Charity Intelligence does research and analysis on Canadian charities to help donors make their own giving decisions. Research takes time, and a little experience helps too. Most Canadian donors don’t have this time. Our task is to make research easily available.
In our searchable charity database, we have posted charity profiles that focus on assessing a charity’s transparency, need for funding, and cost efficiency. These profiles do not attempt to display information concerning the effectiveness of the charity's programs.
Financial Transparency Rating
Charity Intelligence believes that the first key step for a charity to be open and transparent is to make their audited financial statements available to donors.
Charities are assessed a rating out of 3 based upon their transparency in providing complete audited financial statements, including the financial notes and accounting policies, to the public. If the most recent statements are not available within 9 months of the charity's year-end, the transparency score is reduced by 1.
3 - Audited financial statements for at least the last 2 years posted on the charity’s website.
2 - Audited financial statements for the most recent year posted on the charity’s website.
1 - Charity provided Charity Intelligence with the audited financial statements upon request by email or telephone.
0 - Audited financial statements have had to be provided by Canada Revenue Agency under the Freedom of Information Act.
Program Cost Coverage
Program cost coverage is a financial ratio for assessing a charity’s need for funding. It compares funding reserves relative to program costs. Funding reserves are calculated as liquid assets of cash, cash equivalents, and investment securities, less interest-bearing liabilities. The program cost coverage ratio is calculated by dividing the year-end funding reserves of the most recent year by the program costs for the year. This is expressed as a percentage. The charity’s funding reserves and program costs are also displayed in a chart.
The pie chart shows how the charity allocates its revenues received during the fiscal year between program costs, administrative costs, fundraising costs and surplus (operating cash flow). The cost allocations are taken from what is reported in the audited financial statements. In cases where the operating cash flow is negative, costs are displayed relative to total expenses.
Fundraising costs have consistently been presented as gross of fundraising expenses using financial information provided in the auditor's notes. These fundraising costs are presented as a percentage of donations rather than total revenues. Charities may have different streams of revenues, like interest income, government funding, or lottery profits, but the fundraising costs are a result of the costs of soliciting the public for voluntary donations.
The financial notes following the Summary Financial Statements explain adjustments made to the financial numbers to provide a consistent basis for comparison.
The information on staff and salaries is sourced from the charity’s most recent T3010 filings with the Canada Revenue Agency. The salary information includes all wages, including any commissions, bonuses, and other benefits.