Show us the money: Charities that help the needy found to be most transparent

When it comes to charities, some are more transparent than others.

Charities that work in financial assistance, research, and advocacy are some of the most transparent in Australia, a new charity rating has revealed. In findings released by ChangePath, 650 charities across 25 sectors were compared to see just how transparent they were about where their money had gone.

ChangePath analysis found that charities in the ‘income support’ sector (helping those on low incomes or struggling with money) scored best, with transparency scores 25% higher than the national average. Universities also scored well (19% above average), as did charities that work internationally (19% above average). Religious charities were the only sector that scored significantly below average for transparency (30% below average).

It is estimated that over a third of taxpayers donate to charity each year1 with Australians giving around $4 billion in donations, bequests and legacies in 2012/13 2.

The research was performed by ChangePath, a new charity assessment organisation that aims to shine a light on the charity sector. By giving charities a transparency score and highlighting financial information, the group aims to provide potential donors with honest information about their choice of charity.

 “This is the first time a broad range of Australian charities have been given a publicly available transparency rating.  Potential donors can now have confidence about where their money is going,” said the founder of ChangePath, Sam Thorp. “The ChangePath site allows you to see how much information charities provide about their finances and achievements over the last year, and what that data is. It’s important that giving is an informed decision. It also helps charities to promote themselves as open and honest.”

“We’re the only charity assessment website in Australia that doesn’t accept any money from the charities themselves,” said Thorp. “This allows us to be truly independent, and keeps our rankings transparent and honest.”

Donors interested in which charities score best on the transparency index or who want to know more are encouraged to go to