What We Do

We are an educational charity with 4 offerings: domestic programs, First Nations programs, overseas programs, and the ET store.Learn More

How We Fund Our Work

We sell valuable interactive education services to schools, parents, fairs and museums. We also sell educational toys through the ET store.Learn More

How we amplify change

Our domestic and First Nations programs touch many lives as do overseas programs, to which we allocate the majority of funds raised.Learn More

What we do

We educate. We delight. We enlighten. Elephant Thoughts does many things, all in the name of education. We are a self-sustaining charity. As such, we have programs in Canada that make money; First Nations and Inuit programs run on a not-for-profit basis; and other programs, mostly overseas, that benefit from the revenue we generate.

Every time that you engage Elephant Thoughts for a school or summer camp program, that you buy from our store or book us for a special event, you’re benefiting our International Sustainable Schools project.

How we fund our work

Most charities make their money by fundraising: they ask people to donate, and provide incentives to make donating more appealing. We have found a better way: we create real value.

We sell valuable interactive education services. We use the money generated to provide valuable education services to communities that simply can’t afford to pay for them. We also operate an educational toy store that turns a profit. All told, we generate revenue in over half a dozen distinct ways! Here are the main ones:

We operate an educational toy store in Collingwood, Ontario, and as a mail order business. The products we stock are rated by our teachers for their educational value and to see how well they hold up in the classroom. We strive to bring in products that are both ethically manufactured and have limited environmental impact.
Kids with robot
We are quickly becoming one of Canada’s largest providers of educational workshops and school programs. From science workshops to in-school full day field trips, to major installations like inflatable planetariums and the coolest hands-on palaeontology exhibition available, we provide schools with an affordable solution to costly field trips. Find out more
native kid b telescope
From science shows to telescope demonstrations and laser tag to human gyroscopes, our special events programs spark curiosity and inspire a love of science. We do them all: fairs and festivals, shopping malls, and other special events. Find out more
We help artists and fair trade initiatives all over the planet. We buy and sell products at fair rates while to benefit their creators while supporting our educational programs.

How we amplify change

There’s no question that we create positive change and touch many lives with our domestic programs in local and First Nations communities. We also aim to amplify change in locations where schools simply can’t afford third-party support. This includes countries such as Tanzania, India and Nicaragua.


The Sustainable Schools Initiative

We help schools in developing countries to become sustainable. We enable them to provide for their own basic needs and to achieve educational excellence. This is our flagship program, where we focus most of our overseas effort. It’s the culmination of more than a decade of overseas work. We’ve found that the keys to success are:

  • Mobilizing communities to take a greater part in the long term success and well being of their schools
  • Finding ways for schools to create income or at least offset operating costs

Find out more

Group with library books

Our super-effective First Nations school programs

Elephant Thoughts is a leader in First Nations and Inuit educational programs. Our teams of professional educators specialize in First Nation methodology, special needs, and specific disciplines. These not-for-profit programs combine culture, academics and exploration. It’s a unique approach that engages students and communities and gives students the skills and courage to chase their dreams. Find out more


Child sponsorship program

Many of our generous donors sponsor a child’s education for a year. This includes a uniform, school fees, and school supplies. Elephant Thoughts ensures that 100% of your donation reaches the child. We pay currency exchange fees, local procurement and other costs. Find out more

ET Canada Day at the Village 010 - tent installation (1)

Local community initiatives

Elephant Thoughts supports local Canadian children. We sponsor kids’ soccer and child-focused charitable organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters. Our Camp Programs involve local children in need, thanks to our paying customers!

We do many things. Watoto Learns, for example, is program developed for Canadian schools that enables children from all over to dialogue on issues of international sustainability. Find out more