Canadian Cancer Society

Suite 300 - 55 St Clair Avenue West
Toronto, ON M4V 2Y7
CEO: Andrea Seale
Board Co-Chair: Christopher Wein & 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) 66 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.

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.

Support Programs represented 52% of program spending in F2022. The charity supports people affected by cancer through online resources, telephone counselling, transportation and accommodation, free wigs and prosthetics, and other services. In F2021, Canadian Cancer Society responded to over 44,000 phone calls, emails, and live chat questions from people seeking cancer information, resources and assistance through its Cancer Information Helpline. Additionally, the charity distributed 670 wigs online and led nine webinars on cancer and covid-19. CCS reports that it helped nearly 5,000 people get to and from cancer-related medical appointments in F2021.

Research accounted for 45% of program spending in F2022. The charity reports that it co-funded seven Cancer Survivorship Team Grants. In F2021, the charity invested $11m in more than 150 clinical trials. Additionally, CCS's most recent research impact report states that it supported 216 grants, including 64 new grants in F2020. 

Advocacy represented the final 3% of program spending in F2022. CCS lobbies for better laws to reduce cancer rates, especially tobacco restrictions, sun tanning beds, asbestos restrictions, and better benefits.

In January 2022, construction finished on Canadian Cancer Society's new 70,000 square foot Centre of Excellence in Vancouver, BC. The vision is for this to be a national hub of cancer research and prevention and support services. Canadian Cancer Society has spent $32 million since 2018 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 has not yet posted its 2022 annual report at the time of this update. These results refer to information published in 2021 and 2020.

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 two main types of brain cancers, allowing for quicker and more appropriate treatment decisions. 

CCS reports its advocacy work led to 51 policy wins throughout Canada in F2021.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Canadian Cancer Society’s results and impact. 

Charity Intelligence has not done impact measurement on Canadian health charities at this time. Canadian Cancer Society is not yet rated on impact which shows as not rated (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 $122.7m in F2022. It also received $24.1m in government funding, representing 15% of total revenues. Administrative costs are 6% of revenues (less investment income), and fundraising costs are 28% of donations. This is a significant decrease from F2021, where fundraising costs were 38% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 34%. For every dollar donated, 66 cents go to the cause. This falls within Ci's range for overhead spending.

Canadian Cancer Society has $179.7m in funding reserves net, of which $9.7m is donor endowed. Funding reserves include CCS's cash and investments, net of debts and unfunded pension liabilities ($66.1m in cash, $121.1m in investments, $0.4m in debt and $7.0m in unfunded pension plan). Charity Intelligence has not deducted $23.0m in other unfunded non-pension retirement benefits. Excluding $9.7m of donor-endowed funds, Canadian Cancer Society funding reserves cover 186% or one year and ten months of annual program costs.

CCS has committed $74.5m (41% of its funding reserves) to fund cancer research over the next five years: $28.9m in F2023, $22.9m in F2024, $9.6m in F2025, $8.6m in F2026, and $4.5m in F2027. 

In F2022, the charity paid external fundraisers $646k to raise $6.3m in donations. It cost Canadian Cancer Society 10 cents to raise a dollar through external fundraisers.

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. 

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 11, 2022 by Ann Lei. Revised on August 27, 2022 following discussion with CCS management by Kate Bahen.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending January
Administrative costs as % of revenues 5.5%7.1%7.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 28.3%37.8%32.1%
Total overhead spending 33.7%44.8%39.4%
Program cost coverage (%) 185.8%170.9%133.4%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 122,663108,843178,857
Government funding 24,12533,01312,404
Lotteries (net) 3,7522,9723,351
Investment income 5,2096,83510,675
Other income 2,9512,4835,874
Total revenues 158,700154,146211,161
Program costs 51,75852,14563,242
Grants 40,24934,76245,710
Administrative costs 8,37510,40214,669
Fundraising costs 34,68841,12357,464
Total spending 135,070138,432181,085
Cash flow from operations 23,63015,71430,076
Capital spending 7,89815,7322,423
Funding reserves 179,739157,106153,895

Note: Ci included endowments in Canadian donations affecting revenue by $755k in F2022. Ci reports the net profit of lotteries (ticket sales less prizes and costs), decreasing revenues and expenses by $7.5m in F2022, $6.2m in F2021, and $7.1m in F2020. Ci adjusted for deferred contributions affecting revenues by ($6.5m) in F2022, $590k in F2021, and $14.4m in F2020. Ci adjusted for the change in research grants payable affecting expenses by ($4.1m) in F2022, ($12.0m) in F2021, and ($5.3m) in F2020. Amortization costs were removed from administrative, fundraising and program costs on a pro-rata basis.   

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 650

Avg. compensation: $68,827

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 F2022

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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



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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001