Some of the questions that confront us everyday are: What separates outstanding charities from average charities? What are the key indicators of top performance? How much do efficiency metrics sway donors? What are the performance metrics that matter, and how do excellent charities think about and measure performance? What are the best practices that separate charities with excellent results tracking from those, working in the same sector with similar populations, that say their outcomes can’t be measured?
While there are no “one-size fits all” answers to any of these questions, Ci does see patterns and trends. Five years into our work of analyzing charities and identifying excellence, Ci has some strong hypotheses on what makes a great charity and how grant-makers and donors can identify the charities that consistently get results. Ci is looking forward to sharing our experience with the Altus Dynamics community.
For 5 years now, Charity Intelligence Canada (Ci) has been analysing Canadian charities and identifying excellence; our work is focused on helping donors make informed, results-focused giving decisions. To identify Canada's outstanding charities we study financial statements, review whatever documents the charity chooses to submit regarding its social performance, which may include annual reports, strategic plans and program evaluations, and we interview executive directors. Profiles of Ci Recommended Charities are showcased in Ci’s annual “Top Picks” report, which is freely available online and widely distributed to media for all Canadians to use. (Many Ci Top Pick Charities report an increase in unsolicited donations.) In addition to the publication of the Top Picks Report, Ci’s Donor Services team works with individuals, private foundations, and corporations to develop customized high-impact giving strategies. At Ci we live and breathe at the intersection of charity effectiveness and donor priorities.
Authors: Kate Ruff, Bri Trypuc - Charity Intelligence Canada (Ci)