Canada's top-rated charities 2019: Best by category - MoneySense

Canada’s top-rated charities 2019: Best by category

Whether you want to help the homeless or the environment, we’ve got you covered

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People give to the causes for which they’re passionate. Here, we show you our top-rated charities in a variety of categories, to help make an informed choice about whether you want to help the homeless, the environment or support international aid. We present the top 10 charities in each, except when fewer than 10 rated a “B” or better in that category.

Environment

Charity Final grade Fundraising efficiency grade Charity efficiency grade Social results transparency Description Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
Nature Conservancy Canada A+ A+ A+ A The Nature conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 1.1 million hectares (2.8 million acres), coast to coast. High funding need 9.8% 9.6% Acceptable pay range
Bruce Trail Conservancy A A+ A A The Bruce Trial Conservancy is committed to preserving a Conservation Corridor along the Niagara Escarpment that contains the Bruce Trail. High funding need 13.4% 13.4% Acceptable pay range
Ecotrust Canada A- A+ A+ B Ecotrust Canada is an enterprising non-profit powered by the vision of people and nature thriving together. We develop innovative economic solutions that enable rural and remote communities across Canada to lead in the management of, and benefit from, local resources — from forestry to fisheries to housing and energy. High funding need 12.2% 4.1% Acceptable pay range
Evergreen A- A+ A+ B Evergreen engages Canadians in creating greener, more sustainable cities. Evergreen showcases its work at Toronto's Evergreen Brick Works, a national centre for experiencing the relationship between nature, culture and community. High funding need 8.0% 11.2% Acceptable pay range
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society B+ A+ A B+ Preserving the full diversity of habitats and their species. High funding need 12.6% 9.3% Acceptable pay range
David Suzuki Foundation B+ B A+ A- The David Suzuki Foundation works through science and education to protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life now, and for the future. High funding need 5.1% 21.7% Acceptable pay range
Ecojustice B+ A B A Operates environmental law offices covering a wide range of environmental issues across Canada. High funding need 15.3% 17.1% Acceptable pay range
Ontario Nature B+ A A+ B Ontario Nature protects Ontario's wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. We connect people to nature through our network of affiliated nature clubs and our system of nature reserves. High funding need 10.8% 17.0% Acceptable pay range
Tides Canada B+ A+ A+ B Tides Canada helps Canadians secure a healthy environment in ways that promote social equity and economic prosperity. Moderate funding need 0.0% 0.0% Acceptable pay range
Bird Studies Canada B A+ A+ B- Bird Studies Canada is Canada's leading national charitable organization dedicated to bird science and conservation, with a mission of conserving wild birds through sound science, on-the-ground actions, innovative partnerships, and public engagement. High funding need 6.2% 7.6% Acceptable pay range

