Simon Fraser University

515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3
President: Joy Johnson
Board Chair: Angie Hall

Charitable Reg. #:11852 0725 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 5/5]



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) 83 cents are available for programs.

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About Simon Fraser University:

Simon Fraser University is a top-rated five-star charity and one of Canada's largest charities by donations. As with most large universities, it is financially transparent and has a high results reporting grade. The charity does not have large funding reserves and can cover less than a year of program costs.

Founded in 1965, Simon Fraser University (SFU) is a public research university in British Columbia. SFU has three main campuses: a Vancouver campus, a Surrey Campus, and a Burnaby campus. Its Vancouver campus has nine facilities and is the city’s largest downtown university prescence. The university’s main charitable programs are Academics, Research, and Facilities.

A Charity Intelligence 2023 Top 100 Rated Charity

In fall of 2021, Simon Fraser University had 30,398 students enrolled. This included 25,595 undergraduate students and 4,803 graduate students. It reports that 5,288 undergraduate students and 1,600 graduate students are from outside of Canada. SFU has eight faculties that offer a total of 193 undergraduate degree programs and 144 graduate degree programs.

SFU reports that it had 1,022 faculty members in F2021, including 415 international faculty members. The charity has over 61 research centres and institutes, and over 280 international research partners across 25 different countries. The university reports that it has 3,100 international jointly authored publications. In F2021, its facilities department completed over 25,000 service and project requests. It also completed the construction of a new 110,750 square-foot student union building.

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Results and Impact

In 2020, Simon Fraser University awarded 5,269 Bachelor’s degrees, 1,213 Master’s degrees, 640 undergraduate certificates, 281 graduate diplomas, and 185 doctorates. In 2021, Maclean’s ranked SFU as the top comprehensive university in Canada.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Simon Fraser University’s results and impact.

This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

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Simon Fraser University is a Major 100 charity, one of Canada’s largest charities in terms of donations. In F2021, it received $72.1m in Canadian donations. It also received $305.9m in student fees (33% of total revenue) and $354.8m in government funding (38% of total revenue). In F2021, the university earned $126.0m in investment income (14% of total revenue), which represents a 14% annual return. Its average annual investment return since F2014 is 6%. The average annual investment return of the S&P 500 from 2014 to 2021 is around 13%. Investments in private equity, multi-strategy funds, real estate, and mortgages comprise 5% of SFU’s portfolio. The university has an interest rate swap agreement with the province of British Columbia that has a fair value of $17.6m.

SFU’s administrative costs are 9% of revenues excluding investment income. Fundraising costs are 9% of Canadian donations. This results in total overhead spending of 17%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 83 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Simon Fraser University has $930.9m in net funding reserves ($1.1 billion in liquid assets less $190.9m in interest-bearing debts). Its liquid assets also include $392.9m in donor-endowed funds. SFU’s net funding reserves, excluding donor-endowed funds, can cover annual program costs for around 11 months.

­­This charity report is an update that has been sent to Simon Fraser University for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 30th, 2022 by Arjun Kapur.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 8.9%6.8%6.8%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 8.5%7.6%7.4%
Total overhead spending 17.3%14.4%14.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 89.9%68.0%81.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 72,05576,96765,805
Government funding 354,777320,874323,541
Fees for service 305,905292,879276,841
Business activities (net) 11,00335,34435,363
Investment income 125,9996,57855,304
Other income 51,92753,90949,245
Total revenues 921,666786,551806,099
Program costs - International 5741,4271,081
Program costs - Canada 617,147615,395590,332
Administrative costs 70,56652,78851,304
Fundraising costs 6,0955,8554,852
Other costs 9,1529,1579,413
Total spending 703,535684,621656,982
Cash flow from operations 218,131101,930149,117
Capital spending 176,338172,668159,835
Funding reserves 930,873786,998829,147

Note: Ci excluded amortization of deferred capital contributions from revenue and included deferred capital contributions in revenue. This affected revenues by $4.7m in F2021, $20.7m in F2020, and $38.2m in F2019. Ci reported sales of goods and services net of costs, affecting revenues and expenses by ($2.1m) in F2021, ($4.8m) in F2020, and ($6.4m) in F2019. Ci included endowment investment income and equity gain from the SFU community trust in revenue, affecting revenues by $91.8m in F2021, ($23.7m) in F2020, and $24.3m in F2019. Ci removed amortization from program costs, administrative costs, and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis. Ci used the charity's T3010 filing with the CRA to report fundraising and administrative costs separately.   

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 4,708

Avg. compensation: $100,992

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

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Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 778-782-6930


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001