TORONTO -- Canadians donated $17 billion to charity last year, but that generosity is expected to drop in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Charity Intelligence, a group that monitors how charities spend donations, said Canadians could give up to 37 per cent less this year.

The group said as donation dollars get more scare Canadians should try to target charities that offer the most bang for your giving buck.

"We believe that upwards of 40 per cent of giving is given to the wrong charities. We don't want donors to have their donations wasted," said Greg Thomson, Director of Research with Charity Intelligence.

The group says rather than point out bad charities, it wants to highlight good ones, like War Child that directs 93 per cent of donations into its programs.

Against Malaria Foundation Canada directs 100 per cent of donations into its initiatives. 

Depending on the charity, that can be hard to do, but a good one will try to achieve it.

“The definition of a good charity is a charity that’s able to take a dollar’s worth of donations and turn it into $3, $5 or even $10 sometimes in the clients that it works with,” said Thomson.

Street Health is a Toronto charity that helps people who are experiencing homeless, with mental health issues and substance abuse challenges. 

It was just recognized as one of the top five charities in Toronto as 94 per cent of every dollar it takes in goes directly to programs to help people. 

“We’re a pretty lean organization and most of the funding goes directly to client’s services. In that way you know if you’re going to give money to Street Health it's going directly to help clients," said Kapri Rabin, Executive Director of Street Health. 

You can also search the Charity Intelligence website to check ratings on the website, but some require a subscription to view. 

Even though some Canadians may have less to give this year, Rabin hopes those who can give will. 

“We are living in a very difficult time and everybody is trying to do what they can to support folks. Anything that people can do to support this community would be really appreciated it because they are really struggling," said Rabin.

For more information on Charity Intelligence, you can check out their website.