Foundation Fighting Blindness

890 Yonge St., 12th Floor
Toronto, ON M4W 3P4
President & CEO: Sharon M. Colle
Board Chair: Andrew Burke

Charitable Reg. #: 11912 9369 RR0001
Sector: Health
Operating Charity

Donor Accountability

Grade: A-

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

Full-time staff #18

Avg. Compensation $81,065

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 0
$120k - $160k 2
$80k - $120k 2
$40k - $80k 6
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2014

About Foundation Fighting Blindness:

The Foundation Fighting Blindness was founded in 1974 by a small group of families intent on finding a cure for the disease robbing their children of sight. At that time retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration and other retinal dystrophies were thought to be incurable. Undaunted, these families enlisted the support of Canadian medical scientists and set to work collecting money for vision research.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness has grown to become Canada's leading private supporter of retina research, having given around $28m to eye research taking place at universities and hospitals across the country, funding research to identify the causes of genetic forms of blindness. The Foundation partners with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as well as international collaborators in its effort to prevent blindness and restore sight.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness also works to raise awareness of blinding eye diseases and the work it does and delivers information to Canadians living with retinal degenerations, and their families through media, events, its website, and its educational conferences, Vision Quest, across the country. The charity funded 25 projects at hospitals and universities across Canada in 2014 and 43 ground-breaking studies funded by the charity were published in internationally renowned biomedical journals.

Financial Review:

Administrative costs are 13% of revenues and fundraising costs are 46% of donations and special event fundraising revenues. Funding reserves of $3.0m (including $1.0m in donor-endowed funds) cover annual program costs and grants 1.2 times (or 0.8 times excluding donor-endowed funds).

This charity report is an update that is being reviewed by the charity. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 26, 2015 by Rohan Bhargava

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 13.1%14.0%17.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 46.2%43.4%33.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 120.5%128.8%161.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 2,007,3131,968,1952,019,825
Special events 2,325,2892,368,9992,233,276
Investment income 124,495133,52289,787
Other income 1,01422,0000
Total revenues 4,458,1114,492,7164,342,888
Program costs 649,271573,973592,382
Grants 1,880,3141,935,8291,703,593
Administrative costs 565,718609,759722,995
Fundraising costs 2,000,8581,882,4491,402,577
Cash flow from operations (638,050)(509,294)(78,659)
Funding reserves 3,048,4203,233,4193,709,063
Note: Ci adjusted revenues for unrealized investment gains, reducing revenues by $109k in F2014, $60k in F2013 and $59k in F2012.

Comments added by the Charity:

Thanks to the generous support of donors and partners, the Foundation Fighting Blindness has grown by almost 30% since 2008. We work very hard to put as much of your donations to our mission programs as possible; we monitor our expenses  very closely. Unlike charities that receive government funding, we rely on events that bring our community and donors together to fund education and sight-saving research. Close to 60% of fundraising dollars are from events, which are more costly to hold. Our goal is to continue to lower expenses and at the same time diversify our fundraising sources so that we can keep putting more of your money to work. To achieve this, we need your continued support. Please visit for more information.

The Program Cost Coverage ratio is intended to reflect  the amount of funds that can be used to cover expenses. The Foundation’s $1 million endowment  fund is restricted and cannot be used to cover expenses. Therefore, we would have preferred if it had been excluded from the Program Cost Coverage ratio calculations. Our adjusted Program Cost Coverage ratios are 144% for 2012, 120% for 2011, and 132% for 2010.


On December 5, 2011, the Foundation's Board of Directors approved an increased investment in research grants over 3 years totaling $750,000, by drawing on the reserve account. The objective of this change is to reduce the Program Cost Coverage ratio to approximately 100%. With this new commitment, the Foundation's investment in research increased by 35% in 2012 to a total of $1.85 million with an investment of over $2 million anticipated in 2013.


The Foundation works to maximize the impact of your donations by collaborating with government and non-profit agencies on sight-saving research projects. Considering the contributions of these partners, the Foundation generated $3.7 million of sight-saving research in 2012, nearly doubling our donor’s contributions.  For more information, please visit


In addition to funding research, the Foundation works to create awareness about eye diseases and provides information to help affected individuals cope with their eye conditions. Our total mission spending were $1.6 million in 2011 and almost $2.2 million in 2012.


Under our CEO’s 20 years of leadership, the Foundation has grown in its ability to fund sight-saving research. We have seen dramatic advances towards treatments and cures for blinding diseases. We are proud of our organization, of the accomplishments of our funded scientists, and of the donors and volunteers that have made it all possible.

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