Small charities Top 100 Highest Rated


Eleven charities on Ci's 2020 Top 100 Rated Charities list are small. Ci identifies any charity receiving less than $1 million in donations as "small". East York Learning is the smallest charity on the list, receiving $37,000 in donations for its exceptional work in adult education. 

Here is the list of the 11 small charities on Ci's 2020 Top 100 Rated Charities List:


East York Learning Experience Education - adult

Girls E-Mentorship Innovation Youth

The Compass  NEW in 2020 - Food bank

Alberta Wilderness Association Environment

Central Toronto Community Health Centres Health

Ethiopiaid Canada International Aid

Boundless Schools Education - At-risk Youth

Street Health Health for Homeless

George Hull Centre for Children and Families Mental Health

Lifewater Canada International Aid

Ryan's Well International Aid


(to see a pdf of the Small Charities in 2020 Top 100 list) 


One frequent comment about charity ratings is that it is a disadvantage to small charities. Far from it!

The status quo favours marketing. The more charities spend on marketing, direct mail, and advertising, the more they receive in donations. Small charities cannot possibly afford to spend the millions on marketing that large charities spend to capture donor's attention. However, analysing a charity's data - its outcomes, its impact, its cost efficiency - is relative. It creates a level playing field. On a level playing field, small charities can shine.

The most frequent question donors have is about how charities spend money. All charities should follow best practices in financial transparency. If a charity has a website and asks for donations, it should post its financial statements. Every charity should also write an annual report about its work and its results. It doesn't need to be glossy. We've seen small charities share reports that get the highest grades in donor reporting. Larger charities may have some advantages in reporting on their work, but a dedicated executive director's report on a smaller charity can score equally well or better.

While some donors have a preference for giving to small charities, our data and analysis does not see a charity's performance correlated to size. Great charities can be small and large, and every size in between. 

We hope this list of small high-rated charities introduces you to some small charities you may not have heard about that Charity Intelligence rates as among the elite 5-star charities. 


If you find Charity Intelligence’s research useful in your giving, please consider donating to support our workBeing entirely funded by donors like you maintains our independence and objectivity to help Canadians be informed in their giving. Canadians donate over $17 billion each year. This giving could achieve tremendous results. We hope Charity Intelligence's research helps Canadians give better.


About Charity Intelligence

Charity Intelligence’s website has reports on over 800 Canadian charities. These charities receive more than $9.7 billion in donations each year, representing an estimated 57% of total Canadian giving. Charity Intelligence’s reports give donors the facts and figures to answer their questions about how charities spend money and the results they achieve. 77% of donors say that reading a Charity Intelligence report increased their confidence in giving and, with greater confidence, they gave 32% more money.

In 2016, Statistics Canada reported that nearly a third of Canadians weren’t giving as much to charities as they could because they had unanswered questions. We hope that by answering donors’ questions with independent reports, we can help Canadian donors give intelligently.

At the same time, some Canadian charities are striving to improve their star ratings. These charities are becoming more transparent and accountable. This makes Canada’s charity sector better for all.


Legal disclaimer:

The information in this report was prepared by Charity Intelligence Canada and its independent analysts from publicly-available information. Charity Intelligence and its analysts have made endeavours to ensure that the data in this report is accurate and complete but accepts no liability.

The views and opinions expressed are to inform donors in matters of public interest. Views and opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, organization, individual or anyone or anything. Any dispute arising from your use of this website or viewing the material hereon shall be governed by the laws of the Province of Ontario, without regard to any conflict of law provisions. 


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Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Our website posts free reports on more than 800 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 360,000 Canadians use our website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.3 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.


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