Canada’s best charities 2020: Best by category - Macleans.ca

Canada’s best charities 2020: Best by category

Whether you want to help at home or around the world, we’ve got you covered

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Canada is one of the best places to live in the world, but there are many social, economic, environmental and health issues that demand our resources and attention. Alleviating poverty, stopping the climate crisis and finding cures for deadly diseases don’t just require spending more money, but spending it wisely. These are Canada’s best charities broken down by major sector.

Environment

Charity Final grade Financials grade (worth 60%) Transparency grade (worth 40%) Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Percentage of revenue spent on administration and fundraising Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
Bruce Trail Conservancy 97.5% 100% 94% High funding need 11.3% 11.1% N/A Acceptable pay range
Nature Canada 92.5% 100% 81% High funding need 3.5% 10.0% N/A Acceptable pay range
Nature Conservancy Canada 91.5% 90% 94% High funding need 11.3% 21.0% N/A Acceptable pay range
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society 90.0% 100% 75% High funding need 12.3% 7.3% N/A Acceptable pay range
Evergreen 90.0% 100% 75% High funding need 6.5% 3.8% N/A Acceptable pay range
David Suzuki Foundation 89.5% 95% 81% High funding need 4.6% 17.8% N/A Acceptable pay range
Ecojustice 89.0% 90% 88% High funding need 14.0% 17.7% N/A Acceptable pay range
Jane Goodall Institute 89.0% 90% 88% High funding need 7.0% 22.0% N/A Acceptable pay range
World Wildlife Fund 86.0% 85% 88% High funding need 4.4% 25.0% N/A Acceptable pay range

Fundraisers

Charity Final grade Financials grade (worth 60%) Transparency grade (worth 40%) Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Percentage of revenue spent on administration and fundraising Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
United Way of Calgary and Area 97.5% 100% 94% High funding need 9.1% 7.0% N/A Acceptable pay range
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region 97.5% 100% 94% High funding need 7.8% 10.4% N/A Acceptable pay range
United Way Ottawa (now called United Way East Ontario) 97.5% 100% 94% High funding need 10.9% 11.6% N/A Acceptable pay range
Centraide of Greater Montreal (United Way Montreal) 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 6.8% 7.1% N/A Acceptable pay range
United Way of Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 7.0% 8.5% N/A Acceptable pay range
United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern New Brunswick Region 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 8.3% 14.5% N/A Acceptable pay range
United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto 92.5% 100% 81% High funding need 8.1% 7.1% N/A Acceptable pay range
United Way of Winnipeg 92.0% 95% 88% High funding need 2.6% 18.1% N/A Acceptable pay range
United Way Greater Toronto 90.0% 100% 75% High funding need 5.1% 12.7% N/A Acceptable pay range
United Way of Regina 90.0% 100% 75% High funding need 3.9% 14.7% N/A Acceptable pay range

Health

Charity Final grade Financials grade (worth 60%) Transparency grade (worth 40%) Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Percentage of revenue spent on administration and fundraising Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
Victoria Hospice Society 97.5% 100% 94% High funding need 9.6% 13.9% N/A Acceptable pay range
World Federation of Hemophilia 94.5% 95% 94% High funding need 2.0% 18.9% N/A Acceptable pay range
Hospice of Greater Saint John 94.0% 90% 100% High funding need 7.7% 23.9% N/A Acceptable pay range
Brain Canada 92.5% 100% 81% High funding need N/A N/A 5.4% Acceptable pay range
Central Toronto Community Health Centres 92.0% 95% 88% High funding need 13.8% 7.4% N/A Acceptable pay range
ALS BC 90.0% 100% 75% High funding need 12.0% 12.7% N/A Acceptable pay range
Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada 89.5% 95% 81% High funding need 7.1% 16.2% N/A Acceptable pay range
Huntington Society of Canada 89.5% 95% 81% High funding need 11.6% 15.2% N/A Acceptable pay range
Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care 89.5% 95% 81% High funding need 8.2% 16.6% N/A Acceptable pay range
Casey House 89.0% 90% 88% High funding need 10.7% 24.4% N/A Acceptable pay range

Homelessness

Charity Final grade Financials grade (worth 60%) Transparency grade (worth 40%) Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Percentage of revenue spent on administration and fundraising Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
Calgary Food Bank 100.0% 100% 100% High funding need 3.8% 1.9% N/A Acceptable pay range
Food Banks Canada 97.5% 100% 94% High funding need 2.0% 6.7% N/A Acceptable pay range
The Mississauga Food Bank 97.5% 100% 94% High funding need 4.2% 11.4% N/A Acceptable pay range
Wesley Urban Ministries 97.5% 100% 94% High funding need 6.8% 12.6% N/A Acceptable pay range
Feed Nova Scotia 97.0% 95% 100% High funding need 4.5% 17.2% N/A Acceptable pay range
Calgary Homeless Foundation 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 9.5% 0.6% N/A Acceptable pay range
Covenant House Vancouver 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 5.1% 14.7% N/A Acceptable pay range
Fresh Start Recovery Centre 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 3.5% 13.7% N/A Acceptable pay range
Greater Vancouver Food Bank 94.5% 95% 94% High funding need 10.6% 17.1% N/A Acceptable pay range
Habitat for Humanity Manitoba 94.5% 100% 86% High funding need 5.9% 8.3% N/A Acceptable pay range