Fundraisers

Charity Final grade Fundraising efficiency grade Charity efficiency grade Social results transparency Description Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
United Way of Calgary and Area A+ A+ A+ A United Way of Calgary and Area's mission is to improve lives and builds extraordinary communities by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action High funding need 5.6% 5.5% Acceptable pay range
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region A+ A+ A+ A United Way of the Alberta Capital Region invests resources in programs and community building activities with an emphasis on addressing the needs of the most vulnerable in our society through our targeted investment decisions. High funding need 7.1% 11.7% Acceptable pay range
United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington A A+ A+ A- United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington is a charity that works towards a future where people in our community are self-sufficient and can live with hope, dignity, and a sense of belonging. We financially support a network of agencies that provide programs to those in our community who are the most vulnerable, building capacity in the not for profit sector. High funding need 4.6% 13.5% Acceptable pay range
United Way of Peel Region A A+ A+ A- United Way is focused on improving lives and building community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action to reduce poverty in Peel. High funding need 11.6% 13.7% Acceptable pay range
United Way of Saskatoon and Area A A+ A+ A- United Way's mission is to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action. United Way invests resources into programs, services and community building activities that have an emphasis on addressing the needs of the most vulnerable people in our community. High funding need 11.9% 13.5% Acceptable pay range
United Way of Winnipeg A A A+ A We provide social service programs and services to citizens; support and fund the creation, growth and maintenance of community economic development activities that address the root cause of issues; support and fund the creation, growth and maintenance of neighborhood development programs and promote opportunities for civic engagement of citizens. High funding need 2.6% 18.8% Acceptable pay range
Centraide of Greater Montreal (United Way Montreal) A- A+ A+ B+ We raise money and invest it locally to break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion. In Greater Montreal, one out of seven people receives support from an agency in Centraide’s network. High funding need 6.3% 7.7% Acceptable pay range
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto A- A+ A+ B We raise funds for charitable purposes from the Jewish Community in the Greater Toronto area and abroad, and distribute the funds to various agencies that promote education, and other community related items. High funding need 0.0% 0.0% Acceptable pay range
United Way of Regina A- A+ A+ B Our mission is to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action in our three key focus areas: All that kids can be, poverty to possibility and strong communities. High funding need 3.1% 14.4% Acceptable pay range
United Way of Toronto and York Region A- A+ A+ B United Way of Greater Toronto is a charity dedicated to creating opportunities for a better life for everyone. Working in partnership with others, we mobilize people and resources to support a network of agencies that help people when they need it most. High funding need 4.2% 12.8% Acceptable pay range

Health

Charity Final grade Fundraising efficiency grade Charity efficiency grade Social results transparency Description Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
Rick Hansen Institute A+ A+ A+ A Mission: To lead collaboration across the global spinal cord injury (SCI) community by providing resources, infrastructure and knowledge; and to identify, develop, validate and accelerate the translation of evidence and best practices to reduce the incidence and severity of paralysis after SCI, improve health care outcomes, reduce long-term costs, and improve the quality of life for those living with SCI. High funding need 3.5% 14.2% Acceptable pay range
Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care A- A+ A+ B+ Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care (PAC) and Emily's House provide respite, practical, emotional, spiritual and bereavement support to people living with life-limiting illnesses in the comfort of their own home, or in Toronto's first paediatric residential hospice. Our programs support children, adults, caregivers, siblings and survivors at no cost to you. High funding need 8.0% 13.2% Acceptable pay range
Central Toronto Community Health Centres A- A+ A A- The Queen West - Central Toronto Community Health Centres offer a broad range of services, including primary care, dental, health promotion, counselling, mental health support, HIV and HEPC support and education, a harm reduction program, chiropody, diabetes education and perinatal services. High funding need 13.8% 7.4% Acceptable pay range
Victoria Hospice Society A- A A+ A- Comprehensive end of life care for terminally ill patients and their families. High funding need 9.6% 16.5% Acceptable pay range
Hospice of Greater Saint John A- B A+ A+ The Hospice of Greater Saint John is a 10-bed residential hospice providing 24-hour in-patient palliative care to over 115 terminally ill people each year and grief support to families. There are 170 volunteers providing 17,600 of service each year. High funding need 3.0% 21.4% Acceptable pay range
Brain Canada A- A+ A+ B Brain Canada plays a unique and invaluable role as the national convenor of the community of those who support and advance brain research. A greater understanding of how the brain works will contribute to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of disorders of the brain, thereby improving the health outcomes of Canadians. High funding need 0.0% 0.0% Acceptable pay range
Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada B+ A A+ B+ Through the support of donors and volunteers, we take action and provide programs for every Canadian affected by a brain tumour. High funding need 8.0% 18.2% Acceptable pay range
Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation B+ A A+ B+ Generates revenues for donation to registered charitable organizations in Canada by promoting cycling and related events. High funding need 10.2% 18.7% Acceptable pay range
Crohn's and Colitis Canada B+ B A+ A- Crohn's and Colitis Canada is the only national, volunteer-based charity focused on finding the cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the lives of children and adults affected by these diseases. High funding need 7.8% 21.7% Acceptable pay range
Huntington Society of Canada B+ A+ A+ B- HSC raises funds to deliver individual and group counseling services to support individuals and families living with Huntington disease and to fund medical research to delay or stop the progression of the disease. High funding need 9.3% 14.0% Acceptable pay range

