Wilfrid Laurier University

75 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5
President: Deborah MacLatchy
Board Chair: Lynda Kitamura

Charitable Reg. #:10820 8786 RR0002


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) 86 cents are available for programs.

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About Wilfrid Laurier University:

Founded in 1911, Wilfrid Laurier University’s (WLU) mission is to be “devoted to excellence in learning, research, scholarship and creativity.” The University provides undergraduate, graduate and professional education, with an emphasis on co-curricular development of the student. WLU’s main campus is in Waterloo, Ontario, with additional locations in Kitchener, Brantford, Milton, Toronto, Yellowknife, and Chongqing, China.

During the Winter 2020 term, 20,080 students were registered (19,172 in Winter 2019), 90% of which were undergraduate students. WLU conferred 4,517 degrees in the Fall 2019 term (4,338 in Fall 2018). The university has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1 and offers more than 100 programs. According to Maclean’s University Rankings, WLU’s standout programs are game design and development, business administration, and data science.

The university has 544 full-time faculty and 383 part-time faculty. WLU also has ten Canada Research Chairs. In F2019, the university supported 332 externally funded research projects.

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Results and Impact

The university reported that of the first-year undergraduate students who were enrolled in F2015, 88% returned. Also, 77% of undergraduate students who began studies in 2008 graduated by 2015.

In 2018, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Career Centre sent a survey to 2018 graduates. 80% of graduates responded to the survey. Of the graduates who responded, 71% reported that they were employed and 26% were pursuing further education. The remaining 3% of respondents were still looking for work.

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Wilfrid Laurier University is a Major 100 charity, meaning it is one of Canada’s largest charities in terms of donations. WLU received $26.7m in donations and $207.7m in student fees in F2019. The charity also received $122.8m in government grants.

Administrative costs are 3% of revenues and fundraising costs are 11% of donations. For every dollar donated, 86 cents go the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Factoring in debt, WLU has total funding reserves of $51.5m with total donor-endowed reserves of $90.9m, meaning non-donor-endowed reserves are negative, creating a negative program cost coverage ratio. Excluding debt of $213.9m, the charity can cover annual program costs for 5.9 months with current reserves. 

The charity spent $38.0m on capital expenditures in F2019, $46.9m in F2018, and $37.0m in F2017.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Wilfrid Laurier University for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 29, 2020 by Tenzin Shomar.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending April
Administrative costs as % of revenues 3.3%3.2%3.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 11.0%11.7%11.5%
Total overhead spending 14.3%14.9%14.9%
Program cost coverage (%) (11.1%)(14.7%)(8.6%)

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 26,66718,81524,660
Government funding 122,839122,665122,601
Fees for service 207,709199,340182,383
Business activities (net) 14,84213,78113,565
Investment income 10,2418,0038,260
Other income 16,86412,91210,987
Total revenues 399,162375,516362,456
Program costs 359,600343,813329,690
Grants 0861511
Administrative costs 12,69311,92111,930
Fundraising costs 2,9322,1962,836
Total spending 375,225358,791344,967
Cash flow from operations 23,93716,72517,489
Capital spending 38,02446,89137,048
Funding reserves 51,45436,71155,362

Note: Ci included donations to the charity’s endowment fund and amortization of deferred capital contributions. WLU does not report administrative and fundraising costs on its audited financial statements. Ci took administrative and fundraising costs from the charity’s T3010 filings. Ci has adjusted for deferred capital and operations contributions, increasing revenues by $10.6m in F2019, $3.3m in F2018, $5.8m in F2017. Ci reported business activities net of expenses, reducing both revenues and expenses by $10.9m in F2019, $11.5m in F2018 and by $11.4m in F2017.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 1,793

Avg. compensation: $98,715

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 F2019

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

Website: www.wlu.ca
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 519-884-1970


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001