Find a Local Charity

Looking for tips on finding a great local charity? You're in the right place!

Check out our FAQ below for answers to questions about connecting with charities. Below that, you'll find YPI's grant criteria and useful websites to help you research charities online.

What kind of charity can I choose for YPI?

Students may choose any registered social service charity that is directly providing services to people in your school’s local community. More information on what kind of charities qualify for a YPI grant can be found here:

YPI Canada
YPI USA

Why can't I choose an animal/environmental/medical research/international charity?

YPI's focus is on people helping people through social services in their own communities. Social services directly address social needs. That said, there are many examples of charities that help people in different ways. For example, some charities work with animals to provide therapy to people in need. Health care facilities often provide - or are linked to - social services that support individuals and their loved ones. Examples include mental health support groups, and camps for children with life-threatening or chronic illnesses.

While doing your research, consider different approaches that charities can take to help people in your community. 

How do I find social service charities in my community?

When using the internet for research, it's important to go beyond a few keyword searches in Google in order to find social service charities in your community. Do thorough searches in national/regional charity databases for better results.

However, don't rely solely on the internet or well-known charities. Community centres, libraries, university campuses, places of worship, and your school guidance office may have a wealth of information on community-based charities.

How do I check to see if my chosen charity is eligible for a YPI grant?

In Canada and the USA, you can check if your chosen charity is eligible for a YPI grant using the resources below:

YPI Canada
YPI USA 

What should my team say when we call our chosen charity?

Review the practice scripts and sample emails below for guidance on how you can communicate professionally with your chosen charity:

YPI Canada
YPI USA

The charity my team chose hasn't called us back. What should we do?

Be prepared with a back-up plan. If you can't connect with a charity, act quickly and contact another charity on your shortlist. Understand that charities can be very busy and/or have limited staff, and may not be in a position to meet with students.

You can use this guide to complete your charity shortlist.

What do we do when we visit our charity?

Check out "Making Your Charity Visit" in our Helpful Videos section to help your team make a successful and productive connection with your charity. You can also review our written guide to preparing for your charity visit and interview.

Always keep safety in mind. Before you visit a charity, be sure to tell your parents/guardians where you will be. If your school is allowing you to visit during school hours, respect any guidelines the school has around informing teachers on where you will be.

How should my team follow up with my charity after our presentation?

Thank the charity for their time. Follow up with a card or gesture showing your appreciation for their time and for what you've learned.

Can you think of any ways in which your talents could help meet some of your charity's needs? Ask them if there are any volunteer opportunities that you can take advantage of to learn more through experience.

Keep in mind that the YPI judging process considers how you have used your skills/time to do something helpful for your charity. Students who are more involved with their charities often have more compelling presentations.

End Accordion

YPI Grant Criteria

Choosing a charity that you believe is doing great work to address a social issue in your community is an important decision for you and your group members.  Here's what you need to consider when looking for a charity to research for the YPI grant:


Is it a local, community-based initiative?

  • Ensure your chosen charity is providing services to people within your own community or city.  This means you will gain a deeper understanding of the needs of your own community, while helping spread awareness about the important work of a local charity. Maybe someone at your school, or someone they know, or someone they haven't yet met, will benefit someday from your team raising awareness for important issues and the help that is available to people.
  • Local charities that are part of a larger group or organization, or have different chapters, can be considered but it is important to ask that ifa grant is awarded, that the funds will be directed to the branch in your community.  Keep in mind you must be able to visit the local chapter of the organization and discuss how the grant money will be used. 


Does the charity operate in the social services sector?

  • These charities focus on providing basic needs and support to people. Think: people supporting people. This means the charity provides immediate assistance to those with basic needs and promotes the well-being of people. 

For more information and examples, read about Social Issues and Social Service Charities.        

Is the charity registered with charitable status in your country?

  • You must ensure that the charity is registered with the appropriate governing body for your country. This means that the charity you choose is accountable to the government about its funding and quality of services. The charity can provide you with their registration number and you can locate and verify their registration number online. (In rare cases, other proof, like a letter showing charitable status, is acceptable.) Please contact us if you have any questions.
  • You can use the following country specific sites to find your chairities registration number:

Useful Websites

YPI Canada

Search for charities by issue:

Search for charities by region:

Search for charities in French:


Toronto's Vital Signs Report:

Toronto Foundation's Toronto's Vital Signs Report is an annual snapshot identifying the issues affecting the quality of life in Canada's largest city. If you're participating in YPI at a school in Toronto, make use of this resource when researching social issues in your community. 

The Community Knowledge Centre is a searchable tool that can help connect you to the outstanding community organizations who are working on solutions to the issues identified in the Vital Signs Report. 

Additionally, the City of Toronto makes two excellent community research tools available for free online. Toronto Neighbourhood Profiles let you see what the demographics are in different parts of the city, and the WellBeing Toronto tool is there to help you explore different indicators of community health and wellbeing by geographic area. 

YPI United States

Search for charities by issue:

 Search for charities by region: