This research project is an examination of change in the fundraising activities employed by small Canadian registered charities (defined as registered charities with total annual revenues under $100,000) over the ten year period from 2000 to 2009. Utilizing data from the Registered Charity Information Returns (T3010) filed by charities with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the study provides a profile of fundraising methods used, examining trends in types and number of fundraising methods utilized over the ten year period. We analyze variation in terms of size, designation type (charitable organization/public foundation /private foundation), location (rural/urban), charitable activity (welfare, religion, education, health, benefit to the community, other), orientation (religious/secular), and geographic region (each province and territory, western Canada/central Canada/Maritimes/territories).
The term ‘fundraising methods’ refers to the tactics used by charities to generate current or future monies and gifts in kind to provide services to clients, fund research, and cover administrative costs. Under conditions of reduced financial support from government, fundraising is an important, even critical, source of revenue for charities. Equally important is access to accurate information on fundraising methods used by charities in Canada. This paper traces the evolution of fundraising data collected by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) over the last ten years, compares definitions employed by CRA with examples drawn from the academic and practitioner literatures, and highlights methods not currently being tracked by the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return.