Nature Conservancy of Canada

36 Eglington Avenue West, Suite 400
Toronto, ON M4R 1A1
President & CEO: John Lounds
Board Chair: Bill Caulfeild-Browne

Charitable Reg. #: 11924 6544 RR0001
Sector: Environment
Operating Charity

Charity Rating

[Charity Rating: 4/4]

Donor Accountability

Grade: A-

The grade is based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.

Financial Transparency

Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity's website [ Audited financial statement for most recent year ]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Full-time staff #265

Avg. Compensation $57,978

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 1
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 4
$120k - $160k 5
$80k - $120k 0
$40k - $80k 0
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2015

About Nature Conservancy of Canada:

Founded in 1962, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) conserves Canada’s most important natural areas and the species they sustain. With national headquarters in Toronto, NCC is the largest charity in Canada involved in land conservation. As of 2015, it has helped conserve over 1.1 million hectares (2.8 million acres) of land. NCC follows a structured, science-based conservation process. First, the charity determines areas in greatest need of protection. NCC then acquires this land through purchase, donation or conservation agreement. Following acquisition, NCC develops management plans that ensure the natural area is cared for over the long-term. After taking action, the NCC continually evaluates the effect of its stewardship actions and makes strategic changes if necessary.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has conservation projects and offices running in all ten provinces of Canada. The charity’s F2014-F2015 annual report states that NCC-conserved land provides habitat for 28% of species classified as ‘at risk of extinction’ by COSEWIC (the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada).

The Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) is one of NCC’s staple programs. The Canadian government launched the five-year program in 2007 and selected NCC to lead the matching funds program. The government renewed the NACP in 2014 for another five years, providing NCC with an additional $100 million in funding. As of March 31, 2016, NCC and partners have conserved more than 410,000 hectares (1 million acres) of land under the NACP. The program’s renewal will target an additional 130,000 hectares (321,000 acres) for conservation.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada also runs a Conservation Volunteer program that engages Canadians in conservation activities. Volunteers get hands-on experience in activities such as restoring damaged environments and removing invasive species. The charity reports that 2,650 Canadians participated in the program in F2014-F2015.

Financial Review:

With total donations of $63.6m in F2015, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is one of Canada's 100 largest charities. Administrative costs are 12% of revenues and fundraising costs are 15% of cash donations. $0.27 of every donated dollar goes toward overhead costs, which falls within Ci's reasonable range for overhead spending. Funding reserves total $118.4m, of which $63.9m (54%) are donor-endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity's funding reserves cover annual program costs (excluding the cost of donated land) for 1.2 years

The charity changed its fiscal year end in F2014, making F2014 figures based on 11 months. Ci adjusted the F2014 program cost coverage ratio to be based on 12 months of programming.

Goods in kind represents land and conservation agreements donated to NCC. Ci included donated land and conservation agreements in program costs to provide a more accurate representation of operating cash flows.

Updated on August 9, 2016 by Katie Khodawandi.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending May
Administrative costs as % of revenues 11.9%8.5%8.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 14.6%11.0%8.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 245.3%129.3%147.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 54,08760,77375,770
Goods in kind 9,53821,05611,729
Business activities (net) 511600
Investment income 10,02911,3698,271
Other income 4,7844,5385,283
Total revenues 78,44397,747101,653
Program costs 57,78990,86784,724
Administrative costs 8,1107,3688,002
Fundraising costs 7,8776,6916,679
Cash flow from operations 4,666(7,179)2,249
Funding reserves 118,35298,504107,709
Note: The charity’s audited financial statements recognized only a portion of investment income earned in revenues – Ci recognized total investment income earned as reported in the financial notes. Ci did not include gain on sale of capital assets, decreasing total revenue by $785k in F2014. Ci did not include deferred revenue related to sales of carbon-offset credits, decreasing other revenue by $60k in F2015, $60k F2014 and $60k in F2013. Ci included endowment contributions of $2.1m in F2015, $2.4m in F2014 and $1.6m in F2013 in total donations. Business activities revenue consists of proceeds from property sales reported gross of expenses. Ci did not include loan repayment for prior year acquisitions, decreasing expenses by $263k in F2015, $210k in F2014 and $1.2m in F2013. Ci removed amortization from administrative expenses. Ci included donated land and conservation agreements of $9.6m in F2015, $21.1m in F2014 and $11.7m in F2013 in program costs.

Comments added by the Charity:

NCC has a long term commitment to conserving Canadian biodiversity.  Part of this is ensuring that there are adequate resources to protect our conservation land for the foreseeable future.  To ensure this, 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 on our protected land.  This accounts for the Surplus shown in the “Spending Breakdown” chart.

Our total revenue of $69 million was down from last year ($88 million). The decreased revenue was expected, as the previous fiscal year included the value of the large Waldron project, which, at $35 million, was an exceptionally large acquisition project. Likewise, because the majority of NCC’s expenses are directly related to land acquisition, our expenses decreased over the reporting period. During the year there was an increased focus on stewardship of properties ensuring our conservation assets are maintained for future generations.

These swings in revenue and expenses are normal for NCC and reflect the multi-year nature of many of our large conservation projects.

NCC concluded the 2015 fiscal year with a net income of $4 million before transfers to reserves and endowments (compared to $3 million in 2014).

Because NCC’s mission is focused on the long term, it is important that we have a sound financial base on which to operate. By contributing $1.3 million to reserves over the past year, and by investing $10.3 million into our Endowment Fund (which now totals $99.3 million), we continue to build a solid foundation to adequately fund the stewardship of our conservation lands well into the future.

We calculate 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 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, and not simply concentrating on shorter-term overhead cost ratios. In the period ending May 31, 2015, a total of 81 percent of our expenditures went directly to program costs (on a five-year rolling average basis), slightly down from 83 percent last year due to lower land acquisition costs.

We are proud of our ability to keep our overhead costs low, but do not wish to do so at the expense of an effective and impactful conservation program.

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