1. What is the CCCC Seal of Accountability?
The Seal of Accountability is a mark of excellence and trust. Charities that display the Seal have been reviewed and certified by the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC) and demonstrate a commitment to integrity.
2. Who reviews charities and provides the Seal?
The Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC) is an association of Canadian faith-based registered charities. Since 1983, CCCC has administered a program of accreditation, providing the Seal of Accountability to registered Christian charities that comply with the CCCC standards. CCCC reviews each charity before certification and conducts regular on-site assessments of the charities that have received the Seal.
3. How does CCCC review charities?
CCCC reviews charities by examining their certified membership application, assessing the documents enclosed with the application, and conducting a comprehensive field review. Charities must meet all of the CCCC Standards of Accountability to be approved for Certified membership.
After obtaining certification, CCCC Certified charities must demonstrate ongoing compliance with the Standards of Accountability. This is completed through an annual submission of documentation to CCCC and by responding to CCCC follow-up questions. In addition, CCCC personnel will conduct an in-depth review at each member’s location every four years.
You can be confident that each CCCC Certified member has not merely self-assessed its own performance, but has undergone a rigorous CCCC review.
4. What does it mean when there is a flag beside a charity’s name?
CCCC uses two flags to identify charities that are not in full compliance with the Standards:
- The yellow flag indicates that compliance cannot be determined because CCCC did not receive the necessary compliance information by the review deadline, which is 6 months after the charity’s fiscal year-end. A yellow flag does not necessarily mean an organization is not in compliance with CCCC Standards, but rather, CCCC does not yet have sufficient information to make a determination.
- The red flag indicates that the organization is not in compliance with one or more of the Standards and has not submitted a plan with an acceptable timeline for compliance. Termination will follow within a maximum of 60 days.
CCCC strives to use an educational approach to our Certification program. We will extend a grace period and use every effort possible to help charities get back into compliance. If compliance is not achieved by the set date, the charity will no longer be able to display the Seal of Accountability.
5. Does CCCC only certify Christian charities? What makes a charity “Christian”?
CCCC certifies charities that comply with the Standards of Accountability. To comply with the first standard, all members of the organization’s governing board, officers, and key staff must annually affirm a Christian statement of faith. The organization must also publicly declare its Christian mission and demonstrate to CCCC how that mission guides its values and activities. CCCC does not require adoption of its own statement of faith, but the statement must include the commonly held and historic central tenets of the Christian faith as are found, for example, in the Apostle’s Creed.
6. Who provides the information on the certified charity profiles?
Our certified member charities upload their own information, photos, and videos onto their profiles. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, CCCC is not responsible for any inconsistencies.
7. What should I do if I want to file a complaint about a certified charity?
If you have a complaint about a Certified charity, we encourage you to try to resolve the issue with the charity first. If you are not satisfied with the charity’s response, please send us an e-mail or call directly at 519-669-5137.
8. How should I choose which charity to support?
CCCC does not provide charity ratings or comparisons. Simple numerical comparisons are not always reliable for measuring effectiveness. We also do not provide recommendations about specific ministries to support. However, it is our goal to help donors make informed giving decisions. Our Seal of Accountability is one way to identify trustworthy ministries. Our directory of Certified members contains information about Canadian Christian charities that comply with our Standards of Accountability. You can browse by ministry name, location, or focus.
If the charity you are researching is not in our directory, we recommend that you investigate it through Canada Revenue Agency’s website. CCCC provides guidelines on how to interpret the information you will find there.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about a charity’s mission or financial information. Contact the charity’s donor representative for answers to any concerns.
9. My favourite charity is not listed in your directory. Is it a scam?
Every charity must be registered with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If you have concerns about a charity’s status, you can search CRA’s Charities Listings. You may have to search by “revoked” or “annulled” status if the organization in question has lost its charitable status.
CCCC does not list all registered charities in our directory, but only those that voluntarily apply for certification and demonstrate compliance with our Standards of Accountability.
If you know a charity that would like to consider certification, we would love to hear from them.
10. The church I attend is a CCCC member. Why isn’t it listed here?
CCCC offers four membership options: certified, affiliate, web, and professional. Only certified charities are listed on this website, because they are the only level that we review. If you have any questions about your membership package or if your charity is interested in certification, contact us for details.
11. How can I give an anonymous gift to a charity?
CCCC can facilitate anonymous gifts by receiving, receipting, and forwarding your gift to the charity or charities of your choice. Contact us for details.
12. How should I respond to emergency or disaster appeals?
In the event of an emergency or a natural disaster, many appeals are made to raise funds for a response. As a donor, you want to be sure your donation will be used wisely and effectively. The following guidelines were developed by the International Committee on Fundraising Organizations (of which the Canadian Council of Christian Charities is the Canadian member):
- Donate quickly, but carefully. Stick to one or two charities you are familiar with and trust. Be wary of any fundraising group created specifically for this appeal. Any spontaneous campaign should clearly state the charities to which they will forward the donations.
- Support charities that are already established in the disaster area and either have local competence and experience in disaster aid/emergency response or an established relationship with a strong, qualified local agency.
- Make it absolutely clear that your donation is being given for the emergency/disaster response. If a charity raises more money than it needs, it can (and should) tell you in advance how the surplus donations will be used (e.g., for other emergencies or where most needed).
- Do not send “in-kind” donations (e.g., clothing, blankets, food) unless they are specifically requested.
If you are thinking about making a donation to a charity’s emergency or disaster appeal, you can check our directory to see if the charity is a certified member of CCCC that has demonstrated compliance with our Standards of Accountability. You can also find information on any charity from the Canada Revenue Agency. CCCC provides guidelines on interpreting this information.
13. My question isn’t listed here. How can I contact you?
CCCC welcomes questions by e-mail or phone (519-669-5137). We would love to hear from you.