David Suzuki Foundation

219-2211 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6K 4S2
Executive Director: Severn Cullis-Suzuki
Board Chair: Margot Young

Charitable Reg. #:12775 6716 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) 72 cents are available for programs.

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About David Suzuki Foundation:

David Suzuki Foundation is a 4-star charity that is financially transparent. It has an A- results reporting grade which is above average. For every dollar donated to this charity, 72 cents go towards the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

Founded in 1990, David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) works to conserve and protect the natural environment. DSF is based in Vancouver, with offices in Toronto and Montreal. The charity focuses its work on three main areas: climate solutions, thriving nature, and sustainable communities. While the charity provides a financial breakdown of its program spending in the audited financial statement, DSF does not breakdown its spending based on these three main areas.

David Suzuki Foundation’s climate solutions area supports change at federal and provincial levels to encourage climate action. A special report released by the UN concluded that we have 12 years left to stop carbon dioxide from reaching disastrous levels. DSF’s goal is to cut carbon pollution in half by 2030, and completely eliminate it by 2050, replacing it with 100% renewable energy. Some of the projects in this area include sustainable transportation, carbon pricing, and youth climate lawsuit.

David Suzuki Foundation’s thriving nature area focuses on respecting, protecting and restoring nature to sustain life. The UN estimates that 150 to 200 species become extinct daily. Canada has over 500 species at risk. DSF’s 2025 goal is for 20% of Canada’s land and ocean to be under formal protection. Some of the projects in this area include oceans, pollinators, pesticides, and the boreal forest. As of 2023, around 4,000 people have signed DSF’s pledge to take personal action to protect Salish Sea orcas and Chinook salmon, species at risk of extinction.

David Suzuki Foundation’s sustainable communities area focuses on increasing well-being and building resilient societies. DSF states that “if everyone on Earth lived the way we do in North America, we’d need 3.4 planets to sustain us”. DSF’s 2030 goal is to reduce our ecological footprint by a third, and live within Earth’s finite limits by 2050. Some of the projects in this area include environmental justice, well-being economies and nature-based solutions. DSF runs municipal climate solutions projects in 5 major cities across Canada: Regina, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Edmonton.


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Results and Impact

After a decade of DSF’s work, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act was updated in June to recognize everyone's right to a healthy environment. Now, the government must ensure environmental justice, consider health effects on vulnerable people, and review the control of toxic chemicals.

For the first time since 2020, DCF held the Building Power event. Supporters made it possible for people to meet in Quebec City, Toronto, and Vancouver to discuss fighting climate change together.

DSF attended the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15 in Montreal to help create a framework.  Negotiators decided on two important things: stopping species loss and recognizing the rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

In March 2023, DSF secured major renewable energy investments in the federal budget. In July, following DSF's efforts, Canada committed to ending inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

The world’s largest protected Greenbelt includes forests, wetlands, rivers, and agricultural land in Canada. Since 2021, DSF has been advocating to stop the construction of Highway 413 through this land, gaining over 50,000 petition signatures by 2023.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of David Suzuki Foundation’s results and impact.

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David Suzuki Foundation had total donations and special event revenue of $13.2m in F2023.  Administrative costs are 9% of revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 19% of donations. The David Suzuki Foundation spends 28% on overhead spending. This means that for every dollar donated, 72 cents go towards the charity’s programs. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

In F2023, DSF has $22.6m in total reserve funds, of which $8.9m is donor endowed. Excluding donor endowed funds, DSF could cover 1 year and two months of its annual program costs with reserves.

According to DSF’s annual filing with the Charities Directorate, DSF paid external fundraisers $392k in F2023. It does not report how much these external fundraisers raised.  

This charity report is an update that was sent for review to David Suzuki Foundation. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.  

Updated on May 30, 2024 by Alexia Tudose.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 9.2%8.8%6.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 19.1%17.1%16.5%
Total overhead spending 28.3%25.9%23.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 117.1%163.7%230.2%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 12,78712,74012,489
Government funding 20081
Special events 41729767
Investment income 1,436(1,300)1,278
Other income 778237
Total revenues 14,73711,55014,652
Program costs 12,1139,8217,782
Grants 4010961
Administrative costs 1,2221,127893
Fundraising costs 2,5252,1892,184
Total spending 15,89913,24610,921
Cash flow from operations (1,162)(1,695)3,732
Capital spending 696444
Funding reserves 22,58524,39326,254

Note: Ci reported realized and unrealized gains on endowment fund investments in investment income, affecting revenues by $724k in F2023, ($1.6m) in F2022, and $999k in F2021. Ci reported grants to qualified donees from the charity’s T3010 CRA filings and backed out the amounts from program costs. Ci backed out amortization of capital assets from program, administrative, and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis. Ci reported government donations from the charity’s T3010 CRA filings. In F2023, DSF reported a change in its accounting procedures related to program costs. Expenses were allocated and presented by program rather than by region, as in previous years, to better reflect charity work.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 94

Avg. compensation: $89,893

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.

Charity Contact

Website: www.davidsuzuki.org
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 604-732-4228


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001