How to Obtain Information on the Financial Transparency and Operating Efficiency of Canadian and US Charities

This post offers information on how to obtain information on the financial transparency and operating efficiency of Canadian and US charities.Every year I file our tax return and I have a figure which goes in line 349 labeled Donations and Gifts. In addition, there is a “Schedule 9” where I itemize the amounts donated to various charities.

A recent article in The Financial Post prompted me to wonder to what extent our donations go to the intended beneficiaries.

If you are interested in learning the extent to which the charities you support are rated on:

  • Transparency and Accountability
  • Need for Funding
  • Operating Efficiency

go to Charity Intelligence Canada. Enter the name of the charity in the search field. You will get a:

  • description of the charity;
  • financial review;
  • spending breakdown;
  • program cost average;
  • financial transparency rating;
  • charity rating (0 to 4 stars);
  • number of full-time staff;
  • average compensation;
  • top 10 staff salary range;
  • social results reporting grade;

If you reside in the US and make donations to US registered charities, check Charity Navigator. There is a CN Advisories section in which charities of concern are ranked on a scale of low, moderate, and high.

An example of a charity rated as being of high concern is Bikers and Bellydancers Ride Against Cancer. Within this advisory is a link ‘Bikers and Bellydancers’ charity ride organizer gets probation for fraud.

Hope you find this useful!