Hospital Foundations

Charity Final grade Fundraising efficiency grade Charity efficiency grade Social results transparency Description Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
Ottawa Hospital Foundation B+ A A+ B+ At The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, we work to inspire and enable our community to support improvements in patient care, ground-breaking research, and state-of-the-art equipment at The Ottawa Hospital. High funding need 4.2% 18.2% Acceptable pay range
Jewish General Hospital Foundation B+ A A+ B To raise funds for hospital research and development in the fields of medecine, surgery and related hospital activities. High funding need 5.0% 18.5% Acceptable pay range
Children's Health Foundation B A A+ B- Children's Health Foundation is dedicated to raising and granting funds to support our healthcare partners: Children's Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre, Thames Valley Children's Centre and Children's Health Research Institute. High funding need 5.0% 19.6% Acceptable pay range

International

Charity Final grade Fundraising efficiency grade Charity efficiency grade Social results transparency Description Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
ERDO A+ A+ A+ A Emergency Relief and Development Overseas (ERDO) is a Christian organization passionately responding to the practical needs of people living with poverty or crisis around the world by listening, caring and partnering. High funding need 5.2% 9.1% Acceptable pay range
Canadian Feed The Children A A+ A+ A- Canadian Feed The Children is an international development and relief agency formed in 1986. High funding need 5.1% 14.3% Acceptable pay range
International Justice Mission Canada A A+ A+ A- We rally Canadians to the fight to end slavery and violence in our lifetime. High funding need 7.7% 12.2% Acceptable pay range
Mennonite Central Committee Canada A A+ A+ A- Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches, shares God's love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice. High funding need 5.4% 2.4% Acceptable pay range
Operation Eyesight Universal A A A+ A We work with local medical teams and organizations to prevent and treat blindness through the construction and operation of hospitals and quality hospital based community eye health programs in India, Kenya, Zambia and Ghana. High funding need 3.8% 16.9% Acceptable pay range
Opportunity International Canada A A+ A+ A- Opportunity International provides access to savings, small business loans, insurance and training to 9.6 million people working their way out of poverty in the developing world. Clients in 22 countries use these financial services to expand businesses, provide for their families, create jobs for their neighbors and build a safety net for the future. High funding need 4.1% 10.0% Acceptable pay range
Farm Radio International A- A+ A+ B+ Farm Radio International coordinates and serves a network of farm radio broadcasters and other rural communicators in sub-saharan Africa. High funding need 9.0% 5.3% Acceptable pay range
Plan International Canada A- A A+ A- Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children's rights and equality for girls. High funding need 6.4% 15.7% Acceptable pay range
WE Charity A- A+ A+ B+ We empower change with resources that create sustainable impact. We do this through domestic programs like WE Schools and internationally through WE Villages. The unique partnership with ME to WE, a social enterprise, ensures that WE Charity achieves a remarkable rate of financial efficiency, with an average of 90 percent of donations going directly to youth-serving programs. High funding need 7.4% 5.8% Acceptable pay range
World Renew A- A+ A+ B+ World Renew provides relief and development programs in Canada and around the world on behalf of the Christian reformed church. Activities include disaster response and development programs involving health, literacy, food security, income generation and community development in some of the poorest countries in the world High funding need 3.3% 9.7% Acceptable pay range

