Charity Intelligence Launches Star Ratings on Canadian Charities

72 Charities Earn a 4-Star Rating For Excellence in Accountability to Donors, Financial Transparency and Cost-Efficiency.

TORONTO, July 8, 2014 /CNW/ - In response to Canadians' growing interest in their charitable giving, Charity Intelligence today launches a new star-based rating system to provide quick and easy insight into how charities spend funds and the work they do. Using a broad range of metrics to assess a charity's performance, Charity Intelligence's ratings find 72 charities to be 'top of class', awarding them four stars, the highest rating possible.

To view a list of Charity Intelligence's 4-Star Rated charities.

 "Of over 2,000 Canadians surveyed, 98% expect charities to be transparent and accountable. Transparency and accountability matter to Canadians; yet most charities are mediocre at best in meeting donors' growing expectations for information. Charity Intelligence's research found exceptional charities," says Kate Bahen, Managing Director of Charity Intelligence.Since 2007, Charity Intelligence has annually released its widely popular Top Picks charities report. This new 4-Star charity list replaces the Top Picks. The list of 4-Star Rated charities continues Charity Intelligence's mission to recognize excellence in Canada's charitable sector.

 "For the first time, a charity rating includes social results reporting. This is given the highest weighting, accounting for 40% of the star rating," explains Greg Thomson, Charity Intelligence's Director of Research. "The methodology of how Charity Intelligence rates charities is clearly laid out. We have been working on this process with charities since 2011. We hope this clear checklist will help charities improve their transparency and accountability. Improvements in these areas will strengthen Canada's charitable sector. We want Canada to have the most transparent, accountable and results-oriented charitable sector in the world."

Since charity ratings first emerged, they have been popular with donors but have sparked controversy. A perspective frequently voiced in the charitable sector questions whether it is right to judge and compare charities. Yet this is the new reality Canadians face when making giving decisions.

"Canadians are bombarded with charities' requests for support. At Charity Intelligence, we know money does not grow on trees and donors have to make choices.  We hope our ratings help donors get accurate, independent information in making these important giving decisions," adds Bahen.

Quick Facts:

  • Ci has rated 485 Canadian charities; 15% of these charities earn the highest 4-Star rating. Charity Intelligence has set a high bar for recognizing excellence. For context, in MoneySense's ratings of Canadian charities, 26% received an A grade. At Charity Navigator, the world's largest rating agency of charities, over 70% of charities receive 3- or 4-star ratings.
  • Overall, Canadian charities have poor reporting on how donations are used. Half of all charities rated provided less than 30% of the information Ci looks for to evaluate the results of their charitable work. 
  • Charity Intelligence offers the first rating system to assess how a charity reports on the work it does, the programs it operates, the people it serves. This "social results reporting" is a useful proxy of accountability to donors. This rating method goes beyond financial numbers. 
  • Charity Intelligence's estimates Canadians give $15 billion annually to charities.

About Charity Intelligence:

Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors. The website provides ratings for 485 Canadian charities and posts research reports on over 600 charities, as well as in-depth reviews of philanthropic sectors such as Canada's environment, cancer and homelessness. Today, over 87,000 Canadians use Charity Intelligence's website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities and have downloaded over 330,000 charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence helps donors be informed and give intelligently. Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada's dynamic charitable sector to be more transparent, accountable and focused on results.

SOURCE Charity Intelligence Canada

For further information: or to schedule an interview, please contact Kate Bahen at 416.363.1555, kbahen@charityintelligence.ca