Charities by deity: Norse pantheon

Baldr Dead, by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1783-1853)

Offering to the gods and goddesses is an important part of Norse religion.  How can a naturalist honor this tradition?  One possibility is to give to a charity related to a deity’s symbolic or mythical concerns.  This page compiles charities relevant to deities.

General correspondences and suggested charities are given for each deity, but these listings do not, and cannot, reflect the full range of nuance for each deity tradition; they only attempt to give starting points for research.  Resources for evaluating charities include Charity Navigator and GiveWell.

Your help is needed!  Please send us your links, comments, and improvements for this page!

Table of Contents

  • General (all deities)
  • Aegir
  • Baldur
  • Bragi
  • Eir
  • Forsetti
  • Frey
  • Freya
  • Frigg
  • Heimdall
  • Hel
  • Idunna
  • Loki
  • Nerthus
  • Njord
  • Odin
  • Ostara
  • Ran
  • Sif
  • Skadi
  • Sunna
  • Thor
  • Tyr

General

Some nonprofits are broadly applicable; either their initiatives address a vast range of concerns, or the nature of their organization makes them in some way appropriate for nearly any deity.

  • Mercy Corps – a team of 3700 professionals helping turn crisis into opportunity for millions around the world; a vast list of programs addresses nearly all areas of humanitarian concern
  • Heifer International – giving livestock as an economic base to struggling families in developing countries; recipients agree to pass on offspring and knowledge to others; donating specific animals allows a correspondence to the traditional sacred/sacrificial animals of deities, thus making this charity broadly applicable to any deity that would have received animal sacrifices in ancient times

Aegir – sea, brewing

  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) – not a crusade against alcohol consumption – MADD’s mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.
  • Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) – Founded as Students Against Driving Drunk in 1981, SADD has been committed to empowering young people to lead education and prevention initiatives within their schools and communities. SADD now highlights prevention of all destructive behaviors and attitudes that are harmful to young people, including underage drinking, substance abuse, impaired driving, violence and suicide.

Baldur – light, life, peace, eloquence

Bragi – poetry

Eir – healing

  • Doctors Without Borders– an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – a worldwide mission to help victims of conflicts and internal violence, whoever they are; efforts help people affected by armed conflict in some 80 countries in 2009; Sudan is currently the organization’s largest humanitarian operation, followed by Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • The American Red Cross – the Red Cross in America
  • Oxfam International – a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change; working in development, emergencies, advocacy, campaigning, and policy research; campaigns in health, education, agriculture, climate change, arms control, and trade.
  • TRAMIL – Not an official charity, but a program with a mission “to validate scientifically the traditional uses of medicinal plants for primary health care.”
  • Plants for a Future database – including medicinal plants
  • NothingButNets.net – mosquito nets for malaria-infested countries in east Africa
  • Operation Blessing International – a variety of aid options including water purification and wells, HIV/AIDS, and more.
  • Broadway Cares – mission is to utilize the unique abilities of entertainment industry to raise awareness for and fight HIV/AIDS.  Efforts address both actors with HIV/AIDS and all those suffering from the disease.
  • The Carter Center – established by former president Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalyn Carter; promotes peace, human rights, and fights disease; credited with the near eradication of guinea worm disease; given a high evaluation by Givewell

Forsetti – justice

  • International Peace Institute
  • United Nations Foundation
  • Witness – “Uses video and online technologies to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations.”
  • Amnesty International – a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all.
  • The Carter Center – established by former president Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalyn Carter; promotes peace, human rights, and fights disease; credited with the near eradication of guinea worm disease; given a high evaluation by Givewell
  • Genocide Intervention Network – educational network empowering individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide; in addition to advocacy, programs work actively to protect civilians on the ground, currently in Darfur and Burma.
  • Aegis – campaigns to prevent genocide worldwide; activities include research, policy, education, remembrance, awareness of genocide issues in the media, and humanitarian support for victims of genocide; offices in the UK Holocaust Centre and Rwanda
  • Human Rights Watch – independent organization reporting on human rights issues around the world

