WHAT I’M GOING TOCOVER• An overview of free third-party transparency tools for charitable organizations• An overview of Imagine Canada’s new CharityFocus tool and what unique transparency resources it offers• An overview of the challenges (and solutions!) of using financial data in transparency-related tools• The future of transparency• Feel free to ask questions at any point!
ABOUT ME• President, Common Good Strategies• Previously, Senior Research Associate at Imagine Canada• Designed CharityFocus.ca• Designed T3010QuickPrep.ca• Many reports on the T3010• 1000s of hours working on T3010 and financial statements!Any opinions expressed are solely my own.
DONATION RATE TOCHARITIES, BY HOUSEHOLDS70% 62%60%50% 55%40% 38%30% 29%20%10%0% Rate of giving to religious charities Rate of giving to non-religious charities Source: Analysis from Survey of Household Spending
LEVEL OF TRUST INCHARITIES, 2000 TO 200890%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%0% 2000 2004 2006 2008 A lot of trust Some trust
TOTAL DONATIONS TO CHARITIES FROM INDIVIDUAL TAX RETURNS (IN $1000S) $9,000,000 $8,000,000 $7,000,000 $6,000,000 $5,000,000 $4,000,000 $3,000,000 $2,000,000 $1,000,000 $-Source: http://www.imaginecanada.ca/files/www/en/researchbulletins/rb1501en.pdf
• Lack of transparency can definitely hurt an individual charity• One of the strongest predictors of donations to a particular charity is trust in that charity• Most people do not use financial information, even if its available • Of those that do, most use it as a “heuristic” • Is it there or not? • The challenge is that people also use heuristics to judge the charity• The media definitely will use this information• It’s always better to have bad news come from your own organization
According to the Muttart Foundation’s Talking AboutCharities Survey:• 49% of donors want more information about the work charities do• 62% strongly agree that more attention should be paid to the work that charities do
Source: Muttart Foundation’s Talking About Charities Report: 2008
“CharityFocus is a powerful and user-friendly,fully bilingual resource for the Canadian public,which providescomprehensive financial information about allCanadian charities. The site draws fromorganizations T3010 filings to the CRA butalso provides charities with an opportunity toupload their own material to provide contextand meaning to the numbers.”- Stephen Faul, Vice President Strategic Communications andBusiness Development
WHAT NEXT?• More structured details on volunteers?• More structured details on impact?• More APIs for social media as new sites become popular
HOW TO USECHARITYFOCUS• Step 1. Make absolutely sure your current T3010 is accurate and fully complete • Make sure you have charitable programs, fundraising expenditures, etc. on the form • Check your math • Check for keying (that’s not a typo) areas that may have been introduced by CRA• Step 2. Ensure that key information is accurate going back for all years available (Revenue, Expenditures, Charitable Expenditures, Qualified Donees)• Step 3. Check all years available and ensure the information is accurate• Step 4. Make sure all future submissions are accurate.
HOW TO GET MOREFROM CHARITYFOCUS• Upload your annual report• Upload your financial statements• Upload your social media channels• Upload your brochures• Upload impact statements and evaluations you’d like to share with the public!• Upload your own RSS news stream• TELL YOUR STORY.
ERRORS ON THE T3010 (2007) Annual revenue With 1 error on With 3 or more the T3010 errors Less than $30,000 42% 16% $30,000 to $99,999 35% 9% $100,000 to $249,999 29% 6% $250,000 to $499,999 25% 5% $500,000 to $999,999 22% 4% $1,000,000 to $9,999,999 22% 4% $10,000,000 or more 23% 5%http://www.muttart.org/sites/default/files/report/PerspectivesOnFundraising-FINAL.pdf
My favourite error: $5.7 billion dollars in tax-receipted donations from one organization
$205 million dollars Source: http://fotos.eluniversal.com.mx/coleccion/muestra_fotogaleria.html?idgal=3405
OTHER ERRORS• In 2007...• 84% of organizations report dollars received from tax-receipted gifts or fundraising revenues.• 58% completed the checklist on the T3010 which identifies which type of fundraising methods they use.• 27% of charities reported any amount greater than $0 for fundraising expenditures.
T3010 QUICKPREP• www.quickprep.ca• This tool was created with the support of Canada Revenue Agency!
LIMITATIONS OF THE TOOL• Only errors that can be found by a computer • Though over 150 business rules built into the system• It’s an online only application• It does require basic technological skills
THE FUTURE OF THEQUICKPREP• We hope to continue to improve it based on feedback from users, charities, and the general public!• From reactive to proactive
MOBILE• 7% of our traffic is from a mobile device• Almost ½ of mobile traffic is now from an Ipad• Almost 1/3 of mobile traffic is from an Iphone• Average time on site: 46 seconds
WEB SEARCHES34 Average time on site: 58 seconds
MORE INFORMATIONON NONPROFITS• Almost no information on these organizations!
OTHER KEY TRENDS• More expectations• More charities, larger charities • (Mo’ money, mo’ problems)• More ratings• More automatic processing of your data • Spiders, automatic processing of your website• Social media• Blogs
ADDITIONS I’D LIKETO SEE TO THE T3010• More awareness of public usage of Charity data• Notes to the financial statements• More information on volunteers• More sections for charities to provide context and impact to their filings• More details on technology expenditures• Online filing• Tiered forms
BECOMING MORE TRANSPARENT Transparent concrete
QUICK CHANGES FORYOUR WEBSITE• Upload your annual reports on your website• Upload your audited financial statements • Decide whether you might want to link to your T3010• Upload impact statements, key metrics, and evaluations that can show how well you’ve done!• Make it easy to find!
BIGGERCONSIDERATIONS INTRANSPARENCY• According to your annual reports and financial statements, did nothing bad happen last year?• Is this decision the sort of things my staff are going to complain about when they’re drunk after work?• Do reporting frameworks make sense for our organization?• Do we want to highlight our transparency by joining Standards of Accreditation organizations?• How can we explain to our stakeholders how our decisions are made? • How can people contribute to the decision making?• Should we upload all of our policies relating to conflict of interest, ethics, whistleblowing, ethics, etc.?