Nature Conservancy of Canada

245 Eglinton Ave East, Suite 410
Toronto, ON M4P 3J1
President & CEO: Catherine Grenier
Board Chair: Janice Wattis

Charitable Reg. #:11924 6544 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) 84 cents are available for programs.

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About Nature Conservancy of Canada:

Nature Conservancy of Canada is a 5-star charity that is financially transparent. Its results reporting grade is an A, which is above average. NCC’s overhead spending is 16%, which is within Ci’s reasonable range. The charity has reserve funds to cover program cost for almost 1 year.

Founded in 1962, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) works to protect natural areas, plants, and animals while finding solutions to biodiversity loss and climate change. The charity leads large-scale projects to permanently conserve land. NCC states that “since the onset of European settlement, the country has lost 70 per cent of Prairie wetlands, more than 80 per cent of Prairie grasslands, 80 per cent of Carolinian forest and over 80 per cent of wetlands in and around urban areas.”

A Charity Intelligence 2023 Top 100 Rated Charity

In NCC’s strategic plan, it outlines multiple goals with the overarching target to double its impact by 2030. Next year, the charity hopes to conserve more than 850 km2 of critical habitat and collaborate on more than 35 projects with Indigenous Nations and communities. NCC is working to help achieve the global “30 x 30” goal, which is to protect 30% of the planet’s land, oceans, and freshwater by 2030.

In F2023, NCC conserved 25,274 hectares (ha) of grasslands, 1,961 ha of forests, 2,726 km of rivers, and 5,369 ha of wetlands. This totals 163,035 ha of land and water conserved through 82 projects. NCC also released its “Where to Work” and “What to Do” tools. The charity describes these as “online decision-support tools” to be used by NCC staff, other organizations, and the public. The Where to Work tool helps NCC select the best location to do conservation activities, and the What to Do tool helps determine which activities are the best choice for a given project.

NCC established many new partnerships and launched more than 60 conservation projects and stewardship activities in collaboration with Indigenous communities. This year, NCC helped to protect 58,000 ha in the Incomappleux Valley, BC, which is to be managed in collaboration with local Indigenous communities.

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Results and Impact

In F2023, NCC conserved lands that store 190 million tonnes (Mt) of carbon. This is made up of carbon dioxide stored both above ground (trees, living and dead plant material) and below ground (soil). Additionally, NCC states that 0.7Mt of potential carbon will be stored yearly in conserved areas through natural regrowth in the future. NCC protects habitat for 250 of the 690 species at risk in Canada on the lands that it owns and manages.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Nature Conservancy of Canada’s results. NCC is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

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NCC had donations of $105.3m in F2023. This is a 61% increase from last year (F2022- $65.6m). NCC is Major 100, one of Canada’s largest donor-funded charities. 

The charity received $125.3m in government funding representing 40% of total revenues.

Administrative costs were 5% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs were 11% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 16%. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

In F2023, NCC paid external fundraisers $575k. These external fundraisers raised $98k in donations. This means it cost NCC $5.86 to raise $1 using external fundraisers. 

At the end of F2023, Nature Conservancy of Canada had $307.1m in reserve funds. These reserve funds are NCC’s cash and investments.

In these reserve funds, $134.7m were endowed by donors. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity has 11 months of program costs covered by its current reserves.

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

Updated on May 29, 2024, by Lily Ferguson.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending May
Administrative costs as % of revenues 5.4%7.2%8.2%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 10.5%17.7%17.8%
Total overhead spending 15.8%24.9%26.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 95.2%176.9%232.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 105,29865,60553,104
Goods in kind 61,12624,27316,588
Government funding 125,31185,86152,055
Business activities (net) 5051
Investment income 10,0421,10231,257
Other income 11,15417,34513,727
Total revenues 312,935194,186166,781
Program costs 163,69380,92150,826
Grants 24,08623,68217,729
Donated goods exp 61,12624,27316,588
Administrative costs 16,27613,85411,114
Fundraising costs 17,40215,91812,404
Total spending 282,583158,648108,661
Cash flow from operations 30,35335,53858,120
Capital spending 245474163
Funding reserves 307,145290,738260,163

Note: Ci reported administrative and fundraising costs from the charity’s T3010 filings with the CRA. Ci used T3010 data to report grants to qualified and unqualified donees, and backed out the amounts from program costs. Ci reported government funding from the charity's T3010 CRA filing and backed out the amounts from donations. Ci removed donations received in past years that are reported in this year. This adjustment for deferred donations affects total revenue by $13.5m in F2023, $21.1m in F2022, and $9.1m in F2021. Ci broke out investment revenue from other revenue and reported separately, affecting total revenue by $5.8m in F2023, $567k in F2022, and $24.1m in F2021. Ci added endowment contributions, affecting total revenue by $4.1m in F2023, $2.4m in F2022, and $1.4m in F2021.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 452

Avg. compensation: $81,508

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:

Nature Conservancy of Canada added these comments on August 18, 2023:


About the Nature Conservancy of Canada:

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner NCC works with people, communities, businesses, and government to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares. To learn more, visit


Current Initiatives:


In a world facing the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, NCC is focused on nature-based solutions. We protect the natural areas that clean our water and air, absorb and store carbon, and support healthy and prosperous communities.  

