I’m thrilled that this list of Catholic-friendly charities continues to be my most popular post – it just goes to show how generous all of you are! I’m going to keep updating it as I find new Catholic-friendly charities.

As Catholics, there are things to consider that often don’t seem obvious, as I talked about in my previous post. 

This post was harder to research and write than I expected. I didn’t think it would be so hard to find financially sound charities that don’t directly or indirectly support causes in conflict with Church teaching. Even if a charity doesn’t outright say that it supports abortion or euthanasia, it could still fund, for example, projects that use embryonic stem cell research.

I couldn’t believe how many charities fund embryonic stem cell research, abortion or contraception. For example, the Susan G. Komen Foundation (a breast cancer nonprofit) donates some of its funds to Planned Parenthood. The Alzheimer’s Association funds research using embryonic stem cells.

I have family members with breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, so it was disappointing for me to learn about that, especially since I’ve supported those charities before. I don’t doubt the amazing work they do, but I’d rather support a charity for the same cause that doesn’t conflict with Catholic teaching.

Below are charities/non-profits I have vetted to make sure they don’t present a conflict of interest to Catholics, but please know that this list is not endorsed by the Catholic Church and has not been run by any leadership within the Church. Some of these charities are strictly Catholic; others are Christian or not specifically religious. If you know of any inconsistencies or have a charity you’d like me to vet, let me know!

Also, it’s important to note that the Charity Navigator scores are based on financial health and accountability/transparency, not Catholic values. Similarly, Charity Watch grades are based on 1) what percentage of donations goes directly to the cause and 2) how much money it costs to raise $100. I chose to use these sites even though they’re not Catholic because I think they paint an important picture of the charities’ financial health. Finally, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance looks at 20 standards, including its effectiveness, finances and a history of complaints against the charity.

Cause of the Quarter: Ukraine

Read about how you can help Ukrainians now!

Want your cause listed for Cause of the Quarter? Email hi@victoriaeverleigh.com

1) Catholic Charities USA 

  • Not rated on Charity Navigator or Charity Watch
  • Did not disclose information needed to be accredited by BBB Wise Giving
  • Catholic Charities USA is not required to file IRS form 990 because it’s a religious organization, therefore Charity Navigator doesn’t rate it because it can’t compare it to other charities who do have to file this form

When I think of a Catholic charity, this is what comes to mind, perhaps because its name is so straightforward. As their tweet shows, CCUSA is “the official disaster relief agency of the US Catholic Church.” That alone brings me peace! The CEO is a nun, too, so that’s pretty cool.

The goal for CCUSA is to “reduce poverty in America.” That mission covers several of Jesus’ corporal works of mercy, including feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, and sheltering the homeless.

2) Saint Baldrick’s Foundation

SBF funds grants for childhood cancer research, which means a lot to me because one of my little cousins had brain cancer. She has been cancer-free now for 6 years!

I first heard about St. Baldrick’s in college from a friend’s mom who told me about their shave-your-head fundraisers (hence the name BALDrick’s, which isn’t really a saint’s name). I think it’s really inspiring that hundreds of thousands of people (women included!) have shaved their heads since the charity started back in 2000.

They don’t fund embryonic stem cell research and are upfront about it. 

* SBF addressed their low score on their website. 

3) Unbound

Unbound used to be known as the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging. By paying a monthly fee, you get to sponsor a child or elderly person in a third-world country.

My parents have been sponsoring 2 children through this program for several years. My mom writes letters to each of her sponsor children a couple times per year. Then, they write back to tell my mom about school and how they’ve used her donation (often times to buy livestock). One time, my mom told them she is a figure skating coach, and they wrote back and said they’d never even seen an ice rink! It really puts things in perspective.

Note: A reader brought to my attention the following article about Unbound regarding the beliefs/practices of its leaders. I have not researched these claims independently, but I present them for you to decide on your own: https://www.lepantoin.org/unbound-has-deep-ties-to-heretical-priest-association/

4) National Breast Cancer Foundation

I had no idea how hard it would be to find a breast cancer nonprofit that didn’t fund programs (like Planned Parenthood) paying for abortion or that didn’t counsel women to have an abortion if they’re pregnant and have cancer. I only became familiar with NBCF while doing some research for this blog post and happening upon an article on the Catholic Sistas website.

I really like that NBCF raises money for women to get mammograms who otherwise can’t afford it. I can’t imagine how scary it must be to feel like you need a mammogram, but can’t get one. They also have a website/app called “Beyond the Shock” to help women and families facing a diagnosis.

5) Make-A-Wish International

Make-A-Wish International (MAWI) grants the wishes of kids with life-threatening illnesses outside of the US. I chose to go with MAWI instead of MAW America because MAWI had a better score on Charity Navigator (92.08 vs 86.51) plus a higher percentage of MAWI’s funds go directly to the cause (87% vs 79%). At the end of the day, it’s not a huge deal and I think either charity is a worthy cause!

In fact, my cousin, who is a brain cancer survivor, got to go to the 2012 Olympic Games in London with her family for her wish as part of Make a Wish America!

