Char­i­ties and your hard-earned dollars

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - MY HOME -

How much should a Cana­dian char­ity be spend­ing on fundrais­ing and over­head? How should you judge? If you’ve ever looked at a char­ity’s fi­nan­cial re­port and won­dered whether they were spend­ing too much or too lit­tle, you’re not alone.

The an­swer, although not as sim­ple as it sounds, is to look at the big pic­ture. When it comes to as­sess­ing a char­ity’s fundrais­ing, the Cana­dian Rev­enue Agency does not rely solely upon the fundrais­ing ra­tio. Other fac­tors can be the size of the char­ity, its stage of growth, and its in­ter­nal fundrais­ing eval­u­a­tion pro­cesses.

These are all fac­tors to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion when try­ing to eval­u­ate an or­ga­ni­za­tion as a donor. There may be very le­git­i­mate rea­sons for a char­ity per cent in 2016 was typ­i­cal of many Cana­dian non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions. This or­ga­ni­za­tion nei­ther seeks nor ac­cepts govern­ment fund­ing in order to re­main in­de­pen­dent. Most non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions do, and they take their fundrais­ing costs and di­vide them into the to­tal pot of in­come — govern­ment funds in­cluded — which makes them look lower as a per­cent­age of the pri­vate in­come raised.

In sum­mary, there is no spe­cific rule to go by when try­ing to make this as­sess­ment. An over­all eval­u­a­tion of the fi­nan­cial health his­tory of the or­ga­ni­za­tion is a bet­ter guide. When de­cid­ing to sup­port a char­ity, do your re­search and don’t be afraid to ask ques­tions for more in­for­ma­tion.

At the Manuel’s River walk­ing trail there’s a ‘Poem Place’. The wooden shelf/sign on the trees says, “Pick a rock, one or two, and write a poem for me and you”. Many of the small, smooth stones bear lit­tle say­ings, names and pieces of po­ems.

Group events such as a lit­ter pick-up can be or­ga­nized as a fund-raiser to make pos­si­ble a char­i­ta­ble do­na­tion. Ar­ti­cles on this page ex­plore de­ci­sion-mak­ing when it comes to choos­ing char­i­ties and your ap­proach to giv­ing.

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