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: 4/4]



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) 73 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 sponsor children, which provided food, water, healthcare, and education to 225 communities across 44 countries in 2018. Based on international program costs (omitting disaster response), WVC spent roughly $1.5m per community in F2018. The charity reports 415,113 sponsored children during the year, continuing the steady decline in child sponsorship from a peak of 514,060 in F2011. 

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; Phase 2 focuses on evaluating progress on improving community living conditions and making changes as needed to meet long-term goals; and Phase 3, which is reached when the community sees improved conditions, wherein WVC ceases its activities in the area. WVC’s projects last 10 to 15 years in each community. 

Over the past five years, WVC's largest program costs include health and nutrition (24%), food security and agriculture (22%), disaster response (15%), education (10%), community empowerment and child rights advocacy (9%), and developing global strategies for helping children (8%). 

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 F2018, response efforts provided 3.3 million people affected by disaster with basic necessities, including food, water, shelter, and healthcare services. Highlights include that WVC provided food aid to 307,942 people in war-torn Central African Republic. WVC also ran 13 nutrition sites in South Sudan during its civil war and treated 2,906 children for malnutrition.  

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Results and Impact

In 2015, South Sudan was declared the most fragile state in the world, with many communities affected by conflict or drought. Through World Vision’s FEED program, which ended in May 2018, WVC helped improve household year-round access to food in South Sudan from 21% in 2015 to 26% in 2016. In the same me span, WVC increased the percentage of households operating income-generating activities from 7% to 15%. 

In F2018, nine communities graduated from WVC’s community development programs and are now considered to be self-sufficient. Major outcomes seen in communities WVC works with include: WVC’s education classes resulted in a 58% literacy rate in children in Fatepur, India, a 19% increase from F2017; WVC’s emergency response to 22 disasters provided 121,082 people with life-saving support like tents, cooking sets and hygiene kits; WVC’s food programs distributed critical food aid to 3.3 million people who would have otherwise gone hungry; and WVC’s local volunteers reintegrated 2,344 children who dropped out of school back into the education system.  

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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 $240.1m in F2018 along with donated goods-in-kind of $127.1m. WVC received government funding of $45.8m in F2018. 

WVC's administrative costs are 6% of total revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 25% of total donations. For every dollar donated, 69 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci's reasonable range for overhead spending. WVC has total funding reserves of $42.3m, $2.3m of which are donor-endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, this can cover the charity’s program costs for less than 2 months. 

WVC provides more details on its financials in its 2018 Financial Overview.  

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 $314.7m in F2018, $303.7m in F2017, and $320.1m in F2016 in donations and donated goods to run international development projects. 

Included in World Vision Canada's other income is $47.8m in F2018, $40.0m in F2017, and $28.2m in F2016 in funding from international organizations, including the UN's World Food Programme. 

World Vision Canada reports using external fundraisers: in F2018 it paid $8.3m to external fundraisers who brought in $71.5m in donations (12% fundraising cost).  

Updated on June 26, 2019 by Caroline McKenna. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending September
Administrative costs as % of revenues 5.8%6.1%6.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 21.6%19.7%17.4%
Total overhead spending 27.4%25.8%23.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 10.6%13.8%12.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 240,140244,613253,219
International donations 47,78740,05328,235
Goods in kind 127,116119,508122,971
Government funding 45,80237,13640,543
Investment income 9811,111834
Other income 3,7111,33327
Total revenues 465,537443,754445,830
Program costs - International 361,279344,685340,115
Program costs - Canada 3,4095,5647,779
Grants 11,8377,38012,531
Administrative costs 27,00627,03028,146
Fundraising costs 51,79348,18344,127
Total spending 455,324432,842432,698
Cash flow from operations 10,21310,91313,132
Capital spending 6,6854,0742,389
Funding reserves 42,28851,73746,612

Note: Charity Intelligence reports a charity's spending excluding non-cash accounting items like amortization. Ci believes this gives donors a clearer picture of spending. World Vision Canada reports amortization costs of $2.1m in F2018, $1.9m in F2017, and $1.9m in F2016. These figures were removed from program, administrative, and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis. Charity Intelligence's "Cash flow from operations" excludes these amortization costs. WVC's capital expenditures were $2.4m in F2018, $1.7m in F2017, and $2.4m in F2016. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 485

Avg. Compensation: $91,365

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 F2018

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:




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 



Charity Contact

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