(March 19, 2021) Launched on March 18, 2020, two days after Prime Minister Trudeau declared a pandemic lockdown, The Charity Report is one year old this week. It was a challenging time to launch a new publication, particularly a new publication about the charity sector that was planning to scrutinize its activities in the way business reporters report on business or sports reporters report on sports, with the knowledge a weathered eye brings. Its writers and researchers read financial statements and sometimes throw curve balls at people who are not used to answering questions.
In its first year, The Charity Report has interviewed CEOs, sector influencers, workers in the sector, Black, Indigenous, people of colour, women, LGBTQ executives, authors, hundreds of people talking about what’s happening in the charity sector–during a pandemic.
By way of statistics, The Charity Report has:
- Interviewed 352 people
- Reviewed 83 books
- Produced 63 Headline articles
- Wrote 52 News Stories
- Developed 49 Feature Articles and Interviews
- Created 31 Photo Essays
- Produced 5 Intelligence Reports
“After a year of covering charity stories every day, the biggest issue I think the sector is facing now is lack of trust,” says Gail Picco, editor in chief, “And the lack of trust is coming from inside the house as well as outside it.”
Repeated polls agree charities are under water in terms of public trust, and revelations that charitable foundations give negligible support to Black, indigenous or people of colour, and that systemic racism is endemic in the sector have all contributed to a diminishing trust in the sector as a whole.
A global report on charities issued by Edelman PR in January revealed a majority of respondents surveyed in more than 30 countries believed charities were “incompetent.” A poll released by The Charity Report, conducted by Proof Strategies, found the public believes charities are the least capable of public institutions to deal with issues of inequity.
“The crisis the sector finds itself in–whether it understands it or not–is largely of its own making. People working at charities do not trust that their employer has their back when it comes to racism, rampant sexual misconduct and intolerable working conditions.”
A report issued by AFP Global on March 15, Fundraising Workplace Climate reports that 75.8% percent of the charity fundraisers surveyed experienced sexually harassing behaviors in their career by a coworker, supervisor or a stakeholder, such as a donor.
“Unless people in positions of power and influence start listening to what’s being said instead of trying to double-down on a top down message, then I believe worst is yet to come,” says Picco.
The Charity Report has seen increasing readership throughout the year with more than 100,000 page visitors in its first this year. It’s all-time top 10 stories for page views are:
- The Biggest Charity Scandal in Canada’s History August 14, 2020
- Blackbaud Data Breach: The impact on charities and what we still don’t know August 24, 2020
- Poll reveals vast majority of Canadians find foundation giving practices unacceptable May 7, 2020
- A week of WE: Now What July 6, 2020
- Feature interview with Shanaaz Gokool: The cost of seeking justice July 29, 2020
- Feature interview with McConnell Foundation CEO Stephen Huddart July 9, 2020
- Charity, Philanthropy and the Structures of Racisim July 17, 2020
- Feature Interview: Edgar Villanueva, The rainy day we’ve all been thinking about is here April 15, 2020
- Calls to increase the disbursement quota growing louder: ‘Foundations are hoarding wealth’ February 17, 2021
- We operations will close down September 10, 2020
“A big thanks goes to all our subscribers,” says Picco.
“They pay the freight, provide the fuel, and provide the independence we need to carry on. They are some of the biggest and best thinkers in the nonprofit world today. We are grateful to them and appreciate them.
“Year 2 is going to get tough. There are conversations that have been started and need to continue, promises made that need to be kept. And we’ll be here to report on it all.”