Charities were divided into nine categories to ensure a fair comparison: Animal Services, Culture Arts & Research, Environment, Fundraising Organizations, Health/Health Services, Hospital Foundations, International Aid & Development, Religion and Social Services. Fundraising organizations were defined as organizations that spent more than 60% of their expenses on donations to other charities or that spent less than 10% on programs.
The financial data comes from the charities’ 2008, 2009 and 2010 Canada Revenue Agency T3010 information returns. The charities on our list are the biggest charities in Canada in terms of tax-receipted donations and non-tax receipted money received through fundraising. Revenue refers to donations and fundraising dollars. We excluded gifts in kind when sorting the list. We also excluded some organizations not generally thought of as charities, such as churches and universities.
Here’s the point breakdown for each of the four areas assessed:
-Maximum of 10 points for overall charity efficiency
-Maximum of 10 points for fundraising efficiency
-Maximum of 10 points for governance plus 1 bonus point for salary disclosure
-Maximum of 5 points for reserves for all charities other than community foundations
Each charity’s total out of a maximum of 35 + the bonus point (30 + bonus point for community foundations) was converted to a percentage out of 100. These percentages were then normalized by category of charity to the total charity population, meaning charities’ final letter grades were dependent on the performance of charities in their category.