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) 92 cents are available for programs.

My anchor


About Nova Scotia Nature Trust:

Nova Scotia Nature Trust is a 5-star charity. The charity is financially transparent and has a good results reporting grade. Excluding donor-endowed funds, its current funding reserves can cover annual program costs for 1.3 years. 

Founded in 1994, Nova Scotia Nature Trust (NSNT) works to conserve natural land across Nova Scotia, with a special focus on coastal habitats and old forests. The charity states that natural areas are particularly at risk in Nova Scotia, where 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 states that Nova Scotia has the highest rates of private land ownership. 

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

Land Conservation represented 85% of program spending in F2021. NSNT protects land in one of three ways. It offers Stewardship Agreements, which are informal arrangements that allow landowners to retain ownership while helping NSNT monitor their land. Nova Scotia Nature Trust also signs legal Conservation Agreements, which retain private ownership but grant more extensive rights and land access to the charity. Finally, NSNT offers Land Acquisition options that transfer land to the charity through donations, bequests, or sales. As of F2021, the charity reports that it now holds 120 conservation lands, spanning 18,267 acres.  

Education and Outreach programs were 8% of program spending in F2021. These programs include educational resources and opportunities for community members to visit and explore conserved lands. NSNT runs campaigns to educate Nova Scotians on the importance of stewardship and conserving the province’s natural legacy. In F2021, NSNT completed a coastal island “prioritization toolkit” to help support decision-making related to coastal island conservation.  

Land Stewardship made up the remaining 7% of program spending. NSNT relies on volunteers and conservation partners to preserve its land. As of F2021, 97 Nova Scotian landowners and families have helped to protect land with NSNT. 

My anchor

Results and Impact

In F2021, Nova Scotia Nature Trust saved 15 conservation lands that span 2,400 acres. The charity reports that it saved 18,267 acres of irreplaceable habitats and 9,641 acres were habitats for species at risk. In F2021, NSNT also saved 29 endangered turtle sanctuaries, 24 rare plant and lichen sanctuaries, and 23 at-risk bird sanctuaries.  

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

My anchor


Nova Scotia Nature Trust received $4.3m in donations and special events revenue in F2022. It received $693k in donated land, representing 13% of revenues. The charity’s audited financial statements do not disclose separate administrative or fundraising costs, and its most recent T3010 filing with the CRA is from F2021. Combined overhead costs are 8% of revenues (less investment income). For every dollar donated to the charity, 92 cents go to the cause. This falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.  

Nova Scotia Nature Trust has $20.0m in total fundraising reserves, including $15.7m in donor-endowed funds. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity can cover annual program costs for 1.3 years 

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 July 29, 2022 by Emma Saganowich.  

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Fundraising & admin costs as % of revenues 7.5%5.8%7.1%
Total overhead spending 7.5%5.8%7.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 129.3%110.9%109.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 4,3023,0132,245
Goods in kind 693497286
Government funding 01,9421,523
Business activities (net) 0094
Special events 413132
Investment income 4151,646(79)
Other income 4500
Total revenues 5,4587,1104,201
Program costs 4,1433,7312,394
Grants 0412
Donated goods exp 693497286
Fundraising & administrative costs 380315303
Other costs 5400
Total spending 5,2694,5842,986
Cash flow from operations 1882,5261,215
Capital spending 431584
Funding reserves 20,03315,1789,750

Note: To report on a cash basis, Ci reported donations as all cash received from donations, memberships, and grants rather than the amounts recognized as donations on the income statement. This affected total revenues by $1.5m in F2022, $169k in F2021, and $1.3m in F2020. 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 $377k in F2022, $1.6m in F2021, and ($171k) in F2020. 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. Nova Scotia Nature Trust’s F2022 CRA filing was not available at the time of this analysis.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 9

Avg. compensation: $65,502

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

My anchor

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


Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Our website posts free reports on more than 800 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 500,000 Canadians use our website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.6 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.


Be Informed. Give Intelligently. Have Impact


Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001