Annual Report Disclosure of Top 10 USA Charities Research Paper by AcademicHelp

Presents complete original research to investigate the extent and quality of annual report disclosures of the top 10 USA charities.
# 151846 | 11,625 words | 34 sources | APA | 2012 | PK
Published on Oct 14, 2012 in Sociology (Social Work) , Business (Management) , Research Designs (General)

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This paper relates that public accountability through both tighter regulation from the government and improvement in the transparency between charity and their stakeholders is thought to be accomplished through a charity's annual report; however, a lack of consistency in the financial statements published by charities makes it difficult for users of accounts and regulators to understand the information. Next, the author explains that the research methodology uses a disclosure index that takes a balanced scorecard approach to measure the level of quality of information disclosed in the annual report by focusing on financial, customer, internal processes, learning and growth and mission. The paper concludes that the quality of the annual reporting disclosure for the 10 charities varies and that significant improvement is required in the areas of internal process and financial perspective. Tables are included in the paper.

Table of Contents:
Executive Summary
Research Background
Charitable Sector in the US
Research Objectives
Research Method
Scope and Limitation
Outline of Subsequent Chapters
Research Method
Research Methods
Disclosure Index from Past Study
The Updating of the Disclosure Index
Sample Selection
Chapter 3: Analysis & Discussion
Item-by-item results
Analysis of Specific Item Disclosure
Top 3 Highest Scoring Charities
Conclusion, Recommendations, Limitations and Further Research
Limitations and Recommendations for Further Research
Appendix: Disclosure Index Criteria (0-5 scale)
Appendix: Disclosure Index Criteria (Financial Statements)
Appendix: Disclosure Index Criteria (0-3 scale)
Appendix: Updated Disclosure Index
Appendix: Top 10 US Charities (
Appendix: Top 10 US Charities (Chronicle of Philanthropy 400)
Appendix: Top 10 US Charities (Charity Navigator)
Appendix: Top 10 US Charities (Modified List)
Appendix: Updated Disclosure Index

From the Paper:

"Wei, Davey & Coy (2006) used a BSC method to measure the quality of disclosure in the annual reports of museums based in the UK and New Zealand. According to Kaplan & Norton, (1996), a BSC is essentially a strategic measuring framework categorized in four elements - financial, customer, internal processes and learning and growth. Although BSC is commonly used in private sectors, the potential benefits of a public sector are considered to be even greater. Nevertheless, modification is required because the profit motive is not of primary importance for a public sector. Consequently, a new perspective 'Mission' is added in the category as the organisation's top level objective supported by the other four perspective. In addition to the benefits of using a BSC approach for this investigation, museums have similar traits to charities in that both organisations belong to the public sector at large and are accountable to a larger stakeholder group. Both museums and charities rely heavily on public donations and sponsors, and attract an audience who are interested in knowing where funds are allocated to. Due to these similarities, the researcher believes that it is suitable to adopt the method used in Wei, Davey & Coy (2006) to measure the disclosure quality of a charity's annual report.
"Detailed quality criteria were also established from prior literature. This study has adopted a scaling system from 0-5; a common system used by past researchers. The system provides a quantitative and qualitative measuring tool for disclosure in annual reports."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Adam, T. (2004). Philanthropy, patronage, and civil society : experiences from Germany, Great Britain, and North America. Bloomington, Indiana.
  • AmeriCares. (2010). Annual report 2010. Retrieved from: 147884-americaresweb.pdf
  • American Cancer Society. (2010). A defining moment: Annual report 2010. Retrieved from:
  • American Red Cross. (2010). Down the street, across the country, around the world: Annual report 2010. Retrieved from:
  • Beattie, V., & Jones, M. (1994). An empirical study of graphical format choices in charity annual reports. Financial Accountability & Management, 10(3), 1267-4424.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Annual Report Disclosure of Top 10 USA Charities (2012, October 14) Retrieved February 07, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Annual Report Disclosure of Top 10 USA Charities" 14 October 2012. Web. 07 February. 2023. <>