How do we assess and recommend charities?
We recommend charities that demonstrate they are delivering on their mission. The key criteria we look at are trustworthiness and effectiveness.
What do we mean by trustworthy? The charity meets regulatory requirements, provides verifiable financial information and is clear about governance and management structures/incentives.
What do we mean by effective? The charity shows that it is delivering results that are consistent with the strategic objective of the organisation. It also shows how results are collected.
We provide one of three recommendations:
Donate with confidence- the charity demonstrates they are both trustworthy and effective. We have confidence that donations are used are used to deliver on their mission.
Donate- the charity demonstrates they are likely to be trustworthy and present some indicators of effectiveness. Donations are likely to be used to deliver on their mission.
Do not donate-the charity does not demonstrate basic indicators of trustworthiness or effectiveness. We cannot verify that donations are used to deliver on their mission.
What information do we use?
We believe high quality charities are those that are transparent about their operations. We review the information the charity publishes on its website and with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. We do not consider any material that is not readily accessible by the public.
What steps do we undertake to assess a charity?
Most charities will claim that they are making a difference, but only a select few can back up their claims. Our assessment looks behind the marketing spin to find the charities that can show they are delivering on their purpose. There are three key steps to our analysis:
Step 1: understand the charity. What does the charity do and why? Is information easy to find, interpret and understand? Are they clear about their ABN and their organisational structure?
Step 2: identify any red flags. Are they up to date with their legal and regulatory requirements? Are they transparent about their operations?
Step 3: verify claims. Are results coherent, consistent with the organisational strategy and supported with references?
What is contained in the complete report?
We provide downloadable reports that give detail on how we came to our donation recommendation. These reports are just what you need to justify giving away money.
The full list of reports can be found here.
Curious about what the reports contain? You can download samples of both our 2018 and 2019 reports by heading to Lort Smith’s page and answering a few questions.
How do we Select the charities we evaluate?
We indiscriminately evaluate any large Australian charity actively fundraising for public donations. If a charity has a billboard, is on the street with face-to-face fundraisers, or if it has an awareness day/week/month/year, it will be added to our list.
Every year we curate our list to ensure it is providing value to our readers. We add to the list relevant charities that are suggested to us by our readers. We continue to evaluate those charities that readers are interested in. We discontinue evaluating those charities for which there is limited interest. Read more about our discontinued charities here.
How frequently are recommendations updated?
We review each charity once a year.
How Is the Good Cause Co. funded?
We are completely independent.
We are a social enterprise with a mission to ensure you can give with confidence. We achieve this by providing free donation recommendations and by providing bespoke consulting services.
We have the long-term backing and support of generous social-impact investors.
Unless stated, we receive no funding or benefits from the charities we evaluate. We disclose any potential or perceived related interests.