Fighting Blindness Canada

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

Charitable Reg. #:11912 9369 RR0001


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

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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) 54 cents are available for programs.

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About Fighting Blindness Canada:

Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC) was founded in 1974 as the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation of Canada. Renamed Foundation Fighting Blindness in 1995, and Fighting Blindness in 2019, the charity has a mission to lead the fight against blindness by advancing retinal disease research, education, and public awareness. The charity reports that 1.5 million Canadians are blind or partially sighted, and 5.6 million have an eye disease that puts them at risk of vision loss. FBC has invested $40m in vision research and education since 1974, funding over 200 research grants that have led to over 600 new discoveries in areas such as stem cell research, technological developments, pharmaceuticals, and gene therapies. 

In F2018, Fighting Blindness Canada allocated $1.2m to 14 new and ongoing research projects, up from $760k in F2017. The charity partners with the Canadian Institute of Health Research as well as international collaborators in its effort to prevent blindness and restore sight. FBC’s Restore Vision 20/20 award funds research with the greatest potential to progress toward the clinic. In 2018, the charity named Dr. Philippe Monnier as the first recipient of this award for his work developing a drug that prevents photoreceptor death and vision loss. 

As part of its Vision Quest program, Fighting Blindness Canada works to raise awareness of blinding eye diseases and the work the charity does. In F2018FBC held nine conferences across CanadaThe conferences had over 950 cumulative attendees with an additional 36,500 views of interactive online sessions with visits to FFB-funded laboratories, low-vision specialists, optometrists, and retinal specialists. The 2018 National Young Leaders Summit engaged 30 young people aged 17-30 who are affected by vision loss from across the country to collaboratively tackle obstacles faced in their schools, homes, jobs, and elsewhere.  

The Foundation also advocates for vision health, participating in forums on Parliament Hill to ensure that Canada meets the highest possible standards in vision care and research. On March 8, 2017, the federal parliament voted in support of Bill S-201, ensuring that Canadians can get genetic testing without losing or being denied insurance coverage. The protections in this Bill will be included in the Canadian Human Rights Act and Canadian Labour Code. 

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Results and Impact

In F2018, FBC-funded scientists discovered 21 new blindness causing mutations. These discoveries lay the foundation to allow future development of gene therapies to treat blindness. The charity’s research funding also supported Dr. Nagy’s development of a remotely controlled killer switch that eliminates dangerous cells. The work was published in Nature, a high impact scientific journal, in November 2018

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Fighting Blindness Canada is a medium-sized charity with $4.7m in donations and special events fundraising in F2018. Administrative costs were 14% of revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs were 32% of donations. For every $1 donated, 54 cents go to FBC’s programs. This falls outside of Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. The charity has funding reserves of $5.2m, of which $1.3m are donor-endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, Fighting Blindness Canada can cover annual programs and grants for two years. 

This charity report is an update that was sent to Fighting Blindness Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming. 

Updated on June 21, 2019 by Caroline McKenna. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 13.7%13.4%11.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 32.1%36.9%34.8%
Total overhead spending 45.8%50.3%46.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 205.7%210.6%148.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 3,092,1852,653,8502,871,349
Special events 1,604,6391,656,5921,950,424
Investment income 91,54492,052108,944
Other income 5,52808,260
Total revenues 4,793,8964,402,4944,938,977
Program costs 740,320772,325726,611
Grants 1,201,953759,559980,236
Administrative costs 645,599578,465549,919
Fundraising costs 1,508,1571,590,7431,676,772
Total spending 4,096,0293,701,0923,933,488
Cash flow from operations 697,867701,4021,005,439
Capital spending 5,4879,2104,890
Funding reserves 5,158,6614,533,9403,919,610

Note: Revenue includes investment and other income and adjustments for deferred revenues, affecting revenues by $736k in F2018, $977k in F2017, and ($8k) in F2016. Expenses include rent, increasing expenses by $123k in F2018 and $127k in F2017. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 14

Avg. Compensation: $90,198

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 F2017

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