Canadian Cancer Society

Suite 300 - 55 St Clair Avenue West
Toronto, ON M4V 2Y7
CEO: Andrea Seale
Board Chair: Robert Lawrie

Charitable Reg. #:11882 9803 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



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) 55 cents are available for programs.

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About Canadian Cancer Society:

Founded in 1938, Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) aims to improve the lives of everyone affected by cancer. CCS believes it has had more impact against more cancers in more communities than any other cancer charity in Canada. Currently, nearly half of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, and one in four Canadians will die from cancer. It is estimated that more than 200,000 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer every year. CCS has three main focus areas: Support Programs, Research, and Advocacy.

Support Programs represented 50% of program spending in F2021. The programs provide practical support to people affected by cancer through online resources, telephone counselling, transportation and accommodation, free wigs and prosthetics, and other services. In F2020, Canadian Cancer Society provided 235,900 rides to and from cancer treatments for over 12,500 people. The charity also helped support 287,000 people through CancerConnections, an online peer support community. In F2020, 19.2 million people went to the charity’s website to learn more about cancer, an increase of over 14 million in F2019. To support youth, 600 kids attended Camp Goodtimes in BC, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick in F2020 to help families affected by cancer to relax and make new memories together.

Research grants of $46.8m represented 47% of program spending in F2021. The charity’s most recent F2020 Research Impact Report states that the charity invested $41.1m in 931 researchers across Canada. A further 3,064 people participated in CCS-funded clinical trials.

Advocacy represented the final 3% of program spending in F2021. CCS lobbies for better laws to reduce cancer rates, especially tobacco restrictions, sun tanning beds, asbestos restrictions, and better benefits.

Output data is from F2020 as the charity’s 2021 Annual Report was not available at the time of this profile update.

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Results and Impact

Canadian Cancer Society reports the improvements in cancer prevention, diagnoses, and treatment have helped the expected 5-year survival rate of cancer patients increase from 55% in the early 1990s to 63%. A CCS-funded study has developed a new test to distinguish between the 2 main types of brain cancers, allowing for quicker and more appropriate treatment decisions. 

CCS reports its advocacy work has lead to new national regulations for tobacco plain packaging. Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island have also introduced further smoke and e-cigarette legislations.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Canadian Cancer Society’s results and impact. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).  

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In F2021, CCS amalgamated with Prostate Cancer Canada. The F2021 financial information reflects the amalgamated entity. The F2020 financial information reflects the consolidated position of the two charities for comparison. As a result, F2019 figures are not comparable. 

CCS has donations of $108.3m in F2021. This is a 34% decrease from $165.5m in consolidated donations in F2020. The charity received $33m in government funding, representing 21% of total revenues. Administrative costs are 7% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 38% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 45%. For every dollar donated, 55 cents go to the cause. This is outside of Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. CCS has been outside of this range since Ci's first analysis in 2013.

Canadian Cancer Society has $169.8m in funding reserves, of which $9.4m is donor endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity could cover 163% or around one year and eight months of annual program costs with current reserves.

In F2020, the charity paid external fundraisers $1.5m to raise $9.6m in donations. In other words, it costs Canadian Cancer Society 15 cents to raise a dollar through external fundraisers.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Canadian Cancer Society for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming. 

Updated on August 23, 2021 by Brenleigh Jebb.  


Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending January
Administrative costs as % of revenues 7.1%7.9%3.9%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 38.0%34.9%35.5%
Total overhead spending 45.1%42.8%39.4%
Program cost coverage (%) 162.9%148.2%144.3%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 108,253164,503147,420
Government funding 33,01312,40411,818
Lotteries (net) 2,9723,3512,556
Investment income 6,83510,6753,392
Other income 2,4835,8745,941
Total revenues 153,556196,807171,127
Program costs 52,14563,24254,480
Grants 46,80150,99640,408
Administrative costs 10,40214,6696,450
Fundraising costs 41,12357,46452,367
Total spending 150,471186,371153,705
Cash flow from operations 3,08510,43617,422
Capital spending 15,7322,4232,705
Funding reserves 169,763169,328144,933

Note: Ci reports the net profit of lotteries (ticket sales less prizes and costs), decreasing revenues and expenses by $6.2m in F2021, $7.1m in F2020, and $7.0m in F2019.   

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 504

Avg. compensation: $111,541

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:

No comments have been added by the charity.  




Read more Charity Intelligence reports on Canadian Cancer Society

Teaching elephants to dance: Canadian Cancer Society cuts $67 million in costs, updated July 10, 2018

Setting the record straight - looking at CCS's fundraising costs relative to cancer research grants only tells half the story, July 10, 2018

Cancer in Canada, indepth report looking at cancer, identifying four under-funded cancers that take the highest toll on Canadians: colon, lung, pancreatic and stomach cancer, April 2011

To see the listing on other Canadian cancer charities



Charity Contact

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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001