Canada’s top-rated charities 2020: Overview - MoneySense

Canada’s top-rated charities 2020: Overview

Yes, it’s nice to get a tax break on charitable donations—but even better to know that the charities you give to are using your money efficiently. Our 10th annual ranking will help you choose wisely.


The Calgary Food Bank topped this year’s Top 100 list with a perfect 100-point score.

This is the 10th year of the MoneySense Charity 100. That’s 10 years of providing Canadians with the information they need as the season of giving begins. We hope this project can help guide you during the holiday season. 

Over the years, we’ve updated our methodology from self-reporting to focusing on the numbers behind each charity. We source our financial data and ratings from Charity Intelligence Canada, a third-party watchdog that analyzes Canadian charities. Their high-quality, evidence-based research is unique in the non-profit sphere, and we appreciate their efforts to highlight exceptional charities in Canada. 

We based our 2020 report on the methodology used for the 2019 report, informed by Charity Intelligence data and augmented with information on charity salaries and revenues from the Canada Revenue Agency. Our final score is divided into two areas: transparency, which accounts for 40% of the final score, and finances, which accounts for 60%. 

Put simply: The easier it is to find out about what a charity is spending and what they’re doing with the money, the better their transparency score. The more efficient a charity is with its donations, the better the finance score. Of course, it’s more complex than that—see the methodology section for more on how we came to our final scores.

One thing our methodology doesn’t cover is how important or worthy a charity is. Charitable giving is a deeply personal act, and we don’t make any judgements on which charities are most deserving of your money. The organizations included in our list range from large hospital foundations to local food banks, from local homeless shelters to international aid groups. Their missions are inspired by various ideologies and beliefs, and they are run by and for Canadians of all kinds. Our goal is to inform readers of the top charities that match their interests and beliefs.

Thanks for reading, and happy giving!