Amnesty International - Canadian Section

312 Laurier Ave E.
Ottawa, ON K1N 1H9
CEO: Kassandra Churcher
Board Chair: Mohamed Huque

Charitable Reg. #:11878 5914 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 3/5]



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) 60 cents are available for programs.

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About Amnesty International - Canadian Section:

Amnesty International Canada is a 3-star charity. It is financially transparent and has a below average results reporting grade. Its overhead costs are outside of Ci's reasonable range. This is largely due to its high fundraising costs. With its current reserves, the charity can cover nine months of annual program costs.

Founded in 1974, Amnesty International Canada (AIC) is the Canadian arm of Amnesty International (AI), a global movement of over 10 million people in 150 countries working to protect and promote human rights. Its mission is to research and prevent or end significant abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.

AIC has approximately 90 support groups and Action Circles across Canada that participate in national campaigns and write letters on behalf of people who are facing human rights violations. To work towards its mission, the charity diverts funds to AI's international programming and runs three of its own programs: Action Strategies, Grassroots Activism in Canada, and Communications and Marketing.

AIC spent $5.3m on International Projects in F2022 (58% of total program spending). Typical projects funded include research missions, investigations and reports, worldwide campaigns, and work with international bodies like the United Nations. AIC states that AI sends around 130 research teams to 70 countries to investigate human rights violations annually. 

Communications and Marketing (17%) works towards educating the public on human rights violations through channels such as social media or published reports. In F2022, AIC started a new podcast titled Rights Back at You, which specifically discusses anti-Black racism.

Action Strategies (13%) supports AIC's response to crises and its Urgent Action Network. AIC mobilizes letters of appeal written on behalf of individuals in immediate danger whose human rights are being violated. Its biggest letter writing event is Write for Rights. In 2022, the Global Write for Rights campaign had 5,320,261 actions for 13 individuals. Canadians held 130 in person and virtual events for Write for Rights.

AIC’s Grassroots Activism (13%) provides support and materials to the greater Amnesty network that is working on issues (e.g., Indigenous peoples), or with groups (e.g., human rights defenders).

In F2019, a review of Amnesty International's workplace culture was conducted following the death by suicide of two of its employees. This review characterized AI's workplace culture as “toxic,” with prevalent bullying, public humiliation, sexism, and other abuses of power. AI's response can be found here. Following this report, Amnesty International's Secretary-General, Kumi Naidoo, resigned. In 2021, another review of AI found it had a culture of white privilege, with incidents of overt racism.

In July 2021 Amnesty International Canada commissioned an equity and diversity review of its workplace environment and practices after many incidents reported by employees. The reviewers found that there is a “prevalence of systemic racism and other forms of oppression” within AIC. In November 2021, AIC added an Equity, People and Culture Director to its staff.

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Results and Impact

Amnesty International Canada contributes to AI's efforts in sending letters of appeal to release unfairly detained individuals.

As of June 2023, only one of the individuals featured in the 2022 Write for Rights campaign was released. Chow Hang-Tung is a human rights lawyer in Hong Kong who was accused of inciting others to join an unauthorized assembly. Around 479,279 actions were collected for her case in 2022. Chow won the appeal against her conviction in December 2022.

In February 2023, Yasaman Aryani and her mother, Monireh Arabshah were released from prison in Iran. They were imprisoned in 2019 for protesting against forced veiling. Yasaman Aryani was one of the individuals selected for the 2019 Write for Rights campaign. Her case was the second case ever to receive over one million actions in Write for Rights’ history.

In October 2021, Amnesty International Canada and Human Rights Watch launched the joint campaign #WelcometoCanada. The aim of the campaign is to end immigration detention on Canada’s border. In July 2022, British Columbia was the first province to commit to ending immigration detention in their provinces. As of June 2023, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and New Brunswick also announced that they will terminate the immigration detention contract with the Canadian Border Services Agency.  

Charity Intelligence highlights these key results. They may not be a complete representation of Amnesty International (Canada)'s results. This charity is not yet rated for impact (n/r).

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Amnesty International Canada received $17.1m in donations and special events revenue in 2022. AIC's administrative costs are 12% of revenues and its fundraising costs are 28% of donations. This results in a total overhead spending of 40%. For every dollar donated, 60 cents go to the cause. This is outside of Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending and has been for every year of Ci’s analysis of AIC. This is primarily due to the charity’s consistently high fundraising costs.

AIC has $7.0m in reserve funds. This is a 120% increase from F2020 where the reserve funds were $3.2m. Reserve funds are the charity’s cash and investments. The current funding reserves can cover nine months of annual program costs at the 2022 level.

AIC uses external fundraisers as part of its fundraising activities. The charity reports paying $3.0m for external fundraisers to raise $3.6m in F2021, equating to a cost of $0.83 to raise a dollar. This 83% cost is consistent over the last three years. Donors wanting to avoid these high fundraising costs should donate directly to Amnesty International rather than through external fundraisers.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Amnesty International Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 27, 2023 by Alessandra Castino.


Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 11.6%9.0%10.1%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 28.3%31.3%34.3%
Total overhead spending 39.8%40.2%44.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 71.7%57.4%40.0%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 17,08217,51514,460
Special events 140
Investment income 291817
Other income 905325
Total revenues 17,20317,59114,501
Program costs - International 5,2684,8824,052
Program costs - Canada 4,5224,4513,905
Administrative costs 1,9891,5731,456
Fundraising costs 4,8265,4784,958
Total spending 16,60516,38414,370
Cash flow from operations 5971,206131
Capital spending 1038642
Funding reserves 7,0155,3533,182

Note: Ci has reported donation revenues gross of fundraising expenses and reported the fundraising expenses in fundraising costs, increasing revenues and expenses by $4.9m in F2022, $5.5m in F2021 and $5.0m in F2020. Ci has then backed out amortization from program costs, administrative, and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis. International program costs have been backed out of Canadian program costs. The charity's F2022 T3010 filing is not yet available on the CRA's charity directorate website. As such, compensation information and details on amounts collected by and paid to external fundraisers reflects F2021.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 44

Avg. compensation: $96,890

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

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Charity Contact

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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001