6) Mental health charities

It was *really* important for me to mention a charity that deals with mental illness. There are virtually no nonprofits devoted solely to mental health awareness, prevention and/or treatment from a Catholic perspective!

That said, I wanted to highlight a few organizations.

I think mental health is so important and it’s often over-looked in terms of causes to support. There’s just not as much awareness for  mental health as there is for physical health issues. I also think there’s a stigma attached to Christians or Catholics having mental illness – as though it’s embarrassing to suffer because we *shouldn’t* feel depressed or anxious if we truly follow the faith. That’s a topic for another day…

I do believe there is a spiritual/religious component to the treatment of mental health, so another site to check out is CatholicTherapists.com.

If you know of any Catholic mental health charities or any that don’t conflict with Church teaching (i.e., don’t support “right-to-die,” contraception, abortion, etc), contact me please!

7) Haiti180

  • Not rated on Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, Or BBB Wise Giving Alliance because it’s classified as a religious organization

I heard about this charity through Leah Darrow’s podcast, Do Something Beautiful (which I love).

Haiti180 provides a home for orphans and elderly people in Haiti. They get healthcare, education, food, clothes — everything they need to thrive, which of course includes the foundation of our faith.

One of the coolest things I learned was that none of the kids of the orphanage are put up for adoption. At first, I thought it seemed silly, but Sean explains that they purposely do this so the kids become a true family. They don’t have to say goodbye to their brothers and sisters. They know they’re going to grow up together and won’t be torn apart. It also inspires them to stay in Haiti and to put their education to use in their home country, instead of moving away. Ultimately, this should improve the quality of life for everyone.

You can hear Leah interviewing the founder, Sean Forrest, twice. I really enjoyed hearing his conversion story and how he started Haiti180:

It’s such a small world because in researching more about Sean, I found out that his home church is where I grew up going and where I made my first Holy Communion!

8) Ascension Health

  • Not rated on Charity Navigator, Charity Watch or BBB Wise Giving Alliance because, although it is a 501(c)3,, it receives a decent amount of government support (moreso than it gets from individual donors)

This is the country’s largest nonprofit Catholic healthcare system. Ascension says it conforms to the USCCB’s Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Facilities. As such, it doesn’t perform abortions or prescribe for contraception (unless it’s for non-contraceptive reasons), among other things.

Ascension has come under fire unsurprisingly from secular publications for taking such stances. I always encourage people to read such objections because it’s good to know the opposing argument so that you can defend the Church’s teachings, which always promote the dignity and sanctity of life. 

9) Starfish Project

  • Not rated on Charity Navigator, Charity Watch or BBB Wise Giving Alliance because it has less than $1M in revenue annually (but we can change that through generosity!)

This may be one of the lesser-known non-profits on this list, but it’s not for lack of impact. Starfish Project rescues sexually exploited women in Asia and then gives them a safe place to live, vocational training, health care, and counseling.

Starfish Project employs the women it rescues by teaching them how to make the jewelry it sells on its website. These women then use that experience and the vocational training they get in other subject areas to apply for jobs or start their own business. I love this organization!

More than 130 women have completed the full program, but thousands more have been helped through their community programs. If you want to hear more about it, listen to this episode of the Do Something Beautiful podcast:

10) Children of the Immaculate Heart

  • Not rated on Charity Navigator, Charity Watch or BBB Wise Giving Alliance because it has less than $1M in revenue annually (but we can change that through generosity!)

I heard about this cause from Matt Fradd (I don’t know him personally), who is donating proceeds from one of his books to Children of the Immaculate Heart. Naturally, I had to look it up! Its mission is to “serve survivors of human trafficking and open the door to their restoration in Jesus Christ.”

The website says they offer housing and a rehab program for female survivors of trafficking who have children. Because Children of the Immaculate Heart doesn’t bring in more than $1 million in revenue, it’s not rated by the “big dogs.”

11) John Paul II Medical Research Institute

  • JPII MRI isn’t rated because it brings in less than $1M in revenue

One of my readers told me about the JP2 Medical Research Institute, a nonprofit that is pro-life and doesn’t use embryonic stem cells. I LOVE that! JPII MRI also says it uses more than half of its budget on actual research. It has received approval from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Iowa Bishops, Catholic Medical Association and several state councils of the Knights of Columbus, according to their website.

12) Maggie’s Place

Maggie’s Place provides housing for homeless moms and their newborn babies and put them on the path toward an independent lifestyle. They teach women about how to budget, write a resume, and go on a job interview. They also offer dental care and counseling. According to the organization’s impact report, Maggie’s Place was “created in the spirit of the Catholic Worker tradition of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin” and follow “Catholic social teaching.”

13) Feed My Starving Children

FMSC is a Christian (not specifically Catholic) nonprofit that feeds children around the world. On its site, it says FMSC has shipped more than 2 billion meals. Volunteers pack the meals and then send them partner organizations that are in charge of distributing them. According to both CharityNavigator and CharityWatch, more than 80% of funds raised go directly towards their mission. I did not find any negative publicity surround FMSC online, and, given the seals of approval from the ratings organizations above, I decided to add this to our list. Thanks to one of our readers for the suggestion!

