David Suzuki Foundation

219-2211 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6K 4S2
CEO: Peter Robinson
Board Chair: James Hoggan

Website: www.davidsuzuki.org
Charitable Reg. #: 12775 6716 RR0001
Sector: Environment
Operating Charity

Donor Accountability

Grade: B+

The grade is based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.

Financial Transparency

Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity's website [ Audited financial statement for most recent year ]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Cents to The Cause

2014 2015 2016
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Full-time staff #80

Avg. Compensation $65,144

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 1
$160k - $200k 1
$120k - $160k 2
$80k - $120k 6
$40k - $80k 0
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2016

About David Suzuki Foundation:

Founded in 1990, David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) protects Canada’s nature and diversity by focusing on five key issues: climate change, health, oceans, wildlife and habitat, and freshwater. The Foundation’s head office – and founding location – is in Vancouver. DSF also has offices in Toronto and Montreal.

Communication, Education and Public Engagement is one of the David Suzuki Foundation’s major programs and accounted for 37% of program costs in 2016. DSF sees power in numbers. The charity believes that to improve Canada’s environmental position, the most effective strategy is social engagement: getting citizens informed across Canada.

Through its Science and Policy program, David Suzuki Foundation advocates for government policy changes that relate to one or more of the charity’s core issues. Science and Policy accounted for 16% of total program costs in 2016. One of the charity’s current focuses is on the impact of fossil fuels on the environment – climate change, poor air quality, and illnesses such as asthma. In November, the charity submitted an anti-coal letter on behalf of over 34,000 people to the Federal government – within a reported 2 hours, the government announced a plan to eliminate conventional coal-based electricity by 2030. The charity states that this plan will save a projected $5 billion in health care costs between 2016 and 2035. Combined with Alberta’s climate plan commitment, it will eliminate 8% of Canada’s carbon footprint. DSF also focuses on clean transportation as a means of addressing issues related to climate change such as traffic congestion and carbon emissions. In November 2016, the Federal government announced plans to spend $25.3 billion over the next 11 years to improve and expand public transit systems.

The charity's Blue Dot campaign started in 2014. It allows Canadians to call upon their government to increase protection of their rights to clean water and air, safe food and a stable climate. As of 2016, 146 communities have passed municipal Blue Dot environmental rights declarations. 

David Suzuki Foundation holds a strong advocacy and public awareness presence in 3 regions of Canada – Quebec and Atlantic Canada made up 17% of program costs in 2016, BC and Western Canada made up 16%, and Ontario and Northern Canada made up 13%. In Quebec, the charity launched a campaign with SNAP-Quebec to make marine-protected areas in the St. Lawrence River to protect beluga whales. In response to the campaign, the provincial government committed to protecting 10% of the St. Lawrence by 2020.

Financial Review:

David Suzuki Foundation is a big-cap charity with total donations and special events fundraising of $10.6m in F2016. Administrative costs are 17% of revenues and fundraising costs are 22% of donations. Per dollar donated to the charity, $0.62 goes towards its programs, which falls outside Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. David Suzuki Foundation holds funding reserves of $18.6m, including $9.3m in donor-endowed funds. Excluding endowments, the charity’s reserves can cover annual program costs for 1.8 years.

David Suzuki Foundation uses external fundraisers as part of its fundraising activities. In F2016, DSF reported paying $214k to external fundraisers. The charity did not report the revenue raised by the external fundraisers on behalf of the charity in its most recent T3010 CRA filing.

This charity report is an update that is currently being reviewed by David Suzuki Foundation. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 1, 2017 by Katie Khodawandi.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 16.5%13.1%13.9%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 21.7%21.9%21.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 329.4%244.9%259.3%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 9,9469,6779,401
Special events 6881,92018
Investment income 7691,1711,795
Other income 493258
Total revenues 11,45212,79911,272
Program costs 5,6506,8115,573
Administrative costs 1,7671,5231,313
Fundraising costs 2,3122,5381,992
Cash flow from operations 1,7231,9262,394
Funding reserves 18,61216,67714,450
Note: Ci reported restricted donations received during the year instead of restricted donations recognized, affecting revenues by $517k in F2016, $157k in F2015 and $624k in F2014. Ci did not report amortization of deferred contributions, decreasing revenues by $82k in F2015 and $128k in F2014. Ci reported endowment contributions in donations, increasing revenues by $210k in F2016. Ci reported realized and unrealized gains on endowment fund investments in investment income, increasing revenues by $389k in F2016, $762k in F2015 and $1.5m in F2014. Allocated administrative costs of $1.2m in F2016, $1.1m in F2015 and $922k in F2014 have been moved from program costs to administrative costs. Ci backed out amortization of capital assets from program, administrative and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis.

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