There has been an outpouring of support for the victims of the Australian wildfires, but it can be tricky to figure out which charity to donate to that will use the money in the best way possible. Bruce Macdonald, the president and CEO of national charity Imagine Canada, stopped by Your Morning to help us figure out which charity to support, and how to make sure your money actually went where you wanted it to.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
- Give to causes and charities you are most comfortable with. Align your personal interest with those of the organization: animals, victims, environment, rebuilding schools or homes, firefighters, whatever your passion is
- Do your homework! Make sure you are confident that the organization is credible. Look for professional management and leadership, something you should find on their website. Check that it is an accredited organization that lists their board of directors, financial statements and impact reports
- Finally, if its Canadian charity you can check with the CRA to validate that it’s a registered charity
LARGER OR SMALLER ORGANIZATION?
- From a tax perspective, there is no difference whether it’s a large or small organization. It mostly comes down to what you’re comfortable with. You need to educate yourself to see if the programs the charity is delivering are the most of interest to you
- You can’t draw industry conclusions based on the size of the charity; you can’t say one’s good or one’s bad solely based on size.
- Ultimately the decision depends on what your priorities are. If you are looking to support a specific cause -for example, koala relief in the Australian bushfires – you would probably be better off with a smaller charity. If you are just looking to offer general support, a larger organization is a good option
- If you want to be sure that your dollars are being accounted for in a transparent way, donating directly to a charity is the best way to go. By donating to a registered charity directly, you are guaranteed greater transparency and greater accountability when it comes to your contribution
- If you want to be sure your money went where you wanted it to, just ask. If you’ve given to a registered charity, they have to account for the dollars that are spent. You can follow up and they can share before/after stories and photos to illustrate the difference that was made by the contributions received