Hospital foundations

Charity Final grade Financials grade (worth 60%) Transparency grade (worth 40%) Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Percentage of revenue spent on administration and fundraising Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
Jewish General Hospital Foundation 90.0% 100% 75% High funding need 4.2% 14.4% N/A Acceptable pay range
Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation 87.0% 95% 75% High funding need 11.4% 17.4% N/A Acceptable pay range
University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation 87.0% 95% 75% High funding need 6.4% 17.6% N/A Acceptable pay range
Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation 85.0% 100% 63% High funding need N/A N/A 18.9% Acceptable pay range

International

Charity Final grade Financials grade (worth 60%) Transparency grade (worth 40%) Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Percentage of revenue spent on administration and fundraising Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
Chalice Canada 97.5% 100% 94% High funding need 4.3% 5.9% N/A Acceptable pay range
Canadian Foodgrains Bank 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 6.7% 8.4% N/A Acceptable pay range
Emergency Relief and Development Overseas 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 5.2% 10.7% N/A Acceptable pay range
Farm Radio International 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 10.0% 8.0% N/A Acceptable pay range
Opportunity International Canada 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 3.4% 12.7% N/A Acceptable pay range
Humanitarian Coalition 92.5% 100% 81% High funding need 10.4% 5.7% N/A Acceptable pay range
Mennonite Central Committee Canada 92.5% 100% 81% High funding need 8.4% 2.5% N/A Acceptable pay range
Primate's World Relief and Development Fund 92.5% 100% 81% High funding need 6.8% 4.0% N/A Acceptable pay range
World Renew 92.5% 100% 81% High funding need 5.2% 8.9% N/A Acceptable pay range
Sleeping Children Around the World 92.0% 87% 100% High funding need 4.9% 1.6% N/A Underpaid

Social Services

Charity Final grade Financials grade (worth 60%) Transparency grade (worth 40%) Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Percentage of revenue spent on administration and fundraising Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
Indspire 97.5% 100% 94% High funding need 9.9% 13.2% N/A Acceptable pay range
George Hull Centre for Children and Families 97.0% 95% 100% High funding need 3.6% 17.9% N/A Acceptable pay range
Canadian Red Cross 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 2.0% 9.7% N/A Acceptable pay range
Discovery House 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 6.6% 11.2% N/A Acceptable pay range
Hope Air 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 3.8% 13.3% N/A Acceptable pay range
MADA Community Center 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 8.9% 2.0% N/A Acceptable pay range
Mennonite Central Committee Ontario 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 4.7% 6.5% N/A Acceptable pay range
The Redwood 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 8.9% 13.7% N/A Acceptable pay range
Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter 92.5% 100% 81% High funding need 8.3% 8.5% N/A Acceptable pay range
Momentum Community Economic Development Society 92.5% 100% 81% High funding need 8.4% 2.7% N/A Acceptable pay range

Youth

Charity Final grade Financials grade (worth 60%) Transparency grade (worth 40%) Need for donations Percentage of revenue spent on administrative costs Percentage of donations spent on fundraising costs Percentage of revenue spent on administration and fundraising Salary of highest-paid employee compared to similar-sized charities
Boundless School 97.5% 100% 94% High funding need 2.9% 7.0% N/A Acceptable pay range
Youth Without Shelter 97.5% 100% 94% High funding need 5.4% 13.9% N/A Acceptable pay range
Children's Cottage Society 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 6.1% 7.5% N/A Acceptable pay range
Toronto Foundation for Student Success 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 2.4% 10.4% N/A Acceptable pay range
Trails Youth Initiatives 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 5.6% 5.2% N/A Acceptable pay range
Youth Employment Services 95.0% 100% 88% High funding need 3.6% 14.4% N/A Acceptable pay range
360°kids 92.5% 100% 81% High funding need 8.0% 11.4% N/A Acceptable pay range
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada 92.5% 100% 81% High funding need 12.3% 10.1% N/A Acceptable pay range
Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa 90.0% 100% 75% High funding need 6.0% 5.7% N/A Acceptable pay range
CityKidz 90.0% 100% 75% High funding need 7.5% 10.2% N/A Acceptable pay range