The fourth week of the month would normally be the week we give to a cause or recipient suggested to me. This time, I'm taking my suggestion from an organization called Charity Intelligence Canada (Ci), and specifically their 2010 list of recommended charities. Ci researches and analyzes charities in order to funders greater confidence that their funds are being well used. I'm really impressed with their approach. For example, they ask the very basic question: does this charity need the money? (As opposed to whether they are able to raise it.) They look not only at financial numbers, but also at the goods and time donated to a charity tefore assessing whether its spending ratios are healthy. They look at the degree of local ownership, at how many people are served, and at how the organization is managed. Recently, they have begun assessing social enterprises and social purpose businesses alongside more traditional charities, to help Canadian givers better understand the 'double bottom line impact' of businesses seeking both financial and social return. Interesting and helpful stuff.
I suspect I'll go back to the Ci report many times before the year is out -- I hope you do too.