14) Couple to Couple League 

CCL’s goal is to help married couples live out their love in the way God intended. They do that through teaching natural family planning! If you’re engaged or married, you can find virtual, self-paced and in-person classes across the country!

15) Creatio

If you’re looking to support faith-based, Catholic travel for young adults, this is it! Creatio’s goal is to help people encounter God through His creations. They have adventure missions, pilgrimages and community events both in the US and abroad. It’s pretty cool that a travel company is a non-profit, as well! You can support the organization directly or choose to have your donation support one of their Missionary Guides.

16) Compass Catholic

Compass Catholic is in a league of its own as it teaches Catholics how to manage their money God’s way. It’s personal finance with a Catholic lens. I’ve gone through their Bible Study and I highly recommend it! (Full disclosure – I am a volunteer for them.)

17) Local Retreat Houses

If you’ve never been on a retreat at your local Catholic retreat house or monastery, I highly encourage it for everyone. Some religious orders rely on retreatants for their livelihood.

18) Chastity Project

If you’ve ever heard Jason Evert speak, then you’re familiar with Chastity Project. If you haven’t, then Google him and watch one of his talks!

Like its name implies, this organization teaches young people around the world about chastity, love, Theology of the Body, and dating. I’ve been to multiple talks over the year and the speakers are always generous with their time to answer questions and meet with people.

Personally, I can speak to the power of these talks, as they had a major impact on my faith formation in high school. I wish every high schooler could hear this message of hope and God’s love.

19) Hogar Nazareth

Association Hogar Nazareth´s is a non-profit NGO in Honduras whose mission is to provide a home with God’s Healing Love for children and teenagers coming from vulnerable situations, as well as adults with disabilities, until they are reintegrated into society. Their Three Homes care for about 60 boys and girls as well as 30 Adults with disabilities. It is led by local Hondurans collaborating with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. They invite you to prayerfully consider sponsoring a child, or making a monthly or one-time donation to support this beautiful work of God. Visit the website and it’ll melt your heart. 

You can watch a video about their ministry here.

20) Mercy Home for Boys & Girls

More info coming soon!

21) Be Not Afraid

Be Not Afraid focuses on providing “comprehensive case management to parents carrying to term following a prenatal diagnosis.” Their goal is to make expecting mothers and fathers feel supported and not alone during this scary time, while also educating them about how to advocate for care for their baby. Their website says that they follow the ethical teachings of the Catholic Church but serve people of all backgrounds.

22) Crossroads (Pregnancy) Care Center

This is a pro-life pregnancy center that I used to volunteer at in college. They offer medical services, like ultrasounds, as well as counseling, Bible studies, and breastfeeding support. One of my favorite parts of the center was the “free shop” they had where moms and moms-to-be could pick out maternity clothes, baby clothes, diapers, wipes, you name it. I loved seeing women breathe a sigh of relief when they picked out their items. They don’t offer contraception and don’t refer for abortions.

23) Canticle

This suggestion came from one of our readers who wrote in and said, “Canticle is … dedicated to preserving and passing on the tradition of Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony. With top notch musical training and over 100 young singers, they have just received a matching grant with the promise of more if they can start their journey toward an actual school.”

This is the first music-focused nonprofit featured on our list. Beauty (along with truth and goodness) is one of the ways we come to know God, so I love supporting the arts. Just think – has a song ever touched you in a way where you just felt God’s presence?

You can donate directly on their website or through GoFundMe.

24) Casa Juan Diego

Casa Juan Diego is a place of refuge for immigrants, refugees, and the poor. It also publishes the Houston Catholic Worker “to share the values of the Catholic Worker movement and the stories of the immigrants and refugees uprooted by the realities of the global economy.”

The CJD centers are located in the Houston area, and they’re named for Juan Diego, who Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to. I heard about Casa Juan Diego through the Life in Every Limb blog.

25) Non-Profits Helping Ukraine

I wrote a blog post specifically about helping people in Ukraine. You can read that here. To summarize, some organizations to check out include:

26) Malta House

Malta House is a home for pregnant women and homeless moms in Fairfield County, CT. This one is dear to my heart because it serves the area I grew up in!

27) Visitation Daughters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The Visitation Daughters of Mary in Kenya reached out to me via email. They especially care for orphans and the elderly, in addition to creating job opportunities for local women.

28) Street Grace

I heard about this organization on the Catholic Channel on SiriusXM. The issue of child sex trafficking is finally getting more attention after the release of the film, Sound of Freedom.

Last But Not Least

I don’t want to forget a place right under your nose: your church! Donating more there can give you the chance to literally see how your donation helps and you may have more of a say over how it’s spent. I think it’s great to help people across the country and the world, but I think we’re called to help our neighbors, too.

If there’s other charities you’re curious about, I recommend checking out the American Life League’s Charity list because they’ve done extensive research to see which charities fund (directly or indirectly) abortions, contraception, embryonic stem cell research and/or don’t support other pro-life teachings. You’ll also find pro-life, pro-Catholic charities on there too!

I want to leave you with one of my favorite stories from the Bible (I emphasized the part in bold). For me, it’s humbling to read because I always give from my excess:

Mark 12:41-44: The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

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