A few highlights of our FY22 accomplishments:

  • We secured 99,944 hectares on 67 projects from coast to coast to coast. 
  • We protected and cared for habitat for 244 of Canada’s 687 species at risk. 
  • More than 7,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the lifetime emissions of close to 102,650,000 typical passenger vehicles, were sequestered throughout the 15 million hectares you have helped us protect since 1962. 

Since 1962, our collective actions have resulted in about two million hectares of direct conservation, and another 13 million where our actions have made it possible for others to do amazing work. That’s equivalent to almost twice the size of New Brunswick.

In addition, thanks to the support of our donors and partners, the following accomplishments were made possible: 

  • On Earth Day, we launched the Boreal Wildlands project near Hearst, Ontario.
    — It is the largest private land conservation project in Canadian history, at nearly 1,500 square kilometres.
  • NCC and Parks Canada came together to reintroduce bison to The Key Fist Nation in Saskatchewan. Twenty of the animals came from NCC’s Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area.
  • We launched our Nature + Climate Projects Accelerator program, which will leverage finance tools toward furthering NCC’s core conservation mission.

Federal Government Partnership:

The Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP), launched in April 2019, brings Canadians together to conserve nature. It continues the momentum of the previous federal partnership administered by NCC: the Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP). Under the NACP, NCC and its partners conserved more than 550,000 hectares (more than 1.1 million acres) coast to coast, providing habitat for 219 species at risk. The NACP achieved more than $1B in conservation outcomes.

The NHCP aims to add an additional 200,000 hectares (nearly half a million acres) to the protected area network by 2023. The Government of Canada has committed $100M to the program, while NCC and its delivery partners, including local land trusts, are raising contributions to match the federal investment.

Additionally, NCC acts as a facilitator of largescale conservation partnerships – helping to negotiate the release of private rights and encumbrances to allow conservation to take place.

NCC also works with Indigenous communities to support the creation of Indigenous Conserved and Protected Areas.


In addition to its mandate of protecting nature, NCC provides Canadians with access to nature so that they may enjoy its health and wellness benefits. Ninety four per cent of Canadians live within 100 kms of an NCC-protected site. 

NCC also offers a curated suite of protected areas for public enjoyment, both online and on the ground.

The Conservation Volunteers program encourages Canadians to join NCC staff in the field to work on stewardship projects. In total, we welcomed more than 24,000 participants at over 300 events in FY22.Internships:

NCC is committed to inspiring the conservation leaders of the future. Despite COVID-19, 24 young professionals joined NCC in 2019-20 to gain job-ready skills through internships.



A big year for conservation


Year-to-year changes in revenue and expenses are normal for NCC and reflect the multi-year nature of many of our large conservation projects. NCC continues to maintain a solid, healthy balance sheet with insignificant long-term debt.

NCC calculates some of its performance metrics on a five-year rolling average in order to give an accurate picture of its financial standing. These rolling averages allow NCC to account for the fluctuations that a year-on-year measure can cause, such as when there is a large project in one fiscal year, or when projects span more than one year, as well as benefits of some non-program expenses that may exceed one year.

As noted in NCC’s Annual Report for FY22, based on a five-year average, NCC received grants and donations from government (44 per cent), the private sector (46 per cent) and other sources (10 per cent). The private sector funding provided the match required for government grants.

On the expense side, 79 per cent of NCC’s expenditures went directly to program costs (on a five-year rolling average), 10 per cent was spent on administration, 9 per cent on fundraising and 2 per cent on communications. NCC reported total revenues for FY22 of $170.1 million (2021 = $132.2 million) with an additional $9.6 million (2021 = $6.5 million) in restricted endowment contributions. As a national organization with offices across Canada, and despite strategic investments in fundraising and technology, NCC’s overhead costs are low, especially when compared to many organizations of a similar size and structure. NCC does not allocate overhead expenses to program costs.

To support NCC’s mission, it is essential that there are adequate resources available to protect its conserved land portfolio for the future. NCC has established and continues to contribute to a stewardship endowment fund (reserve) to ensure that funding will always be available for necessary conservation actions to protect the natural values on its lands. This accounts for $184.8M of funding reserves, with the remainder being restricted funds for conservation purposes.

Often reviewers of NCC’s financial statements over-estimate its reserves. These are funds accumulated to meet the organization’s commitment to sustainable funding for management and restoration of properties (book value of $888.5M). Fundraising for new property acquisitions is less challenging than fundraising to maintain and restore existing properties. Long term conservation is the mission of the organization.

NCC is thankful to all its donors and funders for their generous support. Both the Board of Directors and management have ensured that the organization is in a healthy financial position to ensure a sustainable future to fulfil its mission.


Charity Contact

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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001