Awards program recognizes outstanding annual reporting in the not-for-profit sector

Posted on May 18, 2011

Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards recognize best charity annual reports in Ontario

TORONTO, May 18, 2011 – An awards program for Ontario charities is raising the bar for annual reporting in the not-for-profit sector. Now entering its fourth year, the Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards (VSRAs) have helped more than 100 charities improve the way they report to donors, funders, stakeholders and the public. The result, say organizers and participants, has been a new appreciation for annual reporting in the not-for-profit sector.

“The Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards have really made a difference in highlighting the issue of excellence in reporting for the not-for-profit sector. Studies have shown that Canadians think charities do a poor job of communicating their fundraising costs and how they use donations. The VSRAs have set a new standard that Canadians can feel comfortable with and to which not-for-profits can aspire,” said Steve Salterio, Director of the CA-Queen’s Centre for Governance, which organizes the VSRAs every year in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. PwC has been the sponsor of the program since its inception.

“We’re doing even more this year by releasing Best Practices in Charity Annual Reporting:

Lessons from the Voluntary Sector Reporting Awards, a new publication that brings together all the things we’ve learned from the awards program. It’s free to any not-for-profit organization at our website” said Salterio.

The awards are open to registered charities that produce annual reports in Ontario. Organizations compete in three categories based on revenue size – up to $1 million, from $1 million to $10 million, and more than $10 million – as well as a separate category for national and international not-for-profits with head offices in Ontario.

Last year’s winners in the four categories were:

National or international NPO headquartered in Ontario

  • World Vision Canada

Total revenues over $10 million (tie)

  • Canadian Paraplegic Association Ontario
  • United Way Toronto

Total revenues over $1 million but below $10 million

  • Kingston Literacy & Skills

Total Revenues of under $1 million

  • Sarnia Lambton “Rebound” – A Program for Youth

The winners in each category will receive $5,000. Charities that are organizations whose principal activities are run by or for municipalities, universities, hospitals or school boards are not eligible.

Awards will be given to those reports demonstrating the highest levels of accountability and transparency and displaying highly effective communication with beneficiaries, donors and other stakeholders. All entrants will be provided with a summary of the judges’ review.

“Many Chartered Accountants generously donate their time and money to a variety of worthy charitable causes,” said Brian Leader, the Institute’s Vice-President of Learning. “We believe this type of competition can motivate the entire sector to continually raise the bar for financial reporting and helps them accomplish the many wonderful things they do in communities across Ontario.”

Nominations are being accepted for the awards at the CA-Queen’s Centre for Governance website. More information is also available from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ website and at the ICAO website. The deadline for applying is July 31, 2011 and the winners will be announced in November 2011 at an event in Toronto.