Intelligent Giving: A new way of thinking about philanthropy

There is a new way in giving, a revolution of sorts. These articles have guided Charity Intelligence's strategy to support Canadians to adopt an investor mindset in giving. While these are old articles originally published in 2003 and 2006, they are still as relevant today. 

If you are interested in reading more, please contact us and we will share additional books and articles we've found essential in our work.

Harvard Business Review's 2003 article "The Nonprofit Sector's $100 Billion Opportunity" by Bill Bradley, Paul Jansen, and Les Silverman

Key highlights:

"Donors rarely search out the most effective or efficient nonprofits; they support organizations they're already familiar with ... the reluctance to benchmark."

"Donors will play an important role in meeting the challenges as well. They should take on a "social investor" mindset.

"If donors actively researched the performance of individual nonprofit service providers and supported only those with a proven record of success, they'd eventually squeeze the underperformers out of business"... bring "market forces" to bear..."Through shared information about which programs really work, organizations will be forced to improve effectiveness to survive."

"Seizing the opportunity may also require the creation of new institutions - which would make performance information widely available to donors."

And Charity Intelligence began.


The Economist, "The business of giving: wealth and philanthropy", Special Report, February 25th, 2006.

New donors are becoming more business-like about the way their money is used."

Matthew Bishop, The Economist US Business Editor and Bureau Chief, co-author of Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World



Print   Email

Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Our website posts free reports on more than 800 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 500,000 Canadians use our website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.6 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.


Be Informed. Give Intelligently. Have Impact


Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001