”. The PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise has helped thousands of women across Northern Ontario to start, grow or build new business opportunities.We are a not-for-profit and grassroots organization that remains focused on addressing the many unique challenges facing women as entrepreneurs and primary family caregivers. Since our launch in 1995, they have continued to diversify the range and reach of our programs and services to meet the changing socio-economic environments of our communities and the growing needs and aspirations of women in Northern Ontario.
The PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise seeks to empower women within their communities, strengthen small business and promote community economic development (CED) through integrated and women-centered program delivery. From training and business coaching, to networking events and peer lending circles, all of their innovative programs and services are designed to increase the self-sufficiency and success of women, families and communities in the North.
PFLAG Canada is Canada’s only national organization that helps all Canadians who are struggling with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. PFLAG Canada supports, educates and provides resources to parents, families, friends and colleagues with questions or concerns, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Needs: members, volunteers, donations. Various local chapters may have different needs.
Plan International is a global movement for change, mobilizing millions of people around the world to support social justice for children in developing countries.
In 2008 during a four month backpackingtrip through India, our founder and CEO, Hemley Gonzalez, experienced firsthand the abuse and horrible conditions which men and woman were subjected to under a worldwide famous charity that collects millions of dollars from its donors but largely mismanages such donations. Disgusted and disappointed by this experience, he began working in the slums alongside other friends and volunteers who also felt their efforts were positively and effectively changing the lives of those disadvantaged families they came into contact with.
After returning home, he began a campaign to raise awareness about the issues he first experienced and the challenges the children of the Park Circus face daily and thus Responsible Charity was born. Through a homegrown network of friends, family and volunteers in different regions of the world we are now beginning to gather donations which we can track and report on our website and show exactly the progress and help such funds allow us to administered to those in need.
Unlike some religious-based organizations which have no progressive plans in effect to educate and empower men and women out of poverty, Responsible Charity would like to make advances in areas of education, planned parenthood and self employment.
The Safeworld International Foundation is an independent non-governmental organisation which works with grassroots organisations and promotes the rights of women and children.
Registered in the UK, we are a women-led NGO, working with grassroots organisations to promote women’s empowerment and sustainable development, tackle the root causes of poverty and oppression, and bring about positive social and economic change at a global level.
Our popular website, connects women and women’s organisations from different backgrounds and cultures, in order to promote dialogue and collaboration on key issues affecting women and children.
Independent from government, corporate or national interests, we highlight abuse of human rights throughout the world, educate and mobilize the public, and campaign to improve policy and attitudes. Need: donations (to a variety of grassroots projects), volunteers, and assistance with the Helpline project, which aims to publish as many women’s helpline phone numbers from around the world as they can.
Scientists in School (SiS) is a thriving charity dedicated to sparking children’s interest in science and technology through hands-on discovery. Founded in 1989, SiS recognizes that early positive exposure to science is critical to instilling a life-long interest. We’re focused on developing the bright minds and innovators needed for Canada’s economic and social prosperity. At the heart of SiS’s work are our award-winning, inquiry-based workshops for Kindergarten to Grade 8 students. SiS broadens its impact further through participation in countless community events and also acts as a voice for science promotion. Most of all, we make science fun.Most of all, we make science fun. Need: volunteers and donations
Toronto Women’s Bookstore is dedicated to promoting anti-oppression politics and feminist politics. Our mission: To provide books by women writers, especially marginalized women, including women of colour, First Nations women, lesbians, other queer women, working class women, disabled women, Jewish women, and all other groups of women.
Our mandate is to be an information provider and community resource for events, political actions, women’s health care, anti-violence advocacy, and anti-oppression politics for individuals and community groups, and to organize events and courses that reflect the communities we serve. Need: Volunteers
The Uganda Humanist Schools Trust helps a number of schools in Uganda who are working to offer liberal, humanist education to needy children. Founded by Ugandan Humanists and run as charities, the schools are inclusive and do not discriminate on grounds of religion, social or ethnic background. Need: donations
UNICEF mobilizes political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure a “first call for children” and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families. UNICEF provides emergency and disaster relief.
WMC’s Women Under Siege is an independent initiative documenting how rape and other forms of sexualized violence are used as tools in genocide and conflict throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. Originated by Gloria Steinem, it builds on the lessons revealed in the anthology Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Holocaust by Sonja Hedgepeth and Rochelle Saidel, and also in At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape and Resistance — a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle McGuire. In the belief that understanding what happened then might have helped us prevent or prepare for the mass sexual assaults of other conflicts, from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this Women’s Media Center project is exploring this linkage to heighten public consciousness of causes and preventions. Need: donations and publicity. You can sign up to receive action alerts from their website.