The Boundless School

97 Kendal Avenue
TORONTO, ON M5R 1L8
Executive Director: Steven Gottlieb
Board President: Tom Robson

Website: www.theboundlessschool.com
Charitable Reg. #: 12422 5855 RR0001
Sector: Social Services - At-Risk Youth
Operating Charity

Charity Rating

[Charity Rating: 4/4]

Results Reporting

Grade: A

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

Cents to the Cause

95¢
75¢
avg
65¢
50¢
2017 2018 2019
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Impact Rating: Good

Full-time staff #28

Avg. Compensation $39,555

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 0
$120k - $160k 1
$80k - $120k 2
$40k - $80k 6
< $40k 1
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2019

About The Boundless School:

The Boundless School was founded as an outdoor adventure centre in 1984, working with at-risk youth. Since becoming a charity in 1989, The Boundless School has worked to motivate 20,000 students to succeed academically, physically, and socially. The charity can award high school credits, allowing teens to achieve academic success in an “exquisite” non-traditional learning environment. Boundless has two buildings on 600 acres of land in Palmer Rapids, Ontario. The property includes 3,000 feet of Madawaska River shoreline.

In F2018, The Boundless School worked with 271 high schoolers from low-income families who were not on pace to graduate on time. Of these students, 87% had experienced long-term school interruptions and 96% struggled with diagnosed mental illness or learning challenges.

Boundless Live-In School (BLISS) operates between September and March. Students participate in one or more 20-day (1.5 credits), 40-day (3.0 credits), and 50-day (4.0 credits) sessions, working to earn the 30.0 credits needed to graduate high school. The sessions cost $250 per day but students referred by social agencies participate for free. In F2018, 90 BLISS participants earned 322 high school credits in math, English, history, science, art, and electives such as writer’s craft and outdoor education.  

During the summer, Boundless runs 13-day sessions where teens can earn a credit in outdoor education, leadership, healthy active living, English, or philosophy. This program costs $2,600 per session or $9,000 for three 13-day sessions to earn 4.0 credits. In F2018, there were 156 students who earned credits through summer programs. Sessions involve instruction and assignments but also incorporate camping, high ropes, crafts, music, hiking, and whitewater rafting.

In May of 2017, Boundless began construction on Wolf House that was estimated for completion in early 2018.  The house was designed to include 6,500 square feet of classrooms and sleeping quarters. During F2017 and F2018, Boundless spent a combined $3.0 million on buildings and capital projects. These capital projects were completed as part of a three-year plan to increase the services offered by 50%. 

Results and Impact:

Charity Intelligence has evaluated The Boundless School and found the charity to have good impact per dollar (see diagram in lower right). 

Compared with their public school marks, the grades of students in BLISS improved an average of 31% in English, 26% in math, 38% in history, and 22% in science. In F2018, 49 students earned their final high school credit at Boundless. Of the remaining, 88% have returned to mainstream school full time.

The charity has started a three-year research project that will assess the long term impact of BLISS programming on participants' future employment and academic, social, and mental well-being. 

Financial Review:

The Boundless School is considered a small charity, with donations of $907k in F2019. The charity received $661k (25% of revenues) in government funding and $1.1m (40% of revenues) in fees from participants. Its financial statements and CRA filings do not explicitly disclose administrative costs. Using the itemized costing on the charity’s financial statements, Ci estimates administration as at least 3% of revenues. Fundraising costs are 7% of donations. For every $1 donated, 90 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Boundless has $1.3m in funding reserves which could cover program costs for seven months. 

This charity report is an update that has been sent to The Boundless School for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Results reporting and profile updated on August 16, 2018. Financial review updated on July 11, 2019 by Madison Kerr. 

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
201920182017
Administrative costs as % of revenues 2.9%3.4%3.9%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 7.0%6.3%5.9%
Program cost coverage (%) 61.3%50.7%50.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
201920182017
Donations 907,120695,622694,934
Government funding 660,774641,399626,104
Fees for service 1,072,112841,192936,954
Investment income 11,44910,08639,602
Other income 1,70900
Total revenues 2,653,1642,197,6512,299,859
Program costs 2,154,6051,890,3811,754,053
Administrative costs 75,30073,74387,077
Fundraising costs 63,50044,00041,177
Other costs 1641,4172,127
Cash flow from operations 359,595188,110415,425
Funding reserves 1,320,836958,473888,068
Note: Ci has adjusted for deferred revenue from capital contributions and Ministry of Children and Youth Services, affecting revenues by ($33k) in F2019, ($22k) in F2018, and ($9k) in F2017. Administrative costs may be understated as Ci cannot accurately allocate expenses with the provided information, of note is no allocation of salary or employee benefits. Fundraising costs are as reported on the charity’s T3010 filing and have been removed from program costs.

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