The 2012 Charity 100

We’ve graded Canada’s biggest 100 charities based on charity efficiency, fundraising efficiency, governance and transparency and reserve fund size.

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Calgary Food Bank
There are a myriad of causes, foundations, hospitals and community groups that need our support and every year Canadians give generously to these charities—the latest figure is $8.3 billion in 2010.

But for donors, it’s not always clear where the money is going. How much money is directly going to programs? How much is being spent on fundraising and publicity? And how much is going to the salaries of the directors? Like all organizations, charities have expenses including utility bills, supplies and staffing costs. You hope your donation is being spent as effectively as possible but worry, as in some cases, your money is being frittered away.

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That’s where MoneySense comes in. For the third straight year, we’ve graded Canada’s biggest 100 charities based on charity efficiency, fundraising efficiency, governance and transparency and reserve fund size.

Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information they need to make smart giving decisions.

It’s worth noting that many lottery fundraisers for instance can be considered “inefficient” due to massive overhead costs but they can also net millions in much-needed funds that otherwise would not have been possible to secure.

The ratings are in no way a judgment on the merit of a cause and therefore should not be considered in isolation. Instead, refer the 2012 Charity 100 list as a starting point for your own research. Happy giving!

Features

2012 Charity 100

2012 Charity 100
Check out the full list to find your favourite charity and compare it to other organizations doing similar work.

2012 Charity 100

Give with confidence
Nobody wants their charitable dollars to be gobbled up by overhead costs. Here’s what to watch for.

2012 Charity 100

Charity efficiency
A look at how the 25 biggest charities spend their money.

2012 Charity 100

Methodology
Our influential charity rating system assigns letter grades to the biggest 100 charities in Canada.

14 comments on “The 2012 Charity 100

  1. Fantastic job on The 2012 Charity 100, MoneySense staff. For the third year, you've provided an excellent starting point for informed charitable giving in Canada, which has been lacking in this country. I hope you have the resources/ability to expand the list of charities in future editions.

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  2. Can I suggest that the next time you create this list you consider including some sort of notation about whether or not a charity has any religious connections. There are a few listed clearly in your "Religion" category but I see some religious organizations scattered throughout the others. I would think that most people who donate to charities would want to know if any of their money might be inadvertently going to assist in prothletising around the world. I'd guess that for most people this is possibly more important than some of the other factors you list.

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  3. absolutely terrible. wow. on what planet would someone equate efficiency with the ratio % of spending to program? How does that say how efficient a charity is? If Nike raised a huge pot of money and then spent that money building a crappy shoe – your 'ratings system' would say Nike is a really "efficient" shoe company. If Charity X raises a HUGE pot of money and spends a LITTLE amount in (say) year 1 but makes a HUGE IMPACT in a local community they theoretically would be ranked "inefficient" by your really lame standards. Charity X instead invests or saves that money so long term they're way more efficient and sustained – but again, your ranking penalizes them for that. I could go on, but this point specifically was (I think) the most idiotic of them all. Good work Money Sense, Grade A + journalism there.

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    • Everyone is a critic! It's easy to criticize others, but harder to initiate perspective. The Money Sense staff by no means is calling their methodology perfect, but they continue to refine as to make sensible evaluations. Instead of crying like a baby about what you don't like come up with something better!!

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  4. very nice article. Thanks for sharing this post. Keep it up

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  5. So sad to see how many charities squander the donations made in good faith on high salaries, posh offices,, champagne galas, etc.

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  6. This information is really helpful. Would you consider adding the Canadian Brain Tumour Foundation to your list next year?

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  7. Most people who donate to charities would want to know if any of their money might be inadvertently going to assist in prothletising around the world. I'd guess that for most people this is possibly more important than some of the other factors you list.

    Reply

  8. Everyone is a critic! It's easy to criticize others, but harder to initiate perspective. The Money Sense staff by no means is calling their methodology perfect, but they continue to refine as to make sensible evaluations. Instead of crying like a baby about what you don't like come up with something better!!

    Reply

  9. You hope your donation is being spent as effectively as possible but worry, as in some cases, your money is being frittered away.

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  10. some people really love to help with the use of the charity, and other stuff would more likely on helping the hungry children and the homeless children

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  11. I never knew that these people would not use the money on the needies they would just sometimes spend them on advertising and making awareness posters and all that stuff I would like to say that before giving donations we should ask that will you give it to the needies.

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  12. This website is really helpful we can know where to give donations and where to not because the workers get a lot of money when the needies are the one who need it the most.

    Reply

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