Social Services

Charity Final grade Fundraising efficiency grade Charity efficiency grade Social results transparency Description Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
Discovery House A A+ A+ A- Discovery House is a non-profit organization providing a continuum of care to women and their children fleeing domestic violence. High funding need 5.4% 6.9% Acceptable pay range
Indspire A A A+ A Indspire is an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. High funding need 12.3% 18.3% Acceptable pay range
St. Stephen's Community House A A+ A+ A- St. Stephen's is a multi-service social agency that has been serving the needs of west downtown Toronto since 1962. Our mission is to work with individuals and communities to identify, prevent and alleviate social and economic problems by creating and providing a range of effective and innovative programs. High funding need 10.4% 6.1% Acceptable pay range
Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter A- A+ A+ B+ CWES operate a 50-bed first stage emergency shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence. High funding need 9.1% 10.4% Acceptable pay range
Furniture Bank A- A A+ A- Furniture Bank collects gently used furniture from the community and transfers them to families transitioning out of homelessness or displacement. High funding need 4.4% 15.7% Acceptable pay range
Hope Air A- A+ A+ B+ The organization arranges air transportation for Canadians in financial need who must travel between their own communities and a recognized medical facility for medical care. As part of the program, pilots volunteer their time and aircraft to transport clients. High funding need 4.2% 12.5% Acceptable pay range
Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba A- A+ A+ B+ Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is a global, non-profit organization that strives to share God's love and compassion through relief, development and peacebuilding. MCC Manitoba supports international relief, development and peace programs by forwarding financial and material goods to MCC Canada. High funding need 4.0% 4.9% Acceptable pay range
Momentum Community Economic Development Society A- A+ A+ B+ Momentum is a change-making organization that acts as a bridge by taking an economic approach to poverty reduction and adding a social perspective to economic development initiatives. Our programs are holistic, covering everything from financial literacy, entrepreneurship and employment training, to developing communication skills, building self-confidence and establishing positive social networks. High funding need 9.0% 1.9% Acceptable pay range
The George Hull Centre for Children and Families A- A+ A+ B+ The George Hull Centre for Children and Families is an accredited children's mental health centre serving children and youth, from birth to age 18, and their families. The Centre provides a range of family-centered services including prevention, early intervention, outpatient treatment, preschool speech & language services, adolescent substance abuse treatment, day treatment school programs and residential treatment. High funding need 2.6% 10.4% Acceptable pay range
YMCA of Greater Vancouver A- A+ A+ B+ We are a charity dedicated to strengthening the foundations of communities. We do this by nurturing the potential of children, teens and young adults; promoting healthy living; and fostering social responsibility. High funding need 7.4% 10.7% Acceptable pay range

Youth

Charity Final grade Fundraising efficiency grade Charity efficiency grade Social results transparency Description Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
Youth Without Shelter A A A+ A Youth Without Shelter is a 53 bed emergency residence and referral agency in west Toronto serving homeless youth ages 16-24. High funding need 6.1% 17.3% Acceptable pay range
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada A- A+ A A- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC) is the National office for 108 member agencies serving over 1,100 communities across Canada. We provide support, services, training and program development to our member agencies, which deliver quality mentoring programs to children who can greatly benefit from having a caring adult role model. High funding need 13.2% 0.7% Acceptable pay range
Children's Cottage Society A- A+ A+ B+ The Children's Cottage Society of Calgary aims to prevent harm and neglect in all children and to build strong families through crisis nursery, community respite, healthy families, Brenda's House family shelter, rapid rehousing, home links and emergency placement/outreach. High funding need 4.7% 8.0% Acceptable pay range
Toronto Foundation for Student Success A- A+ A+ B+ The Toronto Foundation for Student Success helps students succeed. We help feed students, addressing issues of poverty, hunger, and poor nutrition, and their effect on education. We continually search for new ways to help children overcome barriers to success in school. We work to provide safe, inclusive environments in which children may thrive. We are advocates for children, acting on their behalf. High funding need 2.3% 11.0% Acceptable pay range
Child Development Institute A- A+ A+ B Child Development Institute (CDI), an accredited children's mental health agency in Toronto, is a groundbreaker in developing innovative programming. We offer evidence-based programs for children ages 0-12 and youth ages 13-18, and their families across four streams: Early Intervention Services, Family Violence Services, the Integra Program and Healthy Child Development. High funding need 0.0% 0.0% Acceptable pay range
President's Choice Children's Charity A- A+ A+ B We believe nothing will create better conditions for success than nourishing our kids, which is why we've committed $150 million over the next 10 years to tackle childhood hunger by feeding kids good food and teaching kids food knowledge. High funding need 3.8% 3.1% Acceptable pay range
Youth Employment Services A- A A+ A- YES believes that employment is empowerment and the cornerstone of safe and healthy communities. YES leads the Canadian youth sector with innovative programs that empower disadvantaged and vulnerable youth to become self-sufficient contributing members of society. High funding need 4.1% 15.2% Acceptable pay range
Breakfast for Learning B+ A+ A+ B- Breakfast for Learning is the leading, national non-profit organization solely dedicated to child nutrition programs in Canada. High funding need 6.2% 4.1% Acceptable pay range
Dans La Rue B+ A+ A A- Dans la Rue helps homeless and at-risk youth. With dedication, empathy and respect, and with the support of the community, Dans la Rue cares for their immediate needs and helps them acquire the skills and resources needed to lead more autonomous and rewarding lives. High funding need 13.1% 12.2% Acceptable pay range
SKETCH B+ A+ A+ B+ SKETCH is a community arts enterprise based in Toronto. We engage diverse young people, ages 16-29, from across Canada, who are navigating poverty, living homeless or otherwise on the margins, to experience the transformative power of the arts. High funding need 7.8% 1.0% Acceptable pay range

