World Vision Canada

1 World Drive
Mississauga, ON L5T 2Y4
President & CEO: Michael Messenger
Board Chair: Drew Fitch

Charitable Reg. #:11930 4855 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) 68 cents are available for programs.

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About World Vision Canada:

Founded in 1957, World Vision Canada (WVC) is a Christian development, relief, and advocacy charity that helps communities, families, and children overcome poverty and injustice. Through monthly donations of $39, Canadian donors sponsored children in 45 countries in F2019, providing food, water, healthcare, and education. The charity reports 404,414 sponsored children during the year, continuing the steady decline in child sponsorship from a peak of 514,060 in F2011. Based on international program costs (omitting disaster response), WVC spent roughly $969 per child sponsored in F2019.

Over the past five years, WVC's largest program costs include Food & Agriculture (27%), Health & Nutrition (20%), Emergency and Disaster Relief (16%), Community Empowerment and Child Rights Advocacy (9%), Education (9%) and Developing Global Strategies for Helping Children (8%). 

Through its child/community sponsorship lifecycle, World Vision Canada helps communities in three phases: Phase 1 focuses on partnering with community members to determine what needs to be done to achieve long-term solutions for challenges faced by the community, and community development begins; Phase 2 focuses on evaluating progress on improving community living conditions and making changes as needed to meet long-term goals; Phase 3 is reached when the community sees improved conditions, wherein WVC gradually ceases its activities in the area to transition the community to independence. WVC’s projects last 10 to 15 years in each community. 

In addition to development, World Vision Canada is a disaster response charity with a track record of quick response, typically spending disaster relief funding within three years. In F2019, response efforts supported 1.15 million people affected by disaster with necessities, including food, water, shelter, and healthcare services.


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Results and Impact

Charity Intelligence has given World Vision a Good impact rating based on demonstrated impact per dollar spent.

Some key outcomes of World Vision Canada’s work include: WVC’s emergency response to 25 disasters provided 85,968 people with life-saving support like tents, cooking sets and hygiene kits; WVC’s food programs distributed 4.69 million packets of critical food aid to people who would have otherwise gone hungry; 5,129 children received birth certificates, providing them access to basic rights and services; 1,798 clean water sources were improved or constructed to protect children from illness.

In F2019, 22 communities graduated from WVC’s community development programs and are now considered to be self-sufficient, an increase from nine communities in F2018. Major outcomes seen in communities WVC works with include: WVC’s education classes resulted in a 91% elementary school graduation rate in children in Aklan, Philippines, an increase from 20% in 2010; 98% of children in Renacer, Honduras, now attend preschool, an increase of 50% since 2001; 92% of children with illnesses in the previous 2 weeks received proper care in Butwal, Nepal, compared to 66% before WVC’s involvement.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of World Vision Canada’s results and impact.  

Impact Rating: Good

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World Vision Canada is Canada's largest donor-funded charity and tops the list of Canada’s Major 100 charities receiving cash donations of $231.9m along with donated goods-in-kind of $116.4m in F2019. WVC received government funding of $29.9m in F2019. 

WVC's administrative costs are 6% of total revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 26% of total donations. This means overhead costs are 32%. For every dollar donated, 68 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci's reasonable range for overhead spending.

WVC has total funding reserves of $42.1m. This includes donor-endowed funds of $2.3m, which make the program cost coverage roughly 2 months.

Like most large Canadian charities partnered with international organizations, Canadian donations are pooled with the international partner: World Vision Canada transferred to World Vision International $278.3m in F2019, $314.7m in F2018, and $303.7m in F2017 in donations and donated goods to run international development projects. 

International grants of $35.6m in F2019 include funding from a number of international organizations, including the UN's World Food Programme. 

World Vision Canada reports using external fundraisers in its annual filing with the Charities Directorate. In F2019 it paid $12.1m to external fundraisers who brought in $71.5m in donations (17% fundraising cost). 

­This charity report is an update that has been sent to World Vision Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming. 

Updated on July 24, 2020 by Eric Jose. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending September
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.0%5.7%6.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 26.5%24.6%22.9%
Total overhead spending 32.5%30.3%28.9%
Program cost coverage (%) 19.1%15.9%21.0%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 231,888240,023244,496
International donations 35,60347,78740,053
Goods in kind 116,393127,116119,508
Government funding 29,90345,80237,136
Investment income 7199811,111
Other income 2313,7111,333
Total revenues 414,737465,420443,637
Program costs - International 34,25548,06342,318
Program costs - Canada 3,9203,3325,502
Grants 170,158199,597191,767
Donated goods exp 116,393127,116119,508
Administrative costs 24,84126,54226,604
Fundraising costs 61,36859,01055,996
Total spending 410,935463,660441,695
Cash flow from operations 3,8021,7601,942
Capital spending 2,139(1,791)(634)
Funding reserves 42,10242,28851,737

Note: Ci backed out World Vision Canada’s amortization costs of $2.2m in F2019, $2.1m in F2018, and $1.9m in F2017. These figures were removed from Canadian program costs, administrative costs, and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis. Government funding for F2019 includes $1.8m that has been received but not yet recognized as revenue. World Vision Canada provided funding to World Vision International of $161.9m in F2019, $187.8m in F2018, and $184.3m in F2017. Ci categorizes these payments as grants, but World Vision Canada comments that this money should be categorized as "cash funding - international".

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 470

Avg. Compensation: $97,561

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 F2019

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

World Vision is a global relief, development and advocacy organization, serving children and families in some of the world’s toughest places. From refugee camps to rural villages to sprawling urban slums, we care for girls and boys in more than 90 countries. Our network of global staff works to create lasting change in the lives of children, families and communities in need.

World Vision’s emergency relief work repairs lives and livelihoods. For more than 70 years, we’ve protected and cared for girls and boys who’ve survived the unthinkable in situations like natural disasters, food crises, economic turmoil or civil conflict. After a disaster, our teams continue to partner with communities, rebuilding stronger than before.

Through our work, World Vision has impacted the lives of over 200 million vulnerable children by tackling the root causes of poverty. Our child sponsorship program actively builds healthier communities through programming, education and empowerment. With our community focused solutions, for every child helped, another four benefit. World Vision nurtures and partners with people of different faiths, genders, races and ages – raising up local leaders to help support, protect and transform their communities.

Whether on the ground or in the halls of power, World Vision’s advocacy work is central to all we do. We press governments for programs and policies to secure children’s futures, even as their own countries face threats like civil conflict, food crisis and economic disaster. In regions around world, we teach children to speak up for their God-given human rights – and families and communities to respect and uphold them.

World Vision voluntarily adheres to the highest standards of financial accountability, following best practices for transparency by providing access to our annual impact report, financial statements and donation breakdowns.

Always, World Vision seeks to deliver the greatest-possible impact. Compelled by love, we go boldly into dangerous places to help children who need it the most. In partnership with Canadian donors, we’re making lasting and sustainable change.

Visit World Vision’s website to see how it all fits together and learn how you might get involved!




In previous years, donors asked why Charity Intelligence's numbers were different from World Vision Canada's. We wrote this article on charity ratios to explain. Funnily enough, it has received over 12,000 views. While it's an old article, it may be of interest.

World Vision Canada - A Case Study on Charity Ratios, August 2017 



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