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Find our how your charitable dollars are being spent
December 15, 2019
11:04 am
Bill
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This thread was split from another thread

Here's a link to a very useful CRA page whereby you can find out how your charitable dollars are being spent according to each charity's reporting to CRA. For example it was useful to me as I found that a well-known charity I used to donate to compensated 3 of its employees in 2018 more than $200,000/yr, including one making over $300K.
https://apps.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/hacc/srch/pub/dsplyBscSrch?request_locale=en

December 15, 2019
11:20 am
Doug
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Yep, I've used that, but my only complaint about it is is that it's nowhere specific enough. So, I demand that charities I donate to post, within 3-6 months of fiscal year end, their audited financial statements on their website. sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

December 15, 2019
11:39 am
Bill
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Doug, it's important to me to know what the highest-paid individuals working for a charity make and financial statements don't necessarily have that detail, CRA filings do. My opinion is if I give you my money and you work for a charity you should be doing so at least partly out of the goodness of your heart and not to be one of the 1% and thus shouldn't be making more than the $60K or so you indicate is required to live. Just my method, eliminates pretty well all charities.

December 15, 2019
12:48 pm
Doug
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Bill said
Doug, it's important to me to know what the highest-paid individuals working for a charity make and financial statements don't necessarily have that detail, CRA filings do. My opinion is if I give you my money and you work for a charity you should be doing so at least partly out of the goodness of your heart and not to be one of the 1% and thus shouldn't be making more than the $60K or so you indicate is required to live. Just my method, eliminates pretty well all charities.  

True, but I also realize that charities don't run themselves for free. My bigger concern than wages is pension benefits—if a charity has a defined benefit pension plan, I won't donate to them (examples include BC Cancer Foundation, BC Children's Hospital, Toronto SickKids Hospital, and more).

Also, the problem with the CRA filings is they lack the specificity I require, in several ways. For instance, they only disclose number of employees earning a certain dollar value of salary. As well, they don't disclose the size of the charity's restricted endowment funds, nor do they easily distinguish what the charity pays in investment management expenses, which I require.

In general, the best run charities are charities that focus on the poor and homeless, homeless youth, some animal-focused charities (the B.C. SPCA is quite efficient, regardless of what they pay their CEO), nature trusts and land conservancies, and The War Amps. T.B. Vets Charitable Foundation used to be a really lean charity until about 10 years ago when they increased their marketing spending and spending on salaries.

If you want to donate to a charity has next to 0% (if not 0%) administration expenses, President's Choice Children's Charity, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Foundation, and The Home Depot Canada Foundation are ways to go in that their parent companies cover all of the administration and fundraising expenses such that 100% of of customer and non-customer donations go to actual charitable causes. You are best making them an actual donation, though, not donating at the till, so you get a charitable tax receipt. sf-cool

Also, you can now donate through the PayPal Giving Fund Canada, receive an instantaneous tax receipt via e-mail, and PayPal will pay all of the merchant credit card processing charges such that 100% of your donation goes to the charity. This, in turn, the more people who donate in this way, will significantly cut down on what charities pay in donation processing and receipting expenses.

https://www.paypal.com/ca/non-profit/paypal-giving-fund

Cheers,
Doug

December 15, 2019
1:37 pm
Bill
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Thanks, Doug, everyone gets that charities don't run themselves for free but as I said if CRA info shows there's even one person making over $80K or so then my research is done.

December 15, 2019
2:23 pm
Doug
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Bill said
Thanks, Doug, everyone gets that charities don't run themselves for free but as I said if CRA info shows there's even one person making over $80K or so then my research is done.  

Oh, wow, your threshold is lower than me for salaries. My threshold is ~$250,000 or more. Obviously, it depends on the charity as charitable foundations take a lot less effort to run than an operating charity, so their salaries should arguably be way lower.

My hope is that eventually PayPal Giving Fund Canada will add recurring donation support so I can essentially donate to one charitable organization and direct my pass-through donations without ever having to disclose my personal information to a bunch of charities.

Cheers,
Doug

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