Homelessness

Charity Final grade Fundraising efficiency grade Charity efficiency grade Social results transparency Description Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
Calgary Food Bank A+ A+ A+ A The Calgary Food Bank gatheris and distributes quality emergency food to those in need. High funding need 3.5% 1.7% Acceptable pay range
Calgary Homeless Foundation A+ A+ A+ A+ Mission: To provide leadership in Calgary’s homeless-serving system-of-care, to ensure it meets the needs of those who are homeless. High funding need 6.4% 5.0% Acceptable pay range
The Mississauga Food Bank A+ A+ A+ A The Mississauga Food Bank is a food bank that helps to feed the poor. High funding need 4.0% 10.0% Acceptable pay range
Wesley Urban Ministries A+ A+ A+ A Wesley Urban Ministries fights for those battling the effects of poverty, in every stage and from every walk of life. Serving Hamilton, Halton and Brantford. High funding need 3.0% 12.7% Acceptable pay range
Calgary Drop-in A A+ A+ A- The Calgary Drop-In provides sleeping accommodations for people in both emergency and trasitional situations, in addition to other programs for low income Calgarians. High funding need 3.9% 7.8% Acceptable pay range
FoodShare A A+ A+ A- FoodShare is a non-profit organization that works with communities and schools to deliver healthy food and food education. We believe everyone deserves access to affordable high-quality fresh food. Since 1985, FoodShare has created innovative programs like the Good Food Box, impacted what kids eat in school, and improved the way people eat and grow food across Toronto every day. High funding need 3.7% 9.2% Acceptable pay range
Fresh Start Recovery Centre A A+ A+ A- Fresh Start treatment follows the disease concept: We see addiction as an illness that is progressive, and often fatal if untreated. The good news is that with treatment and a program of recovery, addicts can and do live healthy, happy and productive lives. Our goal is to send fathers back to their kids, sons back to their families, and to restore them back into community as productive and content men. High funding need 3.2% 8.3% Acceptable pay range
Habitat for Humanity Edmonton A B A+ A+ Habitat for Humanity Edmonton constructs affordable housing for working, low-income families. High funding need 8.6% 24.1% Acceptable pay range
Hamilton Food Share A A A+ A Hamilton Food Share procures food from the community and from the food industry. Food is distributed to local food banks, hot meal programs and child nutrition programs. High funding need 2.0% 18.8% Acceptable pay range
Lookout Housing and Health Society A A A+ A Lookout is a multi service agency, providing of a broad array of social services to low income and homeless persons in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. High funding need 7.9% 15.5% Acceptable pay range