About the Halo Calculator

The Halo Calculator is an estimating tool.

It does not present formal research results. There are variances across community sizes, locations, and charitable entities. Yet for charitable places of worship, their generative nature appears to be significant and it is hoped that the Calculator will spark discussion, exploration, and further research.

The Halo Calculator is based on figures obtained in the 2016 Toronto Halo Report.

That report examined the economic 'halo effect' of 10 local congregations on their respective communities in Toronto. This study was based on an earlier study pioneered by Dr. Ram Cnaan at the University of Pennsylvania. When "Direct Spending" is compared with "Total Value" a ratio of 1:4.77 is obtained. The Calculator suggests for every dollar of direct spending across the ten congregations examined, about $4.77 of common good benefit is generated.

Effect DistributionBy extension, the Halo Calculator estimates "Direct Spending" for every registered charitable congregation or place of worship in a given community by means of data filed by those charities with the Canada Revenue Agency in a form called the T3010. The closest comparison to the "Direct Spending" category in the Halo Report is the "Total Expenditures - 5100" column in the T3010. Again, to be more conservative, the "Total Revenues - 4700" column is used at it tends to be comparable to the 5100 column but is slightly less.

The Halo Calculator only counts a certain subset of registered charities.

The Halo Calculator data includes only Registered Charities designated as “Churches and Other Places of Worship”.

Based on T3010 data, the Calculator refers only to Designation “C” Charitable organizations, which excludes public or private foundations.

Further, the Calculator queries only charities with category codes 30-62 including Churches and Other Places of Worship. Notably, the Calculator thus does not include:

  • • Education in its various forms
  • • Health, welfare, charitable trusts, or corporations
  • • Libraries, museums, or community charitable corporations

The codes 30-62 refer to the following charitable types, each included in the Halo Calculator:

30 Anglican Parishes
31 Baptist Congregations
32 Lutheran Congregations
33 Baha’ is Religious Groups
34 Mennonite Congregations
35 Buddhist Religious Groups
Show More ›

Again, the Halo Calculator is an estimating tool only. Further exploration of these data could include querying the ‘halo effect’ of community organizations other than Churches and Places of Worship.

The Halo Calculator data are vetted but come with caveats.

McMaster University vetted the T3010 (2013) data via their Public Economic Data Analysis Lab (PEDAL). This data verification does not imply endorsement of the way in which the Halo Calculator is being used to generate a Halo Effect value.

There are approximately 5,000 unique Canadian communities identified in the T3010 data. Community names in the Calculator data are as submitted by charities including their location address information provided on their T3010 form. If a smaller community does not appear in the Calculator, it is likely that the community has been aggregated with its larger municipality.

Lastly, T3010 data, while required by law, is entered by the respective charities themselves. Thus, variances across the data do occur. This sometimes includes place name spelling errors. These and other errors have been corrected where possible.

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