Top three charities have best pipeline to donors: poll

Transparency, use of funds among key concerns for those who give

A new poll of B.C. residents’ attitudes to giving show the charities most likely to get their donations are the B.C. Cancer Foundation, B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society.

That’s one of the findings of an online poll of more than 900 B.C. residents conducted by Insights West.

The research firm found the average respondent donated $732 to charities last year, but that fell to $445 once the top four per cent of very large donors were factored out and the median donation was $200.

The top three branded charities each scored close to 95 per cent awareness and 52 per cent said they would give in the future to the B.C. Cancer Foundation, compared to 46 per cent for Children’s Hospital and 40 per cent for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Nine other charities, from Big Brothers and Sisters to the United Way, had 90 per cent plus recognition but only 20 to 30 per cent of respondents were likely to donate to them in the future – about half the rate of the big three.

The poll also found a 52 per cent majority of B.C. residents willing to give to local food banks – twice as many as other unbranded causes such as the homeless or religious institutions.

Insights West president Steve Mossop said charities face an intensifying battle with their competitors to get public attention and pull in scarce dollars from donors who already complain of being chased by too many causes.

Campaign events like runs and walks that pull in friends and family with a link to a cause are one of the creative marketing methods in use.

Personal belief in the cause was the top determinant of whether a respondent would donate to a charity, the poll found.

But transparency and good outcomes from donations were also very important.

The top two reasons not to donate to a charity – listed by 83 per cent of respondents – were that administration costs are too high and that too many groups want money.

“Charities that don’t do a good job of explaining where the money is going and aren’t up front about their administration costs are going to suffer in the future,” Mossop said.

“People are really looking at the percentages of overhead or the percentages of donations spent on fundraising and administration.”

One source of those numbers is watchdog organization Charity Intelligence Canada, which runs an online database of Canadian charities at charityintelligence.ca.

It shows fundraising costs consumed nearly 30 per cent of the donations collected by the Canadian Cancer Society’s B.C and Yukon division, an improvement from 40.5 per cent two years ago.

B.C. Children’s Hospital plowed 21.4 per cent of donations back into fundraising, while the B.C. Cancer Foundation rate was 23.7 per cent.

The B.C. Cancer Foundation was the only one of the three to appear on Charity Intelligence’s 2012 list of top-performing Canadian charities that it says give the best bang for the donor’s dollar.

The report said the foundation, which supports cancer research through the B.C. Cancer Agency, has sharply cut fundraising costs and that trend should continue as it limits major events, no longer uses lotteries and leverages more money from government.

Other B.C. charities that made the watchdog’s top picks list were the B.C. SPCA, the Victoria Hospice Society, Vancouver’s WISH Drop-In Centre for women, the Vancouver Native Health Society and Aunt Leah’s, a New Westminster-based non-profit for at-risk youth.

Have your say at www.yourinsights.ca/charitablegiving

Just Posted

Reports of rashes prompt pool closures at Harrison Hot Springs

Public pool available after all five mineral pools closed until further notice

Chilliwack’s Chief Ernie Crey a firm pipeline supporter

Crey lauds NEB focus on marine safety in his role representing Indigenous oversight committee

Measles case confirmed within Fraser Health region

One case within Fraser Health is related to the outbreak in three Vancouver schools.

Harrison Festival to share the culture behind the music

Festival director Andy Hillhouse will be talking about nationalism in music, starting March 1

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Twilight Drive-In announces open season start date

Opening weekend will showcase a double feature with Aquaman at 7:15 p.m. and Glass at 9:50 p.m.

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

VIDEO: Giants earn 40th victory in a 4-0 triumph over Victoria

G-Men move within a point of clinching the B.C. division banner at Friday’s at-home game in Langley

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Man sentenced to 7 years for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards in Sumas

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

Most Read