Charity, or advocacy songs have been a phenomenon that all started with:

Band Aid - Feed the World - Famine Relief for Ethiopia
This song asks us to think of those who are living in poverty and hunger in Africa during the Christmas season, reminding us that they might not even know it's Christmas. It was released November of 1984, and debuted at number one in Great Britain. It was number one on the American charts two weeks later. The song was written by Sir Bob Geldof, and sold fifty million copies. It sold over 3 million copies in Great Britain alone. The Band AidTrust was registered as a British Charity in January 1985. In March 1985, the first consignments of relief supplies were delivered to Ethiopia and Sudan. By July 1985, over 6 million dollars had been spent on buying and transporting food, shelter, medical supplies, water equipment and other essential items to famine victims in these two countries. With love from Band AidThis was the first of the big group charity efforts among musicians.

A whole host of multi-artist benefit songs were to follow. Artists United Against Apartheid, "Sun City" (1985); Northern Lights, "Tears Are Not Enough" (1985) benefiting Ethiopian famine relief; Artists Against AIDS Worldwide, "What's Going On" (2001); Various Artists, "Tears In Heaven" (2004) benefiting the 2004 Tsunami; Various Artists, "Come Together Now" (2005) benefiting the victims of Hurricane Katrina to name just a few. One of the many criticismsof the multi-artist benefit song is that they are more about supporting the massive egos of its participants than supporting starving children...

What can't be criticized however is the amount of money that has been raised to help in the relief of various natural disasters.

Social Media

Twitter: Since 2008 over 200 cities have participated in what is called a Twestival by hosting offline events raising close to $1.2 million for 137 causes; most notably clean water. What started out as a single event in London in the fall of 2008 has now turned into a global movement.

Charity: water is best known on the web as the benefactor of the first global Twestival that helped to bring access to clean drinking water to those who lack the vital resource.

The following video is from 2009′s World Water Day in March that combined striking video images and gorgeous motion graphics with a meaningful song to create a compelling and informative presentation. The video ran on Youtube with a “call to action” overlay advertisement asking people to donate, and helped raise $10,000 in one day for the charity.

Philanthropy Through Charitable Foundations

The Philanthropic Foundations Canada Foundation is a national membership organization for Canada's independent, grant making foundations and is a registered charity.

The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation (various businesses including newspapers). The foundation is a private family Foundation funding programs to foster a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient society.

The Birks Family Foundation mission is to contribute to a higher standard of living and quality of life for all Canadians.

The Donner Canadian Foundation funds public policy research, and supports environmental, international development, and social service projects.