Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the charitable sector has provided vital support and services to Canadians through nearly 86,000 registered charities that, in 2018, received about $10 billion in donations. In 2020, however, Charity Intelligence Canada reported that a substantial proportion of charitable donations are wasted on large charities that aren’t transparent about the impact of each dollar donated.
Given the unprecedented socio-economic impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians must think critically about where they donate to ensure every dollar counts. We encourage Canadians to consider place-based giving, or donating “at home,” through local community foundations that are well-positioned to navigate and bolster the post-pandemic recovery.
Canadian charitable organizations are under increased scrutiny about the transparency of their operations, in part due to the ongoing WE Charity scandal that features reports of misused charitable dollars conflicts of interest.Charitio Author
This is not to devalue or question the ethics of Canadian charities or government action. But the current climate around transparency in the charitable sector illustrates the advantages of local, place-based giving through Canadian community foundations.
A recent survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute found that since the WE controversy, more than half of donors “say the scandal leads them to question the governance and transparency in the charity secto.”
Local voices respond to a global crisis
Despite the pervasive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, community foundations have proven to be flexible and innovative, their relatively small scale and local focus allowing them to respond quickly to the evolving needs of their communities dedicated to increasing charitable giving across the country.
Community foundations are uniquely connected to help address this gap within their local service areas and therefore have the potential to effectively facilitate recovery efforts post-pandemic are currently working with a team of researchers from across Canada to investigate the connections.