The Knights and members of The Equestrian, Secular and Chapterial Order of Saint Joachim raise funds in order to contribute to worthy causes around the world. The Order prefers to make contributions directly to small, grassroots charities that are otherwise overlooked and where The Order's donation will have the greatest impact on people's lives. These traditionally include charities that support the homeless, ex-servicemen, hospitals and children's charities. Recently The Order of Saint Joachim has focused its support on organizations that provide micro-loans in the developing world.
In Canada, The Order has established The Noble Hearts Foundation, a Canadian Registered Charity under Charitable Registration Number 83471 3000 RR0001. The Order of Saint Joachim is also a fully registered UK Charity (registered charity No. 1047873) to carry out its charitable work there.
The Order was originally established for charitable and chivalric purposes. In 1821 Perrot described the mission of The Equestrian, Secular and Chapterial Order of Saint Joachim as follows:
The Order supports its original mission of tolerance by being one of the most inclusive Orders in the world. In addition to religious tolerance, whereby members of any faith can be admitted as a member of the Order, it has extended that mission of tolerance to a broader socially progressive mandate and welcomes individuals regardless of faith, gender, race, nationality, class or sexual orientation. It stands resolutely opposed to sectarian violence and religious extremism in any form.
The charity that Grand Chapter has chosen to support is Opportunity International. Founded in 1971, Opportunity International provides access to savings, small business loans, insurance and training to over five million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. Clients in more than 20 countries use these financial services to start or expand a business, provide or their families, create jobs for their neighbours and build a safety net for the future. It has chapters in Canada, the USA, and the UK, which makes it ideal for an order with an international membership like ours.
By 2014 The Order of Saint Joachim contributed about $52,000 to the Canadian branch of Opportunity International, and additional amounts indirectly and as well in the UK. In 2015 The Order of Saint Joachim sponsored The National Club's "Giving Back Gala" which raised over $120,000 for Opportunity International. 2015 also marked the 25th anniversary of His Excellency the Most Reverend Douglas Lewins GCJ as our Grand Prior. To commemorate this milestone the Order made a donation of £5,000 towards a charity chosen by him in support of neuro-degenerative research. As well, the UK Commandery raised and donated £2,000 towards the restoration of the HMS Victory in honour of our historic connection with Horatio Nelson, as well as contributions to other causes in the UK and overseas.
In keeping with the Order's original charitable objects of assisting refugees of war, The Order of Saint Joachim made a $2,500 contribution toward sponsoring the resettlement of a Syrian family fleeing that conflict. Some of the other charities we have supported include the Polish Orphan's Charity, providing much needed assistance to orphanages in Eastern Europe, and Pierspective Entraide Humanitaire (MilkBags Unlimited), which works with the poor in Haiti. Our national commanderies also support several smaller local charities and projects of their choice.
No one at The Order of Saint Joachim draws a salary, fee or honorarium, or receives any funds from The Order. Officers and members cover their own travel and other costs in attending or supporting events. In fact, officers of The Order often pay their Order expenses out of their own pocket. This allows all entrance fees and annual oblations to be available for very modest general operational expenses (postage, web hosting, replacement insignia, etc.) with the balance available for charitable purposes. The Order of Saint Joachim is proud that it consistently maintains low operating costs - usually under $1,000 per year, excluding occasional expenditures to replenish insignia stocks, so that funds remain available for its charity work.
The Order also occasionally recognizes and encourages charitable work and good deeds through the granting of its awards and distinctions to deserving members of the public.