Getting to know Canadian charitable causes

06 Feb, 2012

I know in my last blog I suggested that the library could make you money (well….in that we could direct you to information that might help you make money….). Today I wanted to focus on the flip side :  how to spend some of that money.

In 2010 Canadians donated $8.3 billion to charity and I’m hoping that this year you all made a resolution to donate. Making the decision of which charity will receive your hard-earned cash can be daunting so today I wanted to go over one resource that can help you make that decision.

While we all know Canada Revenue for perhaps less than exciting reasons (reminder: tax time is approaching), it also wants to help you decide which charity gets your money. Many Canadians know that before they donate, they should always check to see if a charity is registered with Canada Revenue (no one likes a scam). However what many Canadians don’t realize is that you can also view the financial statements of registered charities on the same site. Have you ever been approached by someone on the street from a charity asking you to donate? Do you ever walk away and think to yourself “I wonder how much that charity pays to hire those people? “.  This website will help answer that.

To view a charity’s return, search their name in the main search engine. In the results, you should see to the right of the charity’s name ‘Return’. To find out how much they earned (and spent!) click on Schedule 6- Detailed Financial Information.

Beyond trolling their financial statements you can also learn more information on the types of activities they participated in, basic employee compensation information and what percentage of their time and resources is devoted to particular causes.

Happy researching!

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