publication date: Feb 15, 2012
author/source: Janet Gadeski
looking at a charity, it's important to consider the whole picture rather than
just the numbers, says Imagine Canada
. In response to hasty,
sometimes shallow attempts to rank charities by a few financial ratios taken
out of context, Imagine Canada launched CharityFocus
, a much richer, more
insightful tool to aid donor decision-making, on February 15.
CharityFocus to delegates at Imagine Canada's National Summit
last November. The site more than lives up to its
reported in the December 8 issue of Hilborn eNEWS
. I reiterate my view that it's a welcome, essential
contrast to stories and information services that focus on financial
ratios, select very few of Canada's 85,000 charities for analysis, and restrict
input from the charities themselves.
Turning numbers into
The site transforms Canada Revenue Agency's T3010 data into
graphs and other vivid visuals. Every registered charity already has a profile
on CharityFocus that reflects its latest T3010 filing. Now that the site is
launched, each charity can upload additional material to display the stories
behind the numbers: annual reports, program information, fundraising policies,
videos and links to social media platforms.
Helps visitors give
Visitors to the site can use powerful search tools to find
organizations by name, area of work or location, and can make donations right
on the spot, thanks to the CanadaHelps
"donate" button on every profile.
Check out the site's pages for Canadian Feed the Children
for some ideas of how to make the most of this opportunity.
Or browse further and find your own good examples. Thanks to the 47
organizations that have already loaded their materials as part of the pre-launch
testing, you won't have to look far for helpful models.
CharityFocus manager Lisa
that her colleagues have wanted such a tool for at
least seven years. Building the proprietary tools that display different charities'
charts, graphs and narratives side by side, took time, she explained. But the
resulting website meets Imagine Canada's goal of helping the sector be
transparent to donors and the public.
Getting the T3010
Charities also have free access to a "Quick Prep" tool that
will help them more easily and accurately complete their annual filings to the
CRA. The site is easy to use and available free of charge in both official
Production of CharityFocus was made possible by a financial
contribution from Canada Revenue Agency, with support from RBC Foundation
and Cenovus Energy
For more information, Lisa
1-800-263-1178 x301 or 416-597-2293 x301; Alyssa Gebert, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1.800-821-8814 x239 or 416-597-2293 x311.