Charities That Directly Support Seniors


Canada, like many other countries, is experiencing a demographic shift with a growing number of seniors who deserve our respect, care, and assistance, and there’s a seemingly endless array of programs and organizations looking to support and protect this population. With so many options, it can be difficult to parse out which organizations really aid the causes you seek to support and which organizations truly deserve your hard-earned contributions.  

Continue reading to explore the importance of donating to the best charities for seniors and how your contributions can make a profound difference in the lives of older people across the country.

Types of Registered Charities in Canada  

Before you learn about some of the exceptional charities working to meet the needs of seniors, a helpful place to start is learning about the types of charities available in Canada. These classifications are based on the charity’s funding source, structure, and mode of operation.  

Charitable Organization

A charitable organization must:

  • Be established as a corporation, a trust or under a constitution 
  • Only have charitable purposes 
  • Primarily carries on its own activities 
  • Have more than 50% of its directors, trustees or officials dealing with each other at arm’s length
  • Generally receives its funding from a variety of arm’s length donors 

Public Foundation

A public foundation must:

  • Be established as a corporation or trust 
  • Only have charitable purposes 
  • Generally, give more than 50% of its income to qualified donees 
  • Have more than 50% of its directors, trustees or officials dealing with each other at arm’s length
  • Generally receives its funding from a variety of arm’s length donors 

Private Foundation

A private foundation must:

  • Be established as a corporation or trust 
  • Only have charitable purposes 
  • Carry out its charitable activities and/or fund other qualified donees 
  • Not have more than 50% of its directors, trustees or officials deal with each other at arm’s length
  • Have more than 50% of its funding come from a person or group of persons that control in any way or make up more than 50% of the directors, trustees, or like officials of the charity

Nonprofits v.s. Not-for-profits

With such similar-sounding designations, it’s no wonder people often experience difficulty differentiating between nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations. 

Nonprofits act as though they are businesses. They strive for profit but not to benefit any member of the organization as they would in a traditional business, aiming to enhance the public good explicitly. Not-for-profits, however, exist to meet the organizational goals outlined by the owner and are considered “recreational organizations” in which earning revenue is not one of the goals. Nonprofits can also have a separate legal entity, while not-for-profits are not. 

Three of the Best Canadian Charities Supporting Seniors 

The Canadian Seniors Association 

The Canadian Seniors Association is a not-for-profit organization that aims to improve our societies’ physical and emotional healthcare resources and allow seniors to live with the full expression of their dignity, independence, personhood and potential. 

Their mission involves advocating for the Federal Government through research, rehabilitation and resources regarding public policy, actively engaging participants and stakeholders in the evolution of pilot projects that challenge and diversify the delivery of healthcare teaching models for older populations. 

HelpAge Canada  

HelpAge Canada is a not-for-profit organization supporting community-based initiatives through partnerships across Canada, aiming to improve the lives of older individuals and their surrounding communities. 

They strive to empower seniors experiencing loneliness, vulnerability and isolation by developing programs and collaborations that foster a dignity-driven world. 

Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health 

The Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health is a nonprofit agency advocating for services and care that promote positive mental health in the senior population. 

With focuses on substance use, anxiety & depression, Dementia-related behavioural symptoms, delirium, long-term care, suicide prevention and overall wellness, this organization is dedicated to a holistic view of senior health. 

Get Involved  

There are many different ways to get involved with charitable organizations. If you are in good financial standing, consider donating to a charity whose mission aligns with your goals. Donating your time can make just as big of an impact for those who aren’t as financially flush as your dollar! Volunteering with one of these great organizations is not only a great way to lend a helping hand but also a great way to further connections in your community. 


Remember, when looking for the best charities to donate to in Canada, always do your due diligence on your chosen entity. Ensure the organization’s mission and values align with yours before granting monetarily or with your time.

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