Social Enterprise Heroes

Canadian Nonprofit Organizations, Working to Achieve Social, Cultural, and/or Environmental Aims

Canadian nonprofit organizations work in different areas such as civil liberties and human rights, pollution and environmental protection, animal rights, legal advocacy, refugees, disasters and emergencies, and many others.

Non-profit Organizations by Focus and Area

Social Services

There are hundreds of thousands of charities and organizations that offer assistance and provide jobs. Some organizations provide social and community services, including mental health programs, career and employment counseling, exchange programs, and more. Examples include nonprofits such as the Afro Canadian Positive Network, the Active Career Advancement Project, AFS Interculture Canada, and many others.

Non-Profit Organizations with a Focus on Cultural Aims

Many Canadian non-for-profits are dedicated to the celebration and promotion of cultural heritage. Some organizations work to encourage dialogue between persons from different cultural, economic, and social backgrounds while others aim to improve social conditions and quality of life for Aboriginal people and other ethnic groups. Organizations that are dedicated to the recognition and promotion of Aboriginal culture include the Urban Native Youth Association, the Alberta Native Friendship Centre Association, and others. Some non-for-profits have a more narrow and specific focus. The West Coast Rail Association, for example, works to promote and showcase artifacts that illustrate the history of railways.

Organizations Dedicated to Environmental Protection

There are also nonprofit organizations dedicated to environmental protection and animal rights. Some NGOs form partnerships with the local authorities and other organizations toward environmental protection and healthier and cleaner soils, water, and air. Other non-profit organizations are dedicated to animal protection and aim to offer sanctuary to abused, surrendered, and abandoned dogs and other animals. There are also NGOs that promote animal protection legislation while others work to find adoptive and foster homes for abandoned animals. Some organizations are dedicated to preventing animal cruelty. Examples of such organizations in Canada include the Animal Aid Foundation, the Alberta Emerald Foundation, the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation, and many others.

There are also foundations, charities, and other organizations in Canada that focus on areas such as education, disabilities, family, youth, and children, health and diseases, and others. Societies and foundations focus on civic improvement, welfare, safety and security for all citizens, education, and health. Examples of nonprofit organizations and networks include Care Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, Canadian lawyers for International Human Rights, and the Animal Alliance of Canada. Some of these are humanitarian organizations while others are committed to facilitating and advancing, development and peace. Some nonprofit organizations focus on women’s rights, children’s rights, ethnic minority rights, and civic rights. There are organizations that actively work to improve economic and social conditions in other countries. They focus on basic necessities such as food and shelter as well as disease eradication. Some charities work in countries gripped by wars and political conflicts. They welcome volunteers and donations to support their activities and causes. You can also host a fundraiser at your workplace or school or in your community. Work positions are also available in such organizations, including positions such as country director, head of programs, and others. Finally, nonprofit organizations also offer a wealth of services in Canada, including parenting seminars, counseling referrals, counseling, legal advice, and a lot more.

Helping Indebted Canadians through Financial Literacy

Indebted Canadians are growing in number mainly because of poor financial choices and lack of planning and budgeting skills. For some people, this is a way of life and indebtedness is for life. A survey of Ipsos Raid illustrates this – 23 percent of Canadians think that they will never be debt-free while 6 percent believe they will deal away with debt in 25 or more years. Only 16 percent of Canadians respond that they will be debt-free in less than 2 years. So, what can be done to help people who are knee-deep in debt and do not see light at the end of the tunnel? Financial literacy is the answer.

Importance of Financial Literacy

Financial literacy helps Canadians to acquire important money and debt management skills. They learn to set realistic long- and short-term goals to improve their financial situation and reduce debt. Different organizations and universities offer information and assistance to indebted Canadians to help them make good choices and informed decisions. They cover topics such as borrowing and repayment, debt management (, loan terms and types, budgeting, and many others. At universities students are taught how to allocate variable and fixed expenses and how to track where their money or income goes. Basically, student learn how to protect, control, and invest their finances to save and profit.

Canadians enrolled in different financial literacy programs learn more about home ownership, family financial planning, paying for college, recent legislation related to taxation, retirement, etc. Students are offered information about family financial planning, including children with special needs, child care, marriage and remarriage, and estate planning. You will also learn what caring for aging parents involves. Obviously, proper financial planning involves all family members and helps organize finances to cover the basics and more specific perks and save to deal away with debt.

Financial literacy also encompasses home ownership topics such as buying and selling a home, renting a property, home improvements and basics, etc. You will learn how to deal with mortgage debt by exploring questions such as refinancing when rates are low, early payoffs and penalty rates, refinancing and homeowners insurance, and others ( Crisis situations also require good financial planning, especially if you already have a lot of debt. Crisis situations include incapacity, unemployment, loss of spouse, prolonged illness and medical crisis, divorce, and death in the family. Crisis situations put strain on your finances and it is a good idea to have a good financial plan and emergency fund. Finally, taxation is an important issue if you have debt because both of them put strain on your finances. It always pays to know more about deductions, credits, and actual tax planning. Year-end tax planning is also a topic to learn more about.

Concepts and Topics

Financial literacy, however, is more than budgeting and debt elimination. It also encompasses concepts that are related to investing, entrepreneurship, economics, and finance. Financial literacy also encompasses themes and topics such as retirement planning, banking, taxation and tax refunds, and many others. Financially literate people know how to build a solid credit score to gain access to a wealth of financial products, including balance transfer and rewards credit cards, lines of credit, mortgage products, and more. Financially savvy people have good knowledge of different types of insurance products and packages such as life, mortgage, home, auto, and health insurance. Personal finance also encompasses concepts such as refinancing, closing costs, foreclosure, short sale, and others.