Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

250 Dundas Street West, Suite 500
Toronto, ON M5T 2Z5
President & CEO: Yves Savoie
Board Chair: Valerie Hussey

Charitable Reg. #: 10774 6174 RR0001
Sector: Health
Operating Charity

Donor Accountability

Grade: B

The grade is based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.

Financial Transparency

Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity's website [ Audited financial statement for most recent year ]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Full-time staff #310

Avg. Compensation $58,592

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 1
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 3
$160k - $200k 3
$120k - $160k 3
$80k - $120k 0
$40k - $80k 0
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2013

About Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada:

Founded in 1948, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada (MS Society of Canada) aims to “be a leader in finding a cure for multiple sclerosis and enable people affected by MS to enhance their quality of life.” MS Society of Canada reports that Canada has the highest incidence of MS in the world, estimating that 100,000 Canadians suffer from the disease. MS can affect vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility. To date, there is no known cure.

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada offers supports and services to people with multiple sclerosis and their families. These services include information and referrals, counseling, self-help groups, recreational programs and financial assistance.

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada also fund MS research, with 39% of its grants directed to progression and therapies, 26% directed to nerve damage and repair, 21% directed to cause and risk factors, and 14% directed to symptom management and quality of life. In F2015, MS Society of Canada had 51 active research grants in 21 research institutes, including 19 new research grants. In F2015, studies funded by the MS Society of Canada discovered new targets for protecting against nerve damage and disability. Further, it identified new targets for preventing the invasion of harmful immune cells into the brain. Finally, it revealed how MS and physical activity are related in children. In F2015, it also funded 18 postdoctoral fellows, 35 doctoral and master’s students, and 46 students in its education and training programs.

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada also engages in advocacy at all levels of government. In F2015, 15,000 messages were sent to federal election candidates through the TeamFight hashtag on social media.

Financial Review:

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is a Major 100 charity, with donations and special events revenues of $51.8m in F2015. A large portion of its revenues are generated through community-based fundraising events, dinners, tournaments and third party events. Its special events fundraising are 50% of revenues, at $27.8m in F2015. The charity’s administrative costs are 8% of revenues and its fundraising costs are 43% of donations. For every $1 donated to the charity, 50 cents is put towards its programs, falling outside of Ci’s reasonable range. MS Society of Canada’s research grants make up only 15% of its total program spending.  The charity’s funding reserves of $17.7m include $574k in donor-endowed funds. This results in a program cost coverage ratio, excluding donor-endowed funds, of 62%. This means that it can fund 7.4 months of its annual programs using its existing reserves.

This charity report is an update that is being reviewed by Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 15, 2016 by Lynn Tay.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 7.6%6.4%7.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 42.7%42.3%43.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 63.9%68.9%67.9%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 23,96825,50123,837
Government funding 1,1591,2201,348
Fees for service 345773
Lotteries (net) 1,2761,1021,220
Business activities (net) 122116117
Special events 27,79427,85228,937
Investment income 493615615
Other income 233241253
Total revenues 55,07956,70456,400
Program costs 19,79420,29322,000
Grants 7,8349,4968,448
Administrative costs 4,1483,6124,234
Fundraising costs 22,11722,55622,780
Cash flow from operations 1,186747(1,062)
Funding reserves 17,65220,53520,672
Note: Ci has adjusted cost of goods sold and gaming expenses affecting revenues by ($383k) in F2015, by ($410k) in F2014, and by ($407k) in F2013. Ci has adjusted cost of goods sold, gaming expenses, amortization and changes in research grants payable affecting expenses by ($1.3m) in F2015, by ($1.2m) in F2014, and by ($820k) in F2013.

Comments added by the Charity:

[Charity Intelligence note: The charity has been asked to provide an updated comment.]

Since 1948, the MS Society of Canada has consistently transformed donor contributions into concrete services and research accomplishments that have helped tens of thousands of people with MS live better days.

The MS Society has been able to do this for two reasons: extraordinary community support of our mission and astute stewardship of donor dollars by volunteers.

The MS Society is a national charity led by volunteers who believe wholeheartedly in what we do and how we do it. We have over a million donors annually supporting our work and we receive only two per cent of our revenue from government funding.  This is unlike the majority of charities in the health sector where the percentage of revenue from the government is 70 per cent according to Statistics Canada. In addition, we receive less than one percent of our funding from pharmaceutical companies.

The costs associated with our fundraising activities are strictly monitored and, year-over- year, result in our ability to provide millions of dollars to leading-edge research and provide services for people affected by MS.

Like any other charity that raises funds on its own, our fundraising costs are a reality. Without implementing dynamic and assertive fundraising programs, the MS Society would simply not achieve its mission. We strive to achieve a balance of containing costs without taking resources away from our communities.

Our reporting policies are transparent and responsible, and adherent to all government and industry standards. We report fundraising costs as fundraising costs.  Our audited financial statements are made available to all supporters and the public every year.

Donors should feel confident that the MS Society of Canada is a careful steward of every donor dollar. Please visit our website for more information on donating with confidence to the MS Society of Canada.

For more information:

Lindsay Gulin, Specialist, Media Relations

1-800-268-7582 ext. 3245

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