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:

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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) 88 cents are available for programs.

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About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada:

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 and family violence, mental health issues, difficulties in school, or identity challenges. Unaddressed, these conditions can lead to poverty, crime, and mental illness. Through mentorship, BBBS aims to reduce and avoid these risks to improve a child's chance of success.

BBBS of Canada assists 102 local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies, serving over 1,100 Canadian communities. BBBS collects fees from these agencies and provides them with assistance in running programs. BBBS also distributes grants to its agencies, awarding $2.7m in F2020. 

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.

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Results and Impact

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.

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

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In F2020, Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada had total donations of $2.5m. The charity also received $5.1m in government funding, representing 60% of total revenues. Administrative costs are 6% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 6% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 12%. For every dollar donated, 88 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci's reasonable range for overhead spending. BBBS has $3.2m in funding reserves, which could cover 45% or five months of annual program costs.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada has a separate foundation that Ci has not consolidated in this review.

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 August 17, 2021 by Sydney Olexa.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.4%8.6%12.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 6.0%5.8%10.1%
Total overhead spending 12.5%14.4%22.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 44.5%45.7%21.9%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 2,5122,7211,559
Government funding 5,1072,8862,187
Fees for service 8309861,008
Investment income 1110(21)
Total revenues 8,4506,7024,732
Program costs 4,5293,3721,996
Grants 2,7392,4202,032
Administrative costs 543567584
Fundraising costs 151158157
Total spending 7,9636,5174,768
Cash flow from operations 486185(35)
Capital spending 21835
Funding reserves 3,2362,645881

Note: Ci reported unrealized gains (loss) on investments as revenues rather than expenses, affecting total revenues and expenses by $nil in F2020, $62k in F2019, and ($40k) in F2018.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 19

Avg. compensation: $114,544

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 F2020

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

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Charity Contact

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