Kate Bahen

December 10, 2014

Facts refuting email blast “Charity and Greed”

Frequently donors forward us an email titled Charity and Greed. This email reports the salaries for some charities, with other claims that “only 5 cents on a dollar donated goes to the cause at Unicef”, “Goodwill doesn’t help anyone, so stop giving”. Donors ask us if these claims are true and want to know the salaries charities are paying.

Before answering these great questions, context is essential. The email names a charity but does not distinguish between Canadian, American or international offices. We suspect that these claims are about American charities. Charity Intelligence’s focus is Canadian donors and Canadian charities. As you will see, when you say “Salvation Army”, “United Way”, “the Legion”, similar to national franchisees, there are many hundreds of separate charities operating under this name in Canada. Furthermore, unlike American charities, Canadian charities do not report the exact amount paid. Canadian charities only report the salary ranges of the 10 highest paid staff.

High charity salaries are not rampant in Canada’s charity sector. Of the 600 charities we research, only 6.7% pay staff more than $350,000. Typically, universities and large hospital foundations pay these “high salaries”.

We hope you spread the facts to refute false allegations. Having the facts is essential in intelligent giving.

The Charity and Greed claims are on the left side, the Canadian facts and Charity Intelligence’s star ratings are on the right side.

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