Earlier this year I decided I wanted to put together a list of charities and other “good causes” that were either founded or run by Mormons. Of course, it shouldn’t matter at all the religious background of a charity’s founder or management. If they are doing good work, then they deserve support regardless. But in reality affiliation matters to many people.
And I believe that many Mormons care about affiliation of those they support. Probably the most successful and most widely supported charities among LDS Church members are those that are run by the Church. If you doubt this, read the paid obituaries in Utah newspapers, where Church-owned charities like the missionary fund and the perpetual education fund appear to be the most frequent suggested donations in lieu of flowers.
Regardless of what they think logically, most people do care about some kind of affiliation, usually without any logical basis. The Olympics, popular sports teams, even patriotism are all about affiliation on some basis rather than any clear logical decision.
So, I am publishing here the list of charities and “good causes” that I’ve found. I am NOT trying to get anyone to donate to these organizations by doing this—I haven’t done enough research into these organizations to know. I believe they are likely OK, but I don’t know for sure; not enough to give my personal seal of approval (as if that is worth anything).
Instead, my interest is simply in the charitable impulses of Mormons and how they have chosen to institutionalize those impulses. I’m pleased to see that at least these few Mormons have taken steps to help others, and I hope that there are many others that I’ve missed.
I should add a couple of things:
- I’m sure I’ve missed many organizations. Please let me know about any I’ve missed in the comments.
- I believe all of these organizations are focused on providing actual assistance to individuals. I have excluded some organizations that advocate political positions instead of assisting individuals.
- Just because these organizations were founded or are run by Mormons does not mean that they have any official connection to the Church, or should be considered a “Mormon organization” or under “Mormon control” whatever that might mean. Like any charity, what is important is the work that they do, NOT the affiliation. The affiliation is, at least to me, merely interesting. Non-Mormons should not see this as a “list to avoid” any more than Mormons should see this as a “list of charities that are better than others.”
- I am NOT endorsing any of these charities, although if I bothered to do the research, I could very well end up endorsing some or all of them. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH BEFORE YOU DONATE!
With the above disclaimers given, here is the list:
- Academy for Creating Enterprise — website: http://www.creatingenterprise.com
- American Indian Services — website: http://www.americanindianservices.org
- Ascend Alliance — website: http://www.ascendalliance.org
- Ayuda — information: Academy of LDS Dentists
- Baragwanath Blessings — website: http://www.barablessings.com/
- Beehive Foundation — website: Beehive Foundation
- Brasil Doce Lar — website: http://brasildocelar.com
- Care for Life — website: http://www.careforlife.org
- Casa de Sion — website: http://www.casadesion.blogspot.com/
- Cause for Hope — website: http://www.causeforhope.org/
- Charity Anywhere Foundation — website: http://www.charityanywhere.org/
- Choice Humanitarian — website: http://www.choicehumanitarian.org/
- The Christmas Box International — website: https://www.thechristmasboxhouse.org
- Deseret International Foundation — website: http://www.deseret-international.org
- Eagle Condor Humanitarian — website: http://eagle-condor.org/
- Empower Playgrounds — website: http://www.empowerplaygrounds.org
- Engage Now — website: http://www.engagenowafrica.org
- FINCA — website: http://www.finca.org
- Forever Young Foundation — website: http://www.foreveryoung.org/
- George S. and Dolores Dore’ Eccles Foundation — website: http://www.gsecclesfoundation.org/
- H.E.L.P. International — website: http://help-international.org
- Hirsche Smiles Foundation — website: http://www.hirschesmiles.org
- Huntsman Cancer Foundation — website: http://www.huntsmancancerfoundation.org/
- The Immigration Project — website: http://www.immigrationproject.org
- Liahona Children’s Foundation — website: http://www.liahonachildren.org
- Maya Relief Foundation — website: http://www.mayarelief.com
- Mentors International — website: http://www.mentorsinternational.org
- MicroBusiness Mentors — website: http://www.microbusinessmentors.org
- One Heart Bulgaria — website: http://www.oneheart-bg.org/
- Ouelessebougou-Utah Alliance — website: http://www.lifteachother.org
- Reach The Children — website: http://www.reachthechildren.org
- Rising Star Outreach — website: http://www.risingstaroutreach.org/
- Rose Education Foundation — website: http://www.roseeducation.org
- Shropshire Music Foundation — website: http://www.shropshirefoundation.org
- Sorenson Legacy Foundation — website: http://sorensonlegacyfoundation.org/
- Unitus — website: http://unitus.com/
- Universidad Hispana — website: http://www.universidadhispana.com.mx
- Village of Hope — website: http://www.villageofhope-ethiopia.org
- Share a Smile — website: http://shareasmile.net
- Sustain Haiti — website: http://www.sustain-haiti.org
- Worldwide Organization for Women — website: http://wowinfo.org
- Yehu Microfinance — website: http://www.yehu.org