Charity Salaries

Tackling a hot donor issue, here is the data, findings, and Charity Intelligence's opinion that charity salaries don't help in finding good charities to support. 


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Salaries[i] paid to charity staff is a hot topic with donors. Nothing provokes more sound and fury from donors than charity salaries. Some donors hold strong beliefs about whether charity staff should or shouldn’t get paid. Yet the data isn’t revealing any significant indicators about what makes a “good charity”. Recent comments show a lack of understanding of Charity Intelligence’s thoughts on charity salaries. This brief hopefully clears up Charity Intelligence’s findings and opinions on charity salaries.

Charity Intelligence does NOT use staff salaries in our charity rating. We report the salary information straight from the CRA Charities Directorate reports because donors ask for it. Salary information is at the very bottom of our reports because we feel it is the least useful piece of information to giving intelligently and we do not use it in our charity analysis. Simply put, salary information is not a useful tool in finding “good charities” or intelligent giving.

To the many donors who contact Charity Intelligence and in interviews, Charity Intelligence consistently tries to provide donors with context and perspective, to weigh other factors, and take a holistic approach rather than a single focus on overhead costs or charity salaries.

In dealing with strongly held personal beliefs, starting with facts can help establish solid ground.

2015 Key Facts










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Legal disclaimer:

The information in this report was prepared by Charity Intelligence Canada and its independent analysts from publicly-available information. Charity Intelligence and its analysts have made endeavours to ensure that the data in this report is accurate and complete but accepts no liability.

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