2020 Top 100-Rated Charities

2020 Top 100-Rated Charities


This 2020 Giving Season is going to be tough. With Covid, and the economic shutdown to flatten the curve, Canadians report they are giving 37% less to charities. This is at the upper end of Imagine Canada’s April forecast that giving could drop by $4.2 billion to $6.2 billion. This decline in giving puts frontline charities under enormous financial stress. At the same time, many frontline charities are facing an unprecedented surge in demand for their services. One thinks immediately of food banks, crisis lines, and shelters, and particularly charities that rely on donations rather than government contracts.

On top of the Covid pandemic, the WE Charity scandal rattled donors' confidence and was another blow to giving. One lesson Canadians took to heart from the WE Charity scandal was the need to do more homework on the charities they support: 60% said they will do more homework according to Angus Reid survey. 

Charity Intelligence’s Top 100 list is just this necessary homework. These are charities we have analysed and vetted so you can give with greater confidence. Out of all of Canada’s largest charities, these Top 100 highest-rated charities are the elite.

Most giving today is based on a charity’s name recognition supported by massive fundraising campaigns, often costing tens of millions of dollars. Charity Intelligence takes a different tack, looking behind the gloss, at a charity’s results, costs, and impact. Using data analytics, we find again and again top results at Canadian charities that are typically less well known. Charity Intelligence’s Top 100 list does include some big household names – Doctors Without Borders, World Vision, Terry Fox Foundation – yet many top-rated charities are undiscovered gems.

Canadians say they prefer to give to small charities. Included in this 2020 list are 11 small charities. Charity Intelligence defines a 'small charity as having less than $1 million in donations.

This year, with Covid, what we can afford to give matters more than ever. At this critical time with lower donations, our giving can’t be about us feeling good – our giving must do the most good possible to help those in need. Educated and informed donors are changing their giving to donate to different charities. We hope you will consider these top charities.


Charity Intelligence 2020 Top 100 Rated Charities 

Charities are listed alphabetically by sector                                                                         

   BC SPCA    
   Boundless School    
   East York Learning Experience    
NEW  Junior Achievement of Central Ontario    
   Pathways to Education    
   Alberta Wilderness Association    
   Bruce Trail Conservancy    
   Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society    
   Ecotrust Canada    
   International Conservation Fund of Canada    
   Calgary Food Bank    
 NEW  The Compass    
 NEW  Daily Bread Food Bank    
   Edmonton's Food Bank    
   Food Banks Canada    
   Food for Life Canada    
   Mississauga Food Bank    
   Moisson Montreal    
   Second Harvest    
   Greater Vancouver Food Bank    
   Hamilton Food Share    
   Saskatoon Food Bank    
   Calgary Drop-in    
   Calgary Homeless Foundation    
   Eva's Initiatives    
 NEW  Fred Victor    
   Inn from the Cold    
 NEW  Mission Old Brewery    
   Our Place    
   Street Health    
   Wesley Urban Ministries    
   Youth Without Shelter    
   Aunt Leah's Place    
 NEW  Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg    
   CUPS Calgary Society    
   Discovery House    
   Fresh Start Recovery Centre    
   Girls E-Mentorship Innovation    
 NEW  Indwell Community Homes    
   MADA Community Center    
 NEW  Moorelands Community Services    
   St. Stephen's Community House    
   Toronto Foundation for Student Success    
   Central Toronto Community Health Centres    
   George Hull Centre for Children and Families    
   Hope Air    
   Hospice of Greater Saint John    
   Huntington Society of Canada    
 NEW  Terry Fox Foundation    
   Victoria Hospice Society    
   Canadian Foodgrains Bank    
   Chalice Canada    
 NEW  Citizens Foundation Canada    
 NEW  Compassion Canada    
   Doctors Without Borders    
   Ethiopiaid Canada    
   Farm Radio International    
   FINCA Canada    
   Hope and Healing International    
   IDRF - International Development and Relief Foundation    
   Lifewater Canada    
   Mennonite Central Committee Canada    
   Mennonite Central Committee Ontario    
   Operation Eyesight Universal    
   Opportunity International Canada    
   Ryan's Well    
   SEVA Canada    
   War Child Canada    
   World Federation of Hemophilia    
 NEW  World Vision Canada    
   PUBLIC BENEFIT - Public fundraising foundations    
   United Way of the Alberta Capital Region     
   United Way of Calgary and Area    
   United Way Elgin Middlesex    
   United Way of Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo    
   United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern New Brunswick Region    
   United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington    
   United Way Ottawa    
   United Way of Saskatoon & Area    
   United Way of Winnipeg    
   McGill University    
   McMaster University    
   Queen's University    
 NEW  Ryerson University    
   Simon Fraser University    
   Universite de Montreal    
   University of Alberta     
   University of British Columbia    
   University of Calgary    
   University of Manitoba    
   University of New Brunswick    
   University of Toronto    
   University of Victoria    
   University of Western Ontario    
 NEW  Wilfrid Laurier University    
   York University    

From this short-list of Top 100 Rated Charities, Charity Intelligence is preparing its lists of Top 10 Impact Charities that we will release in early November 2019. This is Canadian donors' favourite post on our website.


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. 

Print   Email

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 500,000 Canadians use our website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.6 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.


Be Informed. Give Intelligently. Have Impact


Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001