GOLD2023

WE Charity

WE makes doing good, doable

aka Free The Children   |   Toronto, ON   |  https://www.we.org/en-US/

Mission

Our vision is to shift the world from “me" to “we." Our mission is to empower all people to change the world, locally and globally, achieving transformative outcomes for themselves and others. Our domestic programs educate, engage and empower hundreds of thousands of youth in schools across North America and Globally. Our international projects, led by our holistic and sustainable development model, empowers communities in Africa, and South America.

Ruling year info

1997

Executive Director

Mr. Scott Baker

Main address

336 Queen St. East

Toronto, ON M5V 2A2 Canada

Show more contact info

EIN

16-1533544

NTEE code info

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2019.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

WE Villages

Traditional models of international development are broken. Too focused on temporary solutions, they do not overcome the complex causes of poverty with a holistic, permanent solution.

We help people build up stable, thriving communities that give them the power and dignity to support themselves.

For two decades, WE Villages has been engineering an international development model to end poverty. It works. It’s proven. It’s scalable. It’s not a handout or a single solution, but a combination of key interventions that empower a community to help themselves.

Our core mission is empowerment. In North America, we empower people to create positive change around them. WE Villages applies the same philosophy in developing countries, when our local staff work with rural villages and regional governments to support, teach and empower people within our five Pillars of Impact:

· Education
· Water
· Health
· Food
· Opportunity

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families

We’re reigniting the fundamental purpose of education: moving students to want to learn, preparing them with the life skills to better the world and empowering them to forge their own paths to success.

WE Schools is experiential service-learning. Through educational resources and service campaigns, students further their curricular learning and develop the life skills for success. Young people are challenged to research and make an impact on at least one local and one global issue that spark their passion.

WE Schools receive curricular resources, service campaigns, professional development for educators and mentorship programs to help students become change-makers.

WE Schools resources are free to schools and always evolving to keep the learning materials fresh and relevant. For teachers it revitalizes their class, the curriculum and everyone’s passion. The WE Schools program reminds everyone what classrooms are supposed to be: vibrant, bubbling incubators that inspire tomorrow’s best leaders.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Indigenous peoples

WE Day is the Olympics for change-makers. The Academy Awards for real people who are making a difference. It’s a powerful, life-changing experience with world-renowned speakers and performers, mixed with real inspirational stories of change. It brings together world-renowned speakers and award-winning performers with millions of young people and families to celebrate and inspire another year of incredible change.

WE Day is open to all causes and organizations. Throughout all of our platforms, including WE Schools, we invite people to choose the causes at home and around the world that matter to them. At WE Day, we find ourselves cheering for more than 1,000 causes and the everyday heroes that support them.

Youth cannot buy a ticket to WE Day. Tickets are earned by performing one local and one global act of service - fundraising or giving volunteer hours for a cause they are passionate about.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

In any given year, one in five people will experience mental health or addiction problems. Our goal is to empower young people with tools and resources to promote their own well-being and the well-being of their community.

Developed in collaboration with leading mental health experts, WE Well-being is centered on evidence-based prevention and promotion strategies. It is designed to build a foundation of awareness, understanding and action—providing the resources and platform to foster an open conversation about well-being for youth, educators and families. Drawing on evidence-based mental health promotion and prevention strategies, WE will support the early development of positive mental well-being for individuals, families and communities through stigma-reduction and accessible and inclusive programs.

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth

WE SEC will be an incubator uniquely dedicated to building a youth movement through social entrepreneurship skills and supporting nationwide scaling of social enterprises. As a WE Charity initiative and in close partnership with leaders across the social sector, the WE SEC will have a dual focus:
- Programming for youth under 25 in 7,000+ WE Schools and extracurricular groups, building the skill set to succeed in social entrepreneurship, encouraging youth to establish micro ventures across Canada and dramatically scale their enterprise.
- An accelerator for people under 35, empowering their social enterprises by offering free, long-term support, including back-end services, expert-led programming, mentorship and access to capital.

The SEC will also boost community development in the high-needs Toronto neighbourhoods where WE is based. As an incubator hub, SEC programs will empower local youth and non-profits to more effectively tackle community issues by learning to harness the power of social enterprise. By its very presence, the SEC will attract additional social enterprises and entrepreneurs to the area, increasing impact. The SEC will work on shared-services model that provides local non-profits and social enterprises access to expert consultation, mentorship, and in-kind services from WE partners, in human resources, marketing and communications, financial management and legal services.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

Founders Award 2002

World of Children

Rights of the Child Prize (also known as the Children's Nobel Prize) 2006

World’s Children’s Prize

Human Rights Award 2006

United Nations/World Association of Non-Government Organizations

Award for Social Entrepreneurship 2007

Skoll Award

Top Employer for Young People 2012

Canada's Top Employers

Affiliations & memberships

Imagine Canada - Sector Champion 2018

Moneysense Magagazine Top 100 Charites 2019 2018

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our vision is to shift the world from “me" to “we."

Our mission is to empower all people to change the world, locally and globally, achieving transformative outcomes for themselves and others.

We empower change with resources that create sustainable impact. We do this through domestic programs like WE Schools, WE Day and internationally through WE Villages.

With WE Schools we're reigniting the fundamental purpose of education: moving students to want to learn, preparing them with the life skills to better the world and empowering them to forge their own paths to success.

WE Day is the manifestation of the WE Movement, an ocean of people coming together to create impact. Standing in a stadium full of change-makers will reaffirm the belief that a better world is possible. WE Days aims to motivate and inspire young people to become change-makers in their local and global communities.

Internationally, through WE Villages, we support people in building up stable, thriving communities that give them the power and dignity to support themselves.

