Is Your Donation Being Spent Wisely?

Charitable organizations transform the lives of people in our communities, across our nation, and around the world. In the news this morning we heard Nepal experienced its second massive earthquake in three weeks and that organizations and governments are working around the clock to provide relief. Closer to home, the company I work for proudly and strongly supports the United Way and the Children’s Hospitals in Alberta through our annual campaigns. On an individual level, I give my time to Junior Achievement Northern Alberta and donate to organizations my family believes in.

With all of the different charitable organizations asking for help, how do you know the money you’re donating is going to be spent wisely and provide the best support to those in need? MoneySense evaluated 100 Canadian charities in November 2014 and assigned each an overall letter grade based on grading of Charity Efficiency, Fundraising Efficiency, Reserve, and Governance. I read it and was pleasantly surprised by the strong performance of some organizations and downright flabbergasted by the poor performance of others. Shout out to United Way Calgary for getting an A+!

As it says in the article, people want to know that the money they’re giving will actually make a difference and reach those in need. I’m definitely in that boat – I want to know that an organization works to keep its administrative costs low, directs much of the money to helping people, and governs itself well in order to be sustainable. As I was trying to determine which organization to support in the Nepal relief effort, I was stoked to find this information available to help me make the best decision that will have the greatest impact.

Remember, you don’t have to save the world but you can save the world for one person.

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