Frey – fertility, harvest

  • The Hunger Site
  • Feeding America – the nation’s largest food bank network.  With a network of 200 member food banks across the country, Feeding America supplies more the 2 billion pounds of food and grocery products annually.
  • United Nations World Food Programme – Among the Millennium Development Goals which the United Nations has set for the 21st century, halving the proportion of hungry people in the world is top of the list. Click through this section to learn more about hunger and how WFP food aid, which reached 86.1 million people in 80 countries in 2007, is leading the fight against the number one risk to global health.
  • Emergency Foodshelf Network (EFN) – a nonprofit food bank that collects, warehouses and distributes quality food and essential support services to Minnesota hunger relief organizations.
  • Operation Blessing International – a variety of aid options including hunger relief, orphan care, and more.
  • Feed the Hungry – Feed The Hungry raises money to build small, efficient kitchens attached to schools and then provides a hot, nutritionally balanced meal to over 4,000 hungry children every school day. Feed The Hungry currently supplies 35 kitchens and plans to build three more kitchens in 2009.  FTH serves the San Miguel de Allende area of Mexico.
  • Oxfam International – a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change; working in development, emergencies, advocacy, campaigning, and policy research; campaigns in health, education, agriculture, climate change, arms control, and trade.

Freya – fertility, beauty, sexuality

Frigg – queen, sovereignty, marriage, women

  • Marriage Equality
  • Nike Foundation – works to get girls on the international agenda and drive resources to them; researches the critical importance of girls in the developing world; finds the best programs for girls
  • The Girl Effect – initiative of the Nike Foundation communicating the importance of girls as agents of change in the developing world
  • International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) – tackles the complexities of the world’s most pressing problems – poverty, hunger and disease – by demonstrating that a focus on women and gender is necessary for lasting social and economic change; mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world; works with partners to conduct empirical research, build capacity and advocate for evidence-based, practical ways to change policies and programs
  • BRAC – works to fight poverty in the developing world through a broad set of services ranging from education to health care, emphasizes poor rural women as agents of change
  • Global Grassroots – supports women affected by violence in Rwanda, Darfur, and eastern Chad bordering Darfur; trains women in personal transformation, social entrepreneurship, and project building; also provides seed funding to graduates with quality projects, a list of which can be seen on their web site; founded by Gretchen Steidle Wallace of the film The Devil Came On Horseback.
  • Amnesty International – a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all.
  • Genocide Intervention Network – educational network empowering individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide; in addition to advocacy, programs work actively to protect civilians on the ground, currently in Darfur and Burma.
  • Aegis – campaigns to prevent genocide worldwide; activities include research, policy, education, remembrance, awareness of genocide issues in the media, and humanitarian support for victims of genocide; offices in the UK Holocaust Centre and Rwanda
  • Human Rights Watch – independent organization reporting on human rights issues around the world

Heimdall – guardian, protector, keen sight and hearing, runes and by extension literacy

  • American Hearing Research Foundation
  • Vision Research Foundation
  • Glaucoma Research Foundation
  • Fisher House – helping military families
  • Operation Homefront – supporting our troops and helping the families they leave behind
  • USO – The USO is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the troops by providing morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform.
  • War Child International – works to help children caught up in the horrors of war
  • Iraq Foundation – raises awareness for the suffering of Iraqi people and raises funds which are then given to institutions and organizations in Iraq to aid children, refugees, and widows.
  • Oxfam International – a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change; working in development, emergencies, advocacy, campaigning, and policy research; campaigns in health, education, agriculture, climate change, arms control, and trade.

