Canadian Cancer Society

Suite 300 - 55 St Clair Avenue West
Toronto, ON M4V 2Y7
CEO: Andrea Seale
Board Co-Chair: Christopher Wein and Shachi Kurl

Charitable Reg. #:11882 9803 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) 64 cents are available for programs.

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About Canadian Cancer Society:

Canadian Cancer Society is a 3-star rated charity and one of Canada's largest charities in terms of donations. The charity is financially transparent and has an above average results reporting grade. With its current reserves the charity can cover just under two years of annual program costs and grants. 

Founded in 1938, Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) aims to improve the lives of everyone affected by cancer. CCS funds cancer research, provides support and information for cancer patients, and advocates for policy change. Canadian Cancer Society amalgamated with Prostate Cancer Canada in 2020 and Breast Cancer Foundation in 2017. The charity reports that two in five Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, and one in four Canadians will die from cancer. CCS has three main focus areas: Support Programs, Research, and Advocacy. 

While the charity's F2023 financial statements were released at the time of this profile update, the charity had not yet released its F2023 annual report, thus the program information below comes from the F2022 annual report.

Support Programs represented 51% of program spending in F2023. The charity supports people affected by cancer through online resources, telephone counselling, transportation and accommodation, free wigs and prosthetics, and other services. In F2022, Canadian Cancer Society’s website had 16.8 million visitors. Its events were attended by over 95,000 people. CCS responded to over 34,000 phone calls, emails, and live chat questions from people seeking cancer information, resources and assistance through its Cancer Information Helpline.  Additionally, the charity helped over 9,500 people with quitting smoking or staying smoke free. CCS reports that it helped over 4,300 people get to and from cancer-related medical appointments in F2022. 

Research accounted for 46% of program spending in F2023. In F2022, the charity supported 11 clinical trials and 190 researchers. Additionally, CCS dispersed 224 grants to research teams around Canada. 

Advocacy represented the final 3% of program spending in F2023. CCS lobbies for better laws to reduce cancer rates, especially tobacco restrictions, sun tanning beds, asbestos restrictions, and better Society's new 70,000 square foot Centre for Cancer Prevention and Support in Vancouver, BC. The vision is for this to be a national hub of cancer research and prevention and support services. Nearly 300 people are involved in the Cancer Survivorship Research Network. Canadian Cancer Society has spent $28.2 million since 2020 building this new facility.  


Learn more: 

Charity Intelligence's report on fundraising costs in the cancer sector and Canadian Cancer Society's merger with Breast Cancer Foundation: $67 million in cost-cutting. July 2019 

Charity Intelligence's report Cancer in Canada 2011 

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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% in 2019. A CCS-funded study found that with a higher dose of high precision radiotherapy, more than twice as many patients with painful spinal tumors report a reduction in pain, compared to traditional treatments. 

CCS reports its advocacy work led to 29 policy changes throughout Canada in F2022. 

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

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CCS is a Major 100 charity, one of Canada's largest charities in terms of donations, with Canadian donations of $126.9m in F2023. It also received $17.9m in government funding, representing 12% of total revenues. Administrative costs are 6% of revenues (less investment income), and fundraising costs are 30% of donations.  This results in total overhead spending of 36%. For every dollar donated, 64 cents go to the cause. This falls just outside Ci's range for overhead spending. 

Canadian Cancer Society has $180.4 m in net reserve funds, of which $9.3m is donor endowed. Reserve funds include CCS's cash and investments, net of debts and unfunded pension liabilities ($41.2m in cash, $144.2m in investments, $0.6m in debt and $4.4m in unfunded pension plan). Charity Intelligence has not deducted $19.5m in other unfunded non-pension retirement benefits. Excluding $9.3m of donor-endowed funds, Canadian Cancer Society funding reserves cover 180% or one year and ten months of annual program costs. 

CCS has committed $77.2m (43% of its funding reserves) to fund cancer research over the next four years: $31.1m in F2024, $18.9m in F2025, $18.1m in F2026, and $9.0m in F2027.  

In F2022, the charity paid external fundraisers $808k to raise $6.3m in donations. It cost Canadian Cancer Society 13 cents to raise a dollar through external fundraisers. 

In F2021, CCS amalgamated with Prostate Cancer Canada. The F2021 financial information reflects the amalgamated entity.   

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

Updated on July 28, 2023 by Alessandra Castino.  

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending January
Administrative costs as % of revenues 5.5%5.5%7.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 30.1%28.3%37.6%
Total overhead spending 35.6%33.7%44.6%
Program cost coverage (%) 179.7%185.8%170.9%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 126,868122,663109,436
Government funding 17,89024,12533,013
Lotteries (net) 2,6983,7522,972
Investment income (442)5,2096,835
Other income 3,6672,9512,483
Total revenues 150,681158,700154,739
Program costs 57,39651,75852,145
Grants 38,26140,24934,762
Administrative costs 8,3268,37510,402
Fundraising costs 38,23734,68841,123
Total spending 142,220135,070138,432
Cash flow from operations 8,46123,63016,307
Capital spending 2,1897,89815,732
Funding reserves 180,362179,739157,106

Note: Ci included endowments in Canadian donations affecting revenue by ($171k) in F2023, $755k in F2022, and $593k in F2021. Ci reports the net profit of lotteries (ticket sales less prizes and costs), decreasing revenues and expenses by $7.6m in F2023, $7.5m in F2022, and $6.2m in F2021. Ci adjusted for deferred contributions affecting revenues by ($2.3m) in F2023, ($6.5m) in F2022, and $590k in F2021. Ci adjusted for the change in research grants payable affecting expenses by ($11.8m) in F2023, ($4.1m) in F2022, and ($12.0m) in F2021. Ci included unrealized loss (gains) in investment income, affecting total revenues by ($7.8m) in F2023 and $527k in F2022. Amortization costs were removed from administrative, fundraising and program costs on a pro-rata basis     

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 704

Avg. compensation: $69,898

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 F2023

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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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Tel: 1-888-939-3333


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001