Evaluation approach

What Types of charities do We recommend?

We seek to 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:

  • Do not donate - the charity does not demonstrate it is trustworthy

  • Donate - the charity demonstrates it is generally trustworthy and somewhat effective

  • Donate with confidence - the charity demonstrates it is trustworthy and effective.

What information do we use?

We believe high quality charities are those that are transparent about their operations, therefore 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 organizational 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 organizational strategy and supported with references?

Is There more Detail on the Analysis?

We provide free charity overviews and donation recommendations. Our overviews are designed to give you a snapshot of what a charity does, highlight how it manages its finances, and summarise its strengths and weaknesses. 

For those that want more information, we provide downloadable reports that give detail on how we came to our donation recommendation. These reports contain the following sections: 

  • Part 1: Who are [X Charity]? Here we describe the charity, provide interesting facts on the organisation and, if relevant, any recent news events.

  • Part 2: Where does your donation go? In this section we highlight their current financial position, their income sources and where they spend their money.

  • Part 3: Who is running [X Charity]? Here we evaluate who is running the organisation, how much they are paid, and if they have measures in place to minimise misuse of funds.

  • Part 4: Do they deliver results? We look for evidence that they are achieving meaningful results.

  • Part 5: Should you donate to [X Charity]? Finally, we present an opinion on whether you should donate to them. Importantly, we provide a rationale for any recommendation to allow you to make your own judgments.

How do we Select the charities?

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.

Can charities pay to be reviewed?

We are completely independent. In order to ensure our impartiality, we receive no funding or benefits from the charities we evaluate. We disclose any potential or perceived related interests.