Watch: How Do I Know if a Charity is Trustworthy?

October 17, 2023
2 min read

Charitable Impact

Charitable Impact founder, John Bromley, shares insights and resources to help determine if a charity is trustworthy.

Determining whether a registered charity is trustworthy is very similar to determining whether anything else in life is trustworthy. 

So how do you get to trust that new brand that opened a store down the street from your house? How do you determine trust with a new restaurant or a new team member at work? Or a friend? 

You’ve got to get to know them. Or, get to know people who already know them and determine whether you trust those people. So let’s start there. 

Go online and start looking things up. You know, every registered charity in Canada has to produce public documentation. You can find that documentation by going to the Canada Revenue Agency’s website, CRA, and looking up the registered charity there. 

They’ll have the documentation—the Annual Information Return Form that every registered charity has to submit. Otherwise, you’re not allowed to continue being a charity in Canada. 

The last but most effective way to determine if a charity is trustworthy is to volunteer. This method takes the most time, but it’s also the most rewarding. 

When you volunteer for a charity, you get what’s in it for you. But you also get to meet the people who work for and/or volunteers when you get to them so you get to meet people who are associated.

Then you get close to a front-row seat, and sometimes a front-row seat, to the actual programs that a charity is running and the activities that they do to create change in the world. 

You can then establish trust through your own mechanisms for establishing trust while being inside the organization.