Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

3228 South Service Road, Suite 113E
Burlington, ON L7N 3H8
President & CEO: W. Matthew Chater
Board Chair: Paul Byron

Charitable Reg. #:11880 8740 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) 84 cents are available for programs.

My anchor


About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada:

Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada is a 3-star charity with fair demonstrated impact. It is financially transparent, has overhead spending within Ci's reasonable range, and has average reporting of its results for donors. 

Founded in 1964, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBS) connects volunteer mentors with Canadian youth. BBBS works with kids who face barriers such as poor living conditions, family violence, mental health issues, difficulties in school, or identity challenges. Through mentorship, BBBS aims to reduce and avoid these risks to improve a child's chance of success. The charity states that it impacted over 41,000 youth across Canada in F2021.

BBBS acts as the glue of a network of local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies, providing accreditation, national standards, policies, and a database for agency members. BBBS of Canada assists 102 local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies, serving over 1,100 Canadian communities. BBBS collects fees from these agencies and assists them in running programs. BBBS also distributes grants to its agencies, awarding $3.6m in F2021. 

Through its agencies, BBBS runs one-to-one mentoring programs. Caseworkers match kids with volunteer mentors based on common interests. Mentors and mentees meet at least twice a month for a minimum of one year. One-to-one mentoring is also offered in schools where volunteers spend an hour each week reading, playing board games, or doing crafts with students.

BBBS also offers two group programs: Go Girls! and Game On!, which teach teenagers about healthy lifestyles and promote physical activity, balanced eating, self-esteem, positive communication, and emotional health. Go Girls! is a 7–10-week program for girls aged 12-14, with sessions lasting 90 to 120 minutes. Game On! is a seven-session program for boys, with each session lasting 75 minutes.

My anchor

Results and Impact

In 2013, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) completed a pro-bono study that evaluated the impact of BBBS's one-to-one mentoring program. The study compared adults who participated in one-to-one programs when they were kids to those who did not. BCG found that every $1 invested in the program generates a $23 return to society. BCG also found that past mentees are 17% more likely to be employed and earn 13% more, leading to a $315,000 increase in earnings over their lifetime.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada reports that 70% of its mentees who had regular contact with mentors during the pandemic reported feeling less worried or anxious compared to non-mentored youth.

While Charity Intelligence highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada’s results and impact.

Charity Intelligence gave Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada an impact rating of Fair for demonstrated social impact per dollar spent.

Impact Rating: Fair

My anchor


In F2021, Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada had total donations of $2.8m. The charity also received $5.2m in government funding, representing 59% of total revenues. Administrative costs are 7% of revenues (less investment income), and fundraising costs are 9% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 16%. For every dollar donated, 84 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci's reasonable range for overhead spending.

BBBS has $6.0m in funding reserves, which could cover 78% or nine months of annual program costs.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada had a separate foundation. This foundation did not have material assets and Ci's analysis has not consolidated it with Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada in this review. The separate foundation was wound up in July 2022. 

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada for review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 22, 2022, by Sydney Olexa.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 7.3%6.4%8.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 8.9%6.0%5.8%
Total overhead spending 16.2%12.5%14.4%
Program cost coverage (%) 78.1%44.5%45.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 2,7952,5122,721
Government funding 5,1745,1072,886
Fees for service 842830986
Investment income 181110
Total revenues 8,8298,4506,702
Program costs 4,0714,5293,372
Grants 3,5872,7392,420
Administrative costs 639543567
Fundraising costs 250151158
Total spending 8,5477,9636,517
Cash flow from operations 283486185
Capital spending 3218
Funding reserves 5,9813,2362,645

Note: Ci reported unrealized gains (loss) on investments as revenues rather than expenses, affecting total revenues and expenses by $nil in F2021, $nil in F2020, and $62k in F2019.  

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 27

Avg. compensation: $82,941

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

My anchor

Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 905-639-0461


Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Our website posts free reports on more than 800 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 500,000 Canadians use our website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.6 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.


Be Informed. Give Intelligently. Have Impact


Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001