Hel – death, underworld

Idunna – life, longevity, immortality

  • Doctors Without Borders– an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – a worldwide mission to help victims of conflicts and internal violence, whoever they are; efforts help people affected by armed conflict in some 80 countries in 2009; Sudan is currently the organization’s largest humanitarian operation, followed by Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • The American Red Cross – the Red Cross in America
  • The Hunger Site
  • Feeding America – the nation’s largest food bank network.  With a network of 200 member food banks across the country, Feeding America supplies more the 2 billion pounds of food and grocery products annually.
  • United Nations World Food Programme – Among the Millennium Development Goals which the United Nations has set for the 21st century, halving the proportion of hungry people in the world is top of the list. Click through this section to learn more about hunger and how WFP food aid, which reached 86.1 million people in 80 countries in 2007, is leading the fight against the number one risk to global health.
  • Emergency Foodshelf Network (EFN) – a nonprofit food bank that collects, warehouses and distributes quality food and essential support services to Minnesota hunger relief organizations.
  • Feed the Hungry – Feed The Hungry raises money to build small, efficient kitchens attached to schools and then provides a hot, nutritionally balanced meal to over 4,000 hungry children every school day. Feed The Hungry currently supplies 35 kitchens and plans to build three more kitchens in 2009.  FTH serves the San Miguel de Allende area of Mexico.

Loki – trickster, malice

Nerthus – earth

Njord – ocean, sea

Odin – sovereignty, poetry, inspiration, wisdom, death

  • Amnesty International – a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all.
  • Genocide Intervention Network – educational network empowering individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide; in addition to advocacy, programs work actively to protect civilians on the ground, currently in Darfur and Burma.
  • Aegis – campaigns to prevent genocide worldwide; activities include research, policy, education, remembrance, awareness of genocide issues in the media, and humanitarian support for victims of genocide; offices in the UK Holocaust Centre and Rwanda
  • Human Rights Watch – independent organization reporting on human rights issues around the world

Ostara – spring, fertility

Ran – ocean, sea, brewing

  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) – not a crusade against alcohol consumption – MADD’s mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.
  • Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) – Founded as Students Against Driving Drunk in 1981, SADD has been committed to empowering young people to lead education and prevention initiatives within their schools and communities. SADD now highlights prevention of all destructive behaviors and attitudes that are harmful to young people, including underage drinking, substance abuse, impaired driving, violence and suicide.

Sif – harvest, golden hair

  • The Hunger Site
  • Feeding America – the nation’s largest food bank network.  With a network of 200 member food banks across the country, Feeding America supplies more the 2 billion pounds of food and grocery products annually.
  • United Nations World Food Programme – Among the Millennium Development Goals which the United Nations has set for the 21st century, halving the proportion of hungry people in the world is top of the list. Click through this section to learn more about hunger and how WFP food aid, which reached 86.1 million people in 80 countries in 2007, is leading the fight against the number one risk to global health.
  • Emergency Foodshelf Network (EFN) – a nonprofit food bank that collects, warehouses and distributes quality food and essential support services to Minnesota hunger relief organizations.
  • Feed the Hungry – Feed The Hungry raises money to build small, efficient kitchens attached to schools and then provides a hot, nutritionally balanced meal to over 4,000 hungry children every school day. Feed The Hungry currently supplies 35 kitchens and plans to build three more kitchens in 2009.  FTH serves the San Miguel de Allende area of Mexico.

Skadi – mountains, winter, skiing

Sunna – sun

Thor – protector, hero, storm, thunder

  • National Association of Storm Chasers and Spotters
  • Skywarn – volunteer program of severe weather spotters
  • Moral Heroes – inspiring the hero in you by telling the stories of heroes from around the world, from the past and today
  • Fisher House – helping military families
  • Operation Homefront – supporting our troops and helping the families they leave behind
  • USO – The USO is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the troops by providing morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform.
  • War Child International – works to help children caught up in the horrors of war
  • Iraq Foundation – raises awareness for the suffering of Iraqi people and raises funds which are then given to institutions and organizations in Iraq to aid children, refugees, and widows.
  • Oxfam International – a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change; working in development, emergencies, advocacy, campaigning, and policy research; campaigns in health, education, agriculture, climate change, arms control, and trade.

Tyr – war, justice, sovereignty, a one-handed god who lost his hand to the wolf Fenris

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