Bruce Trail Conservancy

P.O. Box 857
Hamilton, ON L8N 3N9
CEO: Beth Gilhespy
Board Chair: Warren Bell

Charitable Reg. #: 11921 7578 RR0001
Sector: Environment
Operating Charity

Charity Rating

[Charity Rating: 4/4]

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

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 #15

Avg. Compensation $75,694

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 0
$120k - $160k 1
$80k - $120k 4
$40k - $80k 5
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2016

About Bruce Trail Conservancy:

Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) is a membership-based charity working to preserve public access to the Niagara Escarpment, as well as maintain and restore its natural habitat. The charity’s nine Bruce Trail Clubs maintain, steward and promote public use of the Bruce Trail, a conservation corridor along the Escarpment. The Niagara Escarpment is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, meaning that it is legally protected from development. It is one of only 15 biosphere reserves in Canada. Despite Bruce Trail Conservancy’s work, 40% of the Bruce Trail corridor is not permanently protected from development. Bruce Trail Conservancy runs four core programs – land acquisition, land stewardship, trail development and maintenance, and membership.

Through the Land Acquisition program, BTC assumes ownership of land donated by landowners and purchases land using cash donations to expand the Bruce Trail and increase protection levels of the Escarpment. In 2016, BTC reports creating 9 new nature reserves and securing 2 new land easements. These activities equate to 290 acres of newly preserved land on the Escarpment.

Bruce Trail Conservancy currently preserves 10,222 acres of land along the Escarpment, containing 145km of the Bruce Trail’s Optimum Route – this refers to routes in desirable locations along the Escarpment that do not run close to, or cross, roads. The Bruce Trail’s main trail is 895km, with an additional 435km of side trails – 63% of these trails are secure, meaning they are permanently protected from urban development.

Bruce Trail Conservancy’s Land Stewardship program monitors and takes care of land acquired through the Land Acquisition program. BTC states that as of 2016, it stewards over 9,100 acres of preserved land. Within the year, BTC recorded 185 new occurrences of rare or endangered species on its preserved land.

Bruce Trail Conservancy reports a 4% increase in membership in 2016, reaching a 30-year high of 9,358 memberships. BTC reports that 82% of members renewed their membership, 26% enhanced their support by donating and 1498 members enrolled in automatic membership renewal during the year.

Bruce Trail Conservancy’s Trail Development and Maintenance program completes projects to improve regions of the Bruce Trail needing upkeep. In 2016, BTC completed its largest trail development and maintenance project – a complete replacement of the charity’s longest boardwalk in Cape Croker, running for 3,000 feet.

Financial Review:

Bruce Trail Conservancy is a medium-sized charity with donations of just under $3.0m in F2016. Administrative costs are 11% of revenues and fundraising costs are 13% of donations. Per dollar donated to the charity, $0.76 goes towards its programs, which falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. The charity’s funding reserves of $2.9m can cover annual program costs for 1.4 years.

Bruce Trail Conservancy’s financial statements were restated in F2016 and no longer report land donations. Ci used F2015 donated land of $161k and F2014 donated land of $240k from the charity’s F2015 statements, including the figures in goods in kind and program costs.

This charity report is an update that is currently being reviewed by Bruce Trail Conservancy. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on May 29, 2017 by Katie Khodawandi.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending June
Administrative costs as % of revenues 11.0%10.4%10.1%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 12.9%13.0%13.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 141.7%111.6%352.3%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 2,962,8922,417,3122,113,361
Goods in kind 0161,050239,700
Government funding 14,61557,420110,152
Business activities (net) 65,11184,80351,209
Investment income 33,285142,722303,041
Other income 8,07811,572237,238
Total revenues 3,083,9812,874,8793,054,701
Program costs 2,056,9182,569,6471,654,220
Administrative costs 336,097283,356278,691
Fundraising costs 382,700315,042279,875
Other costs 17,02727,34828,958
Cash flow from operations 291,239(320,514)812,957
Funding reserves 2,915,1732,866,7225,827,820
Note: BTC’s F2016 financial statements have been restated. Ci reports F2015 numbers from the charity’s F2016 statements and F2014 numbers from the F2015 statements. Ci reported land donations of $161k in F2105 and $240k in F2014 in donated goods in kind and program costs, but could not determine F2016 land donations. Ci recognized restricted donations received for land purchases, increasing revenues by $575k in F2016 and $520k in F2015. Ci reported F2014 gain on sale of land assets in other revenue. Ci reported Bruce Trail Enterprises revenue net of expenses, reducing revenues and expenses by $77k in F2016, $95k in F2015 and $55k in F2014. Ci reported investment income net of investment management fees, reducing revenues and expenses by $22k in F2016, $27k in F2015 and $24k in F2014. Ci reported unrealized gains/losses in investment income, affecting revenues by ($26k) in F2016, ($9k) in F2015 and $237k in F2014. Ci reported land acquisition costs net of land sales, affecting expenses by $700k in F2016, $1.1m in F2015 and $141k in F2014.

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