In 2006, Charity Intelligence started interviewing charities and gathering the data that we believed was most important. We gathered information on charities’ management and operations, analyzed financial data, and dug into available information on the social results produced by charities – the impact of the charities’ programs.
As many charities did not publicly disclose their audited financial statements, we added financial transparency as a key metric. Improving financial transparency in Canada's charity sector is a research initiative in 2016.
In order to understand a charity’s social results Charity Intelligence has historically conducted management interviews with charities, as we have not typically found the required information readily available from public information. This process is time consuming, both for charities and for us, and is not feasible for the average donor. Thus, just as we added financial transparency to our metrics, we are now adding social results reporting as a component of our charity analysis.
In our management interviews, we have historically made an assessment of the strength of the management team based on the experience of the individuals as well as how the key management team operates. Going forward, we are looking to determine the best way of continuing this assessment. Again, as disclosure in this area is not strong, we will also be looking at how well charities disclose information about their organization. While we know that the management team is instrumental and that governance can play a key role, metrics in these areas are less well developed, so we will let results speak for the effectiveness of charities for now while we work on improving organizational metrics.
For more specific information on the key metrics that are currently on our basic online profiles, please see our charity profiles page.