They won’t take your money: Why these charities are newly restricting donations from controversial corporations

Some Canadian non-profits and charities are rejecting donations from corporations whose work, they say, is misaligned with their mission.

Why It Matters

Charities need money. But they also have strong values and a reputation to protect. In light of domestic and international charity scandals; and increasingly powerful movements for racial and social justice; some charities are turning away from donations from controversial corporations — whose money, the charities see, as not worth the moral sacrifice or the public relations risk.

This story is part of the Future of Good editorial fellowship covering the social impact world’s rapidly changing funding models, supported by Community Foundations of Canada and United Way Centraide Canada. 

In the winter of 2019, RAVEN, a Victoria-based environmental justice charity, had a tough decision to make. 

For nearly a decade, they’d been building a relationship with a local funder, a family foundation keen to support their work — legal defense for Indigenous peoples protecting their territory. And the money they were looking to raise was time-sensitive — funds to support three nations in their bid to stop the Trans Mountain Pipeline, and funding to support another nation, the Heiltsuk

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