Nature Conservancy Canada

245 Eglinton Ave East, Suite 410
Toronto, ON M4P 3J1
President & CEO: John Lounds
Board Chair: Bruce MacLellan

Charitable Reg. #:11924 6544 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) 71 cents are available for programs.

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About Nature Conservancy Canada:

Founded in 1962, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) partners with individuals, corporations, other non-profit organizations, and governments to protect Canada’s natural environment which sustains its plants and wildlife. NCC acquires land across Canada and manages it to ensure the survival of the plants and wildlife that live there. NCC runs four programs: natural area conservation, conservation planning and stewardship, forest conservation, and community engagement.

The natural area conservation program works to increase the rate of land conservation and protects important habitats across Canada. Through this program, NCC partners with other organizations such as Ducks Unlimited to expand its network of protected land. Since the creation of this program in 2007, NCC has conserved more than 446,000 hectares of land. Of this land, 329,849 hectares were secured in F2018.

NCC reports that Canada has close to 10% of the world’s forests. Through the forest conservation program, NCC protects forests across Canada. Canada’s forests are an important part of Canada’s natural environment as they purify water, regulate the climate, produce oxygen, and provide a habitat for wildlife. Since the charity’s inception, it has helped to protect over one million acres of forested habitat.

Through the conservation planning and stewardship program, NCC takes a science-based approach to identify, plan, protect, and restore Canada’s natural environment. The charity uses research to identify high-priority areas that need protection and to determine if current conservation projects are effective. The charity seeks to collect new information to further the understanding of Canada’s biodiversity.

NCC’s community engagement program connects Canadians with the natural environment through outdoor exploration and hands-on volunteering experiences. In F2018, NCC hosted over 342 events that saw more than 19,000 participants. In F2018, NCC had over 3,000 volunteers contribute their time to complete 128 habitat restoration projects, 45 biological surveys, and 44 infrastructure improvement projects and site cleanups.

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Results and Impact

Through the natural area conservation program, NCC has protected the habitats of 28% of species considered to be at risk by COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada). In F2018, NCC’s staff helped create a report focusing on freshwater biodiversity areas in Canada which was published with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (a global authority of the health of the natural environment and steps needed to protect it). Through the community engagement program, NCC’s volunteers removed 1,043 kilograms of garbage from the shorelines in Prince Edward Island.

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Nature Conservancy of Canada is one of Canada’s Major 100 charities, receiving total cash donations of $65m in F2018. Administrative costs are 13% of revenues and fundraising costs are 16% of donations (including donated land). For every dollar donated to the charity, 71 cents go to its programs. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. NCC has net funding reserves of $163.9m, of which $84.7m is donor-endowed. Excluding endowed funds, the charity’s reserves can cover program costs for 16 months.

NCC reports using external fundraisers as part of its fundraising activities. In F2018, NCC paid external fundraisers $61,980 to raise $10,523. This means that for every dollar raised, NCC paid $5.89 to the third party. In comparison, NCC paid $1.53 to a third party for every dollar raised in F2017.

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

Updated on July 2, 2019 by Stefan Tetzlaff.



Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending May
Administrative costs as % of revenues 12.5%10.0%9.9%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 16.1%10.4%13.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 258.3%281.2%163.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 65,17679,94458,707
Goods in kind 12,6568,56725,688
Business activities (net) 291,004500
Investment income 5,13917,464(1,570)
Other income 6,3825,1604,994
Total revenues 89,381112,13788,319
Program costs 63,45555,23872,488
Administrative costs 10,5519,4188,916
Fundraising costs 10,4589,2058,125
Cash flow from operations 4,91738,277(1,210)
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 163,891155,315118,733

Note: Ci used T3010 data for the administrative and fundraising expenses. Ci removed the unreconciled differences in total costs from program costs, reducing them by ($85k) in F2018, ($407k) in F2017, and ($59k) in F2016.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 276

Avg. Compensation $75,073

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:

These comments are related to a past profile, updated comments will be forthcoming. 

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), is committed to conserving Canadian biodiversity. To support our mission it is essential that we ensure there are adequate resources available to protect our 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 conserve biodiversity on our protected land. This substantially accounts for the funding reserves with the remainder being restricted funds for conservation purposes.

Total revenue of $76.9 million was down from the previous fiscal year of $90.3 million, mainly due to changes in land donations and conservation agreements. NCC ensures that all projects are fully secured and funded before being recorded and therefore revenue will vary based on the value of projects in which we are involved. Our endowment funds to support science and stewardship activities grew to more than $123 million. We continue to build this solid foundation to adequately fund the care and management of our conservation lands well into the future

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 our performance metrics on a five-year rolling average in order to give an accurate picture of our financial standing. These rolling averages allow us to account for the fluctuations that a year-on-year measure can cause, such as when we have 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.

We maintain a close watch over our expenses, though we have also broadened our measures of success to include more tangible measures of long-term impact, not simply concentrating on shorter-term overhead cost ratios. In the period ending May 31, 2017, a total of 79 percent of our expenditures went directly to program costs (on a five-year rolling average basis), and 21 percent was spent on administration, communications and fundraising. Compared to many in the charitable sector our overhead costs are low. We are proud of our ability to manage our costs, but do not wish to do so at the expense of an effective and impactful conservation program. Our overhead costs this fiscal year also reflect a strategic investment in our operational capacity, especially in fundraising initiatives. This investment was approved by our Board of Directors and we expect it will continue to be reflected in our overhead costs for the next few years.

NCC makes conservation happen. As a partner with landowners, government, industry and Indigenous communities and nations we help to expand parks and protected areas. During the fiscal year 2016-17 NCC had the opportunity to expand its role as a facilitator of large-scale conservation partnerships. Working with Shell Canada we helped to remove 8,600 sq. km of oil and gas exploration rights at the mouth of the fabled Northwest Passage. The rights were released to the Government of Canada, clearing the way for approval of a new National Marine Protected Area in Talluruptiup Imanga/ Lancaster Sound. This will eventually become Canada’s largest protected area.

We also marked the 10th year of leading the Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP), a unique public-private partnership with the Government of Canada. The NACP has helped to expand Canada’s network of protected areas, conserving more than 430,000 hectares (1 million acres). It is supported by a commitment of $345 million from the Government of Canada, which NCC and its partners match at a ratio of 2:1. The program continues to enhance the capacity of local and regional land trusts by supporting conservation acquisition and best practices.

NCC balances its role in protecting nature with providing access to Canadians to explore our conservation projects. In the past year we launched our Nature Destinations program, which profiles a suite of protected areas for access and enjoyment by the general public, both on the ground and online. . We look forward to building upon this collection in years to come.

Charity Contact

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