Nova Scotia Nature Trust

81 Prince Albert Road
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 1M1
Executive Director: Bonnie Sutherland
Board Chair: Chris Wilson

Charitable Reg. #:88962 7691 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) 94 cents are available for programs.

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About Nova Scotia Nature Trust:

Nova Scotia Nature Trust is a 5-star, financially transparent charity. Its results reporting score is an A-, which is above average. Its overhead spending is within Ci’s reasonable range. Its reserve funds can cover one year of annual program costs. 

Founded in 1994, Nova Scotia Nature Trust (NSNT) aims to conserve natural land across Nova Scotia. It focusses on coastal habitats and old forests. The charity states that 70% of land and 85% of the coastline is privately owned. Compared to the rest of Canada, where 90% of land is held publicly, NSNT reports that Nova Scotia has the highest rates of private land ownership. 

A Charity Intelligence 2023 Top 100 Rated Charity 

Nova Scotia Nature Trust runs three main programs: Land Conservation, Education and Outreach, and Land Stewardship.  

The Land Conservation program was 87% of program spending in F2023. The charity protects land by entering conservation agreements with private landowners or acquiring the land itself. In F2023, it reported adding 2,046 new acres across 176 conservation lands to its protection. The charity aims to conserve 30,000 acres of land by 2025. 

The Land Stewardship program was 7% of program spending in F2023. Stewardship involves conservation and management planning, research, monitoring, and enforcement of conservation restrictions. In F2023, NSNT reported planting 10,000 new saplings in Hardwood Hill. 

The Education and Outreach program was 6% of program spending in F2023. It aims to raise awareness about habitats and endangered species.  

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Results and Impact

In F2023, Nova Scotia Nature Trust reported saving lands for the following at-risk species: 

  • 38 turtles,  
  • 38 plants, 
  • 14 lichens, which are a type of fungus and algae,
  • 42 birds, and 
  • 12 seabird colonies. 

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Nova Scotia Nature Trust’s results and impact. 

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Nova Scotia Nature Trust received $8.2m in donations and special events revenue in F2023. It also received $2.0m in government funding, representing 18% of total revenues. It also received $162k in donated goods-in-kind, primarily land. Administrative costs are 3% of revenues, less investment income. Fundraising costs are 3% of donations. Total overhead costs are 6%, which is within Ci’s reasonable range. For every dollar donated, 94 cents are available to go to the cause. 

NSNT has $23.7m in reserve funds, including $18.3m in donor-endowed funds. Excluding these funds, its reserves can cover just over one year of annual program costs. 

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Nova Scotia Nature Trust for review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.  

Updated on June 25, 2024 by Stellar Zhang. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 2.8%2.2%1.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 3.1%2.5%5.9%
Total overhead spending 5.9%4.7%7.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 100.4%129.3%110.9%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 8,2416,9623,921
Goods in kind 162693497
Government funding 2,0031,5731,942
Business activities (net) 000
Special events 2413
Investment income 6434151,646
Other income (15)30(15)
Total revenues 11,0379,6768,004
Program costs 5,7514,1433,731
Grants 535041
Donated goods exp 162693497
Administrative costs 29520383
Fundraising costs 254177232
Other costs 197540
Total spending 7,1955,2694,584
Cash flow from operations 3,8434,4073,419
Capital spending 1434315
Funding reserves 23,71920,03315,178

Note: Ci compiled information from the charity’s T3010 filing with the Canada Revenue Agency to report on administrative and fundraising costs. Ci included unrealized gains (losses), changes in cash surrender value of investments, endowment fund investment income, and investment management fees in investment income. This affected investment income and total revenues by $643k in F2023, $414k in F2022, and $1.6m in F2021. Ci reported government funding from the charity’s available CRA filings and removed the amounts from cash donations. Ci reported grants to qualified donees from CRA filings and removed the amounts from program costs. Ci adjusted for deferred contributions within donations, affecting it by $1.2m in F2023, $1.5m in F2022, and $183k in F2021. Ci adjusted for deferred contributions related for capital assets within other revenue, affecting it by $15k in F2023, $7k in F2022, and $15k in F2021. Ci included changes in endowment fund within donations, increasing it by $2.5m in F2023, $2.3m in F2022, and $1.5m in F2021.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 11

Avg. compensation: $79,402

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

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 902-425-5263


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001