Operation Eyesight Universal

Suite 205, 609 14th Street NW
Calgary, AB T2N 2A1
President & CEO: Kashinath Bhoosnurmath
Board Chair: Shaad Oosman

Charitable Reg. #:11906 8955 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 5/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



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



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 72 cents are available for programs.

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About Operation Eyesight Universal:

Operation Eyesight Universal is a top-rated five-star charity and a top 10 impact charity. It has a high results reporting grade and is financially transparent. The charity does not have high funding reserves and can cover less than two years of program costs. Its overhead costs are in the reasonable range.

Founded in 1963, Operation Eyesight Universal (Operation Eyesight) is a development organization that works to prevent blindness and restore sight. Operation Eyesight wants to eliminate avoidable blindness globally. It currently works in Liberia, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, and plans to expand to Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka. The charity reports that 1.1 billion people live with vision loss globally, that 90% of vision loss occurs in middle- and low-income countries, and that 90% of all vision loss is preventable or treatable. In F2021, Operation Eyesight spent $3.6m on its charitable programs.

A Charity Intelligence 2023 Top Impact Charity

Operation Eyesight starts working in an area by partnering with a local hospital and determining the best location in the region to offer services. It then builds vision centres to act as a link between hospitals and the community. Operation Eyesight vision centres offer eye examinations, eyeglasses, and referrals to hospitals. In F2021, it established 31 new vision centres. It also gave out 168,400 pairs of prescription eyeglasses.

After establishing vision centres, the charity recruits community health workers from local villages and trains them to identify eye conditions. Operation Eyesight trained 1,127 community health workers in F2021. Health workers conduct door-to-door surveys where they screen community members for eye conditions. They then organize screening camps where hospital workers can re-examine people who have been identified with eye conditions during the surveys. In F2021, the charity screened 1.68 million people for eye conditions. Operation Eyesight treats people with minor eye conditions at the screening camps and refers people with serious eye conditions to a hospital for surgery and further care.  After providing treatment and referrals for people, community health workers complete another round of surveys near the end of the project to ensure all treatable cases have been addressed.  Community health workers also educate families about eye health and other topics such as prenatal care, nutrition and hygiene. 


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Results and Impact

In F2021, Operation Eyesight Universal reports that 29 of the villages it worked in are now avoidable blindness-free. An avoidable blindness-free village is one where all treatable eye conditions have been treated successfully. Operation Eyesight reports that it conducted 168,776 eye surgeries during the year. In Kenya, the charity distributed antibiotics to more than 460,000 people to treat trachoma. To prevent infections that lead to blindness, Operation Eyesight provides clean water to poor communities. It rehabilitated 31 water boreholes in F2021.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Operation Eyesight Universal’s results and impact.

Charity Intelligence has rated Operation Eyesight as High impact based on demonstrated impact per dollar. 

A Charity Intelligence 2022 Top 10 Impact Charity

Impact Rating: High

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In F2021, Operation Eyesight Universal received $4.6m in Canadian donations. It also received $528k in international donations (10% of total revenue) and $236k in government funding (4% of total revenue) during the year. OEU earned $51k in investment income in F2021 (1% of total revenue).

Administrative costs are 7% of total revenue excluding investment income. Fundraising costs are 22% of Canadian donations. This results in total overhead spending of 28%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 72 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

Operation Eyesight Universal has $7.0m in net funding reserves which can cover annual program costs for around one year and 11 months.

Charity Intelligence has sent this update to Operation Eyesight Universal for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 7th, 2022 by Arjun Kapur.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.7%2.8%4.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 21.7%18.9%26.2%
Total overhead spending 28.3%21.7%30.6%
Program cost coverage (%) 192.5%136.0%159.9%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 4,5835,5134,543
International donations 5285621,190
Government funding 2363170
Investment income 514796
Total revenues 5,3976,4395,829
Program costs - International 3,6194,7203,771
Administrative costs 356180252
Fundraising costs 9921,0401,189
Total spending 4,9675,9405,212
Cash flow from operations 430499617
Capital spending 13919
Funding reserves 6,9686,4176,031

Note: Ci reported international donations from the charity’s T3010 filings with the CRA, and removed the amounts from Canadian donations. According to its financial notes, Operation Eyesight received government subsidies of $236k in F2021 and $317k  F2020, which it reported as a reduction of expenses. Ci reported the subsidies as government funding and added back the amount to program costs. Ci included advances on program costs in expenses to report on a cash basis. This affected expenses by ($35k) in F2021, ($47k) in F2020 and $72k in F2019. Ci removed amortization from program, administrative, and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 47

Avg. compensation: $32,206

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2021

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

Comments received from Operation Eyesight on a previous report:

We appreciate that evaluating a charity’s benefit to society and worthiness of philanthropic support can be a challenging task for donors.

Looking at overhead costs briefly is not truly a fulsome way to evaluate a charity. We encourage current and potential donors to understand that providing sight-saving care across eight countries (and counting) is a complex mission that requires infrastructure, oversight, evaluation, administration – and experienced, qualified staff.

Additional considerations include the fact that some portion of the administrative costs borne by charities relate to requirements under the Income Tax Act. In addition, there is vast variation among types of charities in Canada (large, small, urban, rural, etc.) with some working locally, others nationally and some, like Operation Eyesight, internationally. These are just a few of the many factors that affect overhead.

Financial control, transparency, and accountability and stakeholder communications cost money. Regular program evaluation and modification are essential in the pursuit of excellence in eye health care.

Charity Contact

Website: www.operationeyesight.com
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 403-283-6323


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001