Accountability of Charities through Open Data
Summary: Charitable data from the Canada Revenue Agency’s information return has been available to the public since 1975. In 2000, the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) began making information from the T3010 Registered Charity Information Return from organizations with charitable status available online and by CD-ROM on request, and, in 2013, all data sets since 2000 were transcribed and made available online via the government’s data portal under a commercial open data license. The resulting data set has been used on its own and in combination with other data by sector groups and academic researchers to explore the state of the nonprofit sector, improve advocacy by creating a common understanding between regulators and charities, and create intelligence products for donors, fundraisers and grant-makers.
Dimension of Impact: Improving Government—Improving Services
Government is not the only sector about which open data can create broad impacts related to transparency and accountability. There is broad interest in and appetite for giving the public a greater understanding of the traditionally obscured financial dealings of nonprofits.
Open data—even in situations that are largely focused on transparency and accountability—could stand to provide benefits to organizations releasing ...