Toronto: Which charity to donate to?

  • duglyduckling

    Posts: 279

    Mar 04, 2010 7:43 PM GMT
    I am debating which charity I should donate to here in Toronto. Preferably a charity/organization that focuses on HIV/AIDS support, education, etc, etc, etc.

    The problem is that while there are a few worthwhile causes, I hesitate because I hear of inefficient charities all the time, where so much of the donated money is wasted by the executive board with their giant salaries, etc. Also fundraising activities which eat into their budget without any good results are red flags too.

    I have been going thru the financial records for some of the organizations, and it seems like 40% of the donated dollar is going towards administration/fundraising activities, which is just way too high.

    I haven't found a good website that ranks the efficiency of Canadian charities, only ones that ranks the US charities...

    This website has some very good points in terms of what to look for and how to analyze charities, but it's not easy comparing one charity to another...
    http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca/index.php/blog/comments/how_much_should_canadian_charity_spend_on_overhead

    What suggestions or opinion do you have? (for those in the know and for those who donate often).

    Thanks...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 04, 2010 8:57 PM GMT
    A couple of points:

    - In Ontario, The [i]Corporations Act/i] prevents charitable organizations from compensating their Board of Directors for anything other than things like reasonable travel expenses.

    - As an employee of a non-profit, I can assure you that there are no "giant salaries" at any level of an organization, outside of perhaps hospitals and major public sector organizations. Even then, given the amount of work / knowledge required for those positions, they are still underpaid compared to their equivalents in the private sector.

    - The funding environment in Ontario has changed such that the government and foundations are only interested in funding "projects" and not organizations. Core funding ("administration") is dwindling and fundraising may be a way for them to meet their funding requirements. This isn't necessarily bad, it's reality. Projects and programs only exist in the context of organizations, which themselves require funding.

    While there are some questionable charities, many of the ASOs in Toronto are quite well-run and reputable. Personally, I've been quite impressed with the work of Fife House and Casey House, but there are other ASOs like ACT and the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation, which do important educational and support-related work.