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Evaluating Charities

Is the charity doing good?


Charities come in all shapes and sizes, and they do many kinds of work. You want to know that you’re investing in an organization that does meaningful work for you. Consider the following before making your donation:

  • Is the organization actually a charity? All charities must be registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Only CRA-registered charities are listed on CanadaHelps, so searching our site is a good place to start. When donating, always look for a charitable registration number, or BN – which is issued to all registered charities by the CRA.
  • Is the charity accountable? Are they willing to provide you with their annual audited financial statements and a report on their work? Some donors like to look at the costs of administration and fundraising: while that is one way to measure a charity, consider the measurements that actually demonstrate the success of their programs. Are they accomplishing the goals they set out to achieve?
  • Does it sound too good to be true? There are a small number of shady charities out there, so be careful. Some promise a tax receipt for more than your donation, or won’t provide you with the details of how your donation will be used. Be wary of these charities and ask more questions before you give.

Search CanadaHelps for charities and causes that matter to you.