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Canada’s Charities and The Value They Create

Canada’s Charities and The Value They Create

Authored by: Curtis Towns, Head of CCCC Accreditation

Canada is home to a robust and diverse charitable sector. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reports that Canada has over 85,000 registered charities. These organizations manage more than $500 billion in assets and spend over $200 billion each year on charitable activities. Over $3.8 billion of this total is spent on projects outside of Canada each year. While there are some closures each year, there were also over 1,800 new charity registration applications received by CRA during the last period.

How are charities doing?

That’s a lot of charities! If you’re like me, you probably know a decent amount about the organizations you support, but it’s difficult to imagine the immense impact of 85,000 registered charities. Our ministry partners at Waybase do a great job of summarizing the financial impact and providing opportunities to collaborate for greater good. We recently partnered with Waybase to survey CCCC members and other Christian ministries across Canada for the study, “The Next Normal: The Future of Christian Ministries and Churches in Canada.” The report further highlights the resiliency and impact of the sector during the pandemic. Colleagues of mine have written some great articles discussing things like “What is charity and why does it matter?” (available to CCCC members) and “The Impact of ‘Advancing Religion’ Charitable Sub-Sector in Canada“.

Sadly, according to The Giving Report 2022, prepared by Canada Helps, due to the pandemic, inflation, and other challenges, total giving in 2019 to 2021 is projected to have dropped 12%. This, when “one in four Canadians (26%) expect to use or are already using charitable services in 2022 for basic necessities.” When the need for the services of charities is high, the overall giving participation rate is decreasing (24.6% in 2006 to 19% in 2019).

Despite these challenges, the Waybase report noted that charity leaders are committed to their communities, with 90% intending to stay in their current role for the foreseeable future. The charitable sector is resilient, adjusting operations to meet present and future needs.

Canadians still contribute generously and expect a lot from charities in return for their support.

Your expectations are high, and similar to what you expect from other important institutions in your life—like doctors and teachers. You want to be able to trust and rely on charities to do what they say for you to feel good about supporting them. Charities must report their charitable activities and provide financial reporting to CRA each year through their Registered Charity Information Return. CCCC members can receive support for filling out this important government document in the T3010 section of our Knowledge Base or by contacting our Member Support Team. Beyond this compulsory reporting, many charities will complete an annual Impact Report that highlights their charitable work and how funds are being spent.

At CCCC, we have the privilege of interacting directly with and supporting over 3,000 charities who are CCCC member organizations. In my role at CCCC, I work with nearly 200 Christian charities who want to take their financial accountability and transparency to the next level. This is done through CCCC Accreditation, our highly respected standards program for the Christian charitable sector. I was recently reflecting on these CCCC Accredited Members as I reviewed them listed in this congratulatory post. This list is only representative of a fraction of all registered charities in Canada, but reviewing it makes me thankful for the good work done by Canada’s charitable sector. Below are just some examples:

Bible Distribution
Bible Teaching
Bible Translation
Children’s Evangelism and Discipleship
Christian Broadcasting
Christian Literature
Church Planting
Creation Care
Denominational Offices
Donor-Advised Funds
Emergency Response

Food Security
Human Rights
Human Trafficking and Slavery
Leadership Training
Marriage Support
Places of Worship
Pregnancy & Parenting Support

Prison Ministry
Relief and Development
Relief of Poverty
Religious Liberty
Senior’s Care and Support
Spiritual Development
Sports Outreach
Stewardship Resources and Training
Support For People With Special Needs
Sustainable Agriculture
Transitional Housing
Urban Ministry
Youth Ministry

Consider reaching out to an Accredited charity. I’m sure they’d be happy to tell you more about what they do! Consider getting involved and contributing to the important work of this sector!

If you represent a charity that may be interested in pursuing CCCC Accreditation, you are invited to attend an information session on May 5. Register here.