Canadian Women's Foundation

1920 Yonge St., Suite 302
Toronto, ON M4S 3E2
CEO: Paulette Senior
Board Chair: Laurie Young

Charitable Reg. #:12985 5607 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



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) 78 cents are available for programs.

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About Canadian Women's Foundation:

Canadian Women's Foundation is a 4-star charity that is financially transparent. It has a B results reporting grade which is average. For every dollar donated to the charity, 78 cents are available to go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

Founded in 1991, Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF) promotes gender equality through feminist initiatives, community partnerships, and leadership development. According to CWF, Canada ranked 30th out of 146 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index by the World Economic Forum in 2023. There are more than 1.5 million women living in poverty in Canada. Since 2020, ten times more women than men in Canada have fallen out of the labour force. In 2022, 184 women and girls were killed by violence. Girls ages 15 to 17 are twice as likely to be hospitalized for mental health concerns as boys the same age.

In F2023, CWF funded 687 programs. These include 14 in the Territories, 147 in British Columbia, 160 in the Prairies, 16 in Quebec, 269 in Ontario, and 81 in Atlantic Canada. These programs helped over three million people in total in F2023. CWF funds programs in five main categories: Out of Poverty, Out of Violence, Into Confidence, Into Leadership, and Northern Strategy. In F2023, the charity had a total program spending of $67.3m. While program spending is provided for some individual programs, a breakdown is not provided by its main program categories.

The Canadian Women's Foundation's Strategic Plan "Next Level" (2023-2028) aims to advance gender equality and empower women and girls in Canada through three strategic priorities: Be a Champion, Be Bold, and Be Steadfast, each with specific goals and initiatives.

Out of Poverty supports women of diverse backgrounds by providing tools to overcome poverty. 10% of women in Canada live on low incomes. The Investment Readiness program helps more women get involved in social innovation and finance by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. CWF invests in ten Economic Development Programs from 2021-2024 that support over 800 women to start businesses, find jobs, and gain skills in trades and technology.

Out of Violence helps survivors rebuild their lives, tackles pandemic impacts, and educates youth on healthy relationships and recognizing abuse. In Canada, a woman is killed by her current or former partner an average of every six days. The Shock-proofing Community project focuses on preventing violence and empowering all to address abuse. In March 2023, over 500 delegates attended the four day Shock-proofing Communities National Summit hosted by CWF. The feminist creator prize, introduced in September 2023, honors feminist creators who use digital media to promote gender justice and combat hate. It offers a $5k award annually and aims to address the rise in online hate crimes targeting marginalized communities, up 72% since 2019.

Into Confidence empowers girls aged 9 to 13 who face unfairness due to gender stereotypes, which harms their mental health and confidence. The Girls’ Fund aims to build self-esteem, a sense of belonging and leadership skills. It offers STEM education, sports and physical activity, media literacy, Indigenous culture and connection, and mentorship to girls.

Into Leadership drives gender justice forward and strengthens the leadership skills of women and girls. About one in ten women executives are racialized, relative to about one in five women in the overall working population. CWF works with organizations to provide training and mentorship to female founders, and address the systemic barriers they face.

Northern Strategy addresses the unique challenges faced by women and girls in Northern communities. Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or go missing than other women in Canada. CWF partners with MakeWay Foundation on this strategy, guided by a committee with representatives from each of the territories.

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Results and Impact

Canadian Women’s Foundation reports 46% of women in its Economic Development programs developed a more sustainable livelihood. The charity reports 90% of participants in its Teen Healthy Relationships program learned to recognize signs of an abusive relationship. CWF reports 75% of participants in the Girls’ Fund feel more resilient. Also, 62% of participants feel more confident. Finally, 93% of participants go on to feel empowered in their futures. However, it is not clear when any of this data was collected.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not completely represent Canadian Women’s Foundation’s results and impact. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r). 

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Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF) received donations and special events revenue of $4.8m in F2023. In F2023, 129% of revenues were spent on its programs and grants, as $67.3m was used to fund 687 programs nationwide. It received $47.7m in government funding in F2023, representing 92% of total revenues during the year. CWF gave grants to 1580 qualified organizations across Canada, causing a deficit of $17.2m in F2023. Administrative costs are 2% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 20% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 22%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 78 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range.

Canadian Women’s Foundation has $24.2m in reserve funds (cash and investments). In these reserve funds, $237k are endowed by donors. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity has 4 months of annual program costs covered by its current reserves.

This profile is an update and has been sent to Canadian Women’s Foundation for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming. 

Update on May 28, 2024 by Alexia Tudose.


Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 1.9%1.3%1.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 20.1%18.1%16.5%
Total overhead spending 22.0%19.4%17.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 35.6%127.5%49.2%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 4,7014,0292,319
Government funding 47,68346,81624,963
Special events 7677145
Investment income (415)1,8121,873
Total revenues 52,04652,73429,300
Program costs 7,5746,0533,554
Grants 59,70925,73824,087
Administrative costs 974680360
Fundraising costs 960741407
Total spending 69,21733,21228,408
Cash flow from operations (17,171)19,522892
Capital spending 1060
Funding reserves 24,20940,76123,558

Note: Ci adjusted deferred donations of ($83k) in F2023, $610k in F2022, and $278k in F2021. Ci adjusted deferred government funding, affecting revenue by ($15.9m) in F2023, $18.1m in F2022, and ($1.2m) in F2021.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 44

Avg. compensation: $87,731

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: 416-365-1444


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001