Nature Conservancy Canada

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

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) 75 cents are available for programs.

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About Nature Conservancy Canada:

Founded in 1962, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) partners with people, corporations, and other non-profit groups to protect Canada’s natural environment. NCC acquires and maintains land across Canada to ensure the survival of at-risk plants and wildlife. NCC works with willing landowners to build natural corridors, protect valuable habitats, and maintain healthy ecosystems.

From 2007-2019, NCC’s focus was its Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP). This program preserved forests, grasslands, and marine areas across Canada by partnering with other charities and regional land trusts. When the program ended in 2019, it had conserved more than 550,000 hectares of land, providing habitat for 219 species at risk.

In F2019, NCC announced that its NACP program would be renewed as Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) moving forward. The NHCP is a public-private partnership launched with a planned $100m investment from the Government of Canada. NCC has committed to raise funds and match the starting investment on a 2:1 basis. In F2020, NHCP partners took a $25 million investment from the Government of Canada and matched it with $47 million in contributions from Canadians. As a result, NHCP partners protected more than 13,000 hectares of land and fresh water.

In F2020, NCC secured a total of 87 projects totaling 7,086 hectares of land from coast to coast. Additionally, NCC ran more than 430 regional events across Canada, hosting over 27,400 total participants.

Through its Indigenous Conservation Program, NCC partners with Indigenous peoples to protect culturally significant land and wildlife. In F2020, NCC paid compensation for the termination of development rights on 6,136 hectares of land in British Columbia’s Jumbo Valley, helping to create an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area in a landscape known as Qat’muk.

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Results and Impact

Through its conservation programs, NCC states that it protects habitat for one-third of Canada’s at-risk terrestrial and freshwater species. For reptiles, amphibians, and birds, NCC has protected habitat for more than half of at-risk species.

In F2020, NCC conserved an 87-hectare property along the Ryan River in Pemberton Valley, British Columbia. The area is home to 59 Squamish-Lillooet Grizzly Bears, which are a provincially threatened species.

In F2020, NCC completed a 666-hectare conservation project along the shoreline of Buffalo Pound Lake in Saskatchewan. The charity states that the protected grasslands help filter drinking water for one-quarter of Saskatchewan’s population.

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

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Nature Conservancy of Canada is a Major 100 charity, with $75.8m in donations in F2020. This is an 87% increase from F2019, in which the charity received $40.3m in donations. The charity received $39.7m in government funding, representing 30% of revenue. In F2020, Nature Conservancy of Canada received $7.0m in donated land ($11.0m in F2019), which is shown below as “Goods in kind” and “Donated goods exp”.

Administrative costs are 8% of revenues and fundraising costs are 17% of donations, including donated land. This results in total overhead spending of 25%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 75 cents go to the cause, which is inside Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

NCC has $201.0m in funding reserves, of which $91.8m is donor-endowed and $21.5m is donor-restricted. Excluding donor-endowed funds, NCC could cover 167% or 20 months of annual program costs with reserves.

NCC's audited financial statements do not disclose government funding, administrative costs, or fundraising costs. Ci reported this information from the charity's unaudited filing with the CRA.

Charity Intelligence sent an update of this report to Nature Conservancy of Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 15, 2021 by Sydney Olexa.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending May
Administrative costs as % of revenues 8.4%10.2%11.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 16.7%25.1%21.1%
Total overhead spending 25.1%35.3%32.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 166.8%173.2%169.3%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 75,75940,30037,259
Goods in kind 7,03711,00712,656
Government funding 39,66041,76937,243
Business activities (net) 0029
Investment income 2,2531,8865,139
Other income 9,0917,4546,382
Total revenues 133,800102,41698,706
Program costs 57,54440,21137,057
Grants 12,52714,73713,911
Donated goods exp 7,03711,00712,656
Administrative costs 11,01810,21010,294
Fundraising costs 13,82612,89910,547
Total spending 101,95289,06384,464
Cash flow from operations 31,84813,35314,242
Capital spending 285427298
Funding reserves 201,027175,884163,891

Note: Ci reported government funding from the charity's T3010 CRA filing and backed out the amounts from donations. Ci used T3010 data to report grants to qualified donees and backed out the amounts from program costs. Ci used T3010 data for the charity’s reported administrative and fundraising expenses. Ci removed the unreconciled differences in total costs from program costs, affecting them by ($89k) in F2020, ($127k) in F2019, and ($85k) in F2018. The charity’s audited financial statements only recognized a portion of investment income in revenues. Ci recognized all investment income (net of management fees) and included the portion of investment income that was reported as other revenues. This affected total revenues by $1.3m in F2020, $1.1m in F2019, and $3.7m in F2018. This also reduced other income by ($913k) in F2020, ($833k) in F2019, and ($1.5m) in F2018. Ci recognized endowment contributions as donations, affecting total revenues by $2.6m in F2020, $3.0m in F2019, and $3.2m in F2018. Ci included unrestricted contributions from Friends of Nature Conservancy as donations, affecting total revenues by $nil in F2020, $nil in F2019, and $38k in F2018. Ci adjusted for deferred donations (amounts received for restricted purposes less amounts recognized as revenue during the year) affecting total revenues by $22.1m in F2020, $6.2m in F2019, and ($6.0m) in F2018. Ci adjusted for deferred contributions transferred to endowments, affecting revenues by $3.4m in F2020, $3.2m in F2019, and $6.2m in F2018. Ci did not include loan repayments for prior year acquisitions, affecting total expenses by ($131k) in F2020, ($220k) in F2019, and ($191k) in F2018. To report on a cash basis, Ci removed amortization from administrative expenses.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 305

Avg. compensation: $74,866

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 F2020

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

Nature Conservancy of Canada added these comments to the 2021 profile update:


About the Nature Conservancy of Canada:

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is a national land conservation organization working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Working with our partners since 1962, we have helped to protect more than 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast. With nature, we are building a thriving world.

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.  

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 2:1.

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.

Landmark Campaign:

At the end of FY20, NCC concluded The Landmark Campaign; the single largest private investment in conservation in Canadian history. The campaign raised more than $750M, contributing an additional 115,000 km2 to Canada’s protected area network. Canadians from every corner of the country joined the movement for nature, many making first time gifts. 


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. 7410

Our Nature Destinations program offers a curated suite of protected areas for public enjoyment,7 both online and on the ground.

The Conservation Volunteers program encourages Canadians to join NCC staff in the field to work on stewardship projects. This program was modified in FY20 due to the restrictions of COVID-19. Instead NCC focused on a dynamic series of virtual NatureTalks webinars, to continue to connect more Canadians to nature and conservation.


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.


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 FY20, based on a five-year average, NCC received grants and donations from government (40 per cent), the private sector (51 per cent) and other sources (nine per cent). The private sector funding provided the match required for government grants.

On the expense side, 78 per cent of NCC’s expenditures went directly to program costs (on a five-year rolling average), 11 per cent was spent on administration, nine per cent on fundraising and two per cent on communications. NCC reported total revenues for FY20 of $104M, with an additional $6.5M in restricted endowed fund 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 $141.6M 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. 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.


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001