For two decades, WE Villages has been engineering an international development model to end poverty. It works. It's proven. It's scalable. It's not a handout or a single solution, but a combination of key interventions that empower a community to help themselves.

WE Schools:
WE Schools receive curricular resources, service campaigns, professional development for educators and mentorship programs to help students become change-makers.

WE Schools resources are free to schools and always evolving to keep the learning materials fresh and relevant. For teachers it revitalizes their class, the curriculum and everyone's passion. The WE Schools program reminds everyone what classrooms are supposed to be: vibrant, bubbling incubators that inspire tomorrow's best leaders.

WE Day brings together world-renowned speakers and award-winning performers with millions of young people and families to celebrate and inspire another year of incredible change. Youth can't buy a ticket to WE Day - they must earn their entry by taking action on one local and one global cause.

WE Villages:
Our core mission is empowerment. In North America, we empower people to create positive change around them. WE Villages applies the same philosophy in developing countries, when our local staff work with rural villages and regional governments to support, teach and empower people within our five Pillars of Impact.

These are our five Pillars of Impact that lead our WE Villages to true independence:

Education
When children are educated, they are armed with the courage and self-confidence to better themselves and their families, their communities and the next generation. They learn how to prevent illness and improve overall health, build and maintain infrastructure, manage personal and professional relationships, understand and advocate for basic rights and secure a livelihood.

Water: clean water and sanitation
Improving access to clean water is one of the most crucial and quickest ways to lift a community out of poverty. It reduces illness, allows girls to go to school instead of bearing the responsibility of fetching their family's water and leads to better agriculture and access to food.

Health
Families who have access to health care can run farms, keep their families fed and their children in school. They can pull themselves out of the grip of chronic illness, and eventually out of poverty.

Food: agriculture and food security
We work with communities on programs that promote food security and improved agriculture, like school gardens and irrigation projects. We provide families with better access to healthy food and surplus food to sell, empowering them to grow strong.

Opportunity: income and livelihood
Children can only attend school if their parents have the financial means and time to invest in their education and basic health. So we teach parents, often mothers, skills such as animal husbandry to help them generate income, accrue savings and ensure sustainability. Through a mix of engaging the local government and developing alternative income programs, we help our WE Villages partner communities reach a level of self-sufficiency within an average of five years.

In addition to its headquarters in Toronto, Canada, WE maintains regional offices across the U.S., Canada and U.K. to support our domestic programming and the extensive network of educators who bring our WE Schools service learning into thousands of classrooms. Permanent country offices in China, Ecuador, Haiti, India, Kenya, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone and Tanzania support our WE Villages communities.

WE's Board of Directors includes respected thought leaders from the business, non-profit, and academic sectors who bring innovative leadership and sound guidance to the governance of our organization.

WE Charity's capability to create change is powered in part thanks to stable funding through our innovative and unique relationship with our social enterprise, ME to WE. With ME to WE, we create products and experiences that allow people to do good through their everyday choices. Half of all ME to WE's profits are donated to support WE Charity, while the other half is reinvested to grow the mission of the social enterprise. This unique partnership with ME to WE ensures that WE Charity achieves a remarkable rate of financial efficiency, with an average of 90 percent of donations going directly to our domestic and international programs.

A long and diverse list of foundations; socially conscious corporations like Unilever, Microsoft, and Ford; and private donors have chosen to partner with WE to support our domestic and international work.

WE Schools impacts:

According to an independent, third-party study by recognized NGO research firm Mission Measurement, compared to similar peers, alumni of WE Schools are:
- 5 times more likely to self-identify as social change agents
- Nearly 8 times more likely to start campaigns to solve social problems
- 4.6 times more likely to be in a social justice related field of study or profession
- 2.3 times more likely to plan to pursue, or are currently pursuing, a career that will create social change
- 2 times more likely to report they volunteer at least once a week
- 1.3 times more likely to report they regularly vote in political elections

Nearly 1 in 5 WE Schools participants have started a nonprofit to create social change and over 25% of participants work with policy makers to address social problems.

WE Day impacts:

To earn their ticket to WE Day, young people in the U.S., Canada and U.K. have raised more than $45 million in support of over 1000 different charities and causes, given more than 14.6 million hours of volunteer service, and collected more than 5.6 million pounds of food for food banks in their communities.

WE Villages impacts:

We've built more than 1,000 schools and school rooms, giving 200,000 children the opportunity to gain an education. Plus, we've trained teachers, set up extracurricular programs and brought in basic school supplies

By installing hand pumps, boreholes, wells, pipes, hand-washing stations, rain catchment systems and latrines, we have helped one million people live in healthier, more productive communities.

Through clinics, mobile medical units and medical supply distribution, we've empowered tens of thousands of rural community members with the knowledge to prevent disease, seek medical attention and improve their families' well-being with healthy habits. Plus, we've provided over one million people with access to clean water and sanitation, which helps prevent diarrhea—a leading cause of death among children under five.

We've enabled farmers and families to produce more than 15 million nutritious meals to fuel their communities. Agricultural training increases crop yields and ensures drought-resistant crops.

As of today, 30,000 women have been provided with the tools for economic self-sufficiency. And this has had a direct impact on the health and welfare of their families and their communities. Enabling women, specifically, to become earners is smart economics—it improves the financial and health outcomes of the entire community.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

WE Charity
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

WE Charity

Board of directors
as of 10/30/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Gerry Connelly

Former Director of the Toronto District School Board

Stanley Hainsworth

Tether - Founder and CEO

Miranda Tollman

Author - Independent Contractor

Andrea Farris

DISH, Senior Vice

Maria del Carmen Cevallos

MC ABOGADOS, Lawyer

Gerry Connelly

Former Director of the Toronto District School Board

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/18/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/21/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.