Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
CEO: Brian Thompson
Board Chair: Allan Shaw
Charitable Reg. #: 11922 9318 RR0001
Grade: B-The grade is based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.
Need for Funding
Cents to the Cause
Full-time staff #5
Avg. Compensation $105,617
Top 10 Staff Salary Range
|$300k - $350k||0|
|$250k - $300k||0|
|$200k - $250k||0|
|$160k - $200k||0|
|$120k - $160k||1|
|$80k - $120k||2|
|$40k - $80k||2|
About Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation:
Founded in 1979, Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) funds medical research at the Dalhousie University Medical School and its related research facilities across the Maritimes. DMRF funds research in four key areas: cancer, cardiology, neuroscience and mental health, and inflammation, inflection and immunity. The foundation’s office is in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
DMRF spent $1.5m on research grants (54% of total grants) in F2017. In addition, the foundation granted $837k (30% of total grants) to the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute (BHCRI) which is also based in Halifax. DMRF states that it directs all funding for cancer research to the BHCRI. On the BHCRI’s website, it states that “the institute provides a meeting place for researchers to share ideas and forge new collaborations at universities, hospitals and research institutes across Atlantic Canada and beyond.” Additionally, in 2018 Dalhousie researchers were awarded a total of 11 grants, representing a combined value of $7.7 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
DMRF provides grants to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to encourage medical students to pursue research-oriented careers. In F2017, DMRF granted $220k (8% of total grants) to students in the Research in Medicine (RIM) Program at Dalhousie University. Each undergraduate student is provided with $5,000 to complete independent research projects. DMRF also granted $40k to graduate students (1% of total grants) and $54k in other prizes and awards (2%) in F2017.
DMRF also distributes equipment grants to Dalhousie medical researchers to set up and equip their laboratories. In F2017, DMRF provided $128k (5% of total grants) in equipment grants. The foundation has not provided a breakdown of its studentship, fellowship or equipment grant recipients since F2015.
Results and Impact: In Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation’s 2017 fall magazine, it reports that Dalhousie researchers have led the discovery and development of a variety of cancer-fighting viruses. Termed “oncolytic viruses”, these viruses can be used to selectively kill cancer cells and teach the immune system to mount an anti-cancer fight. With the support of DMRF, Dalhousie’s International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team received a bronze medal for their research in harnessing microbial genes to improve the human planet in 2017.
Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation is a medium-sized charity with donations of $3.5m in F2017, a 21% decrease compared to F2016. Investment income, mostly relating to the foundation’s endowment fund, totalled $10.4m in F2017. This accounts for 75% of DMRF’s F2017 total revenue and represents an annual return on investment of 14%. DMRF reports an unrealized loss on its investments of $7.2m in F2016 which led to a significantly lower total revenue. As of F2017, the foundation holds $84.6m in investments, of which 79% are stocks.
Administration costs are 15% of total donations, and fundraising costs are 24% of donations. DMRF's overhead costs are 39%. For every dollar donated to the foundation, $0.61 goes towards grants and its cause, which is outside Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. However, in 2013, DMRF "adopted a policy of funding operating expenditures through investment income", as noted in Financial Note 2, see audited financial statements link above. This covers administrative costs on donations, see charity's comment below.
DMRF has total funding reserves of $85.1m, which include $77.2m (91%) of endowed funds. Assuming a 5% annual return on DMRF’s endowment fund, annual granting activities can be covered indefinitely. DMRF's current payout policy is lower at 3.5%.
This charity report is an update that has been sent to Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation for review. Charity Intelligence and DMRF management have discussed this report. Additional changes and edits may be forthcoming.
Updated on August 3, 2018 by Derek Houlberg. Edited on May 24, 2019 by Kate Bahen.
Financial RatiosFiscal year ending March
|Administrative costs as % of revenues||14.8%||11.4%||9.0%|
|Fundraising costs as % of donations||24.0%||16.5%||15.1%|
|Program cost coverage (%)||3,073.0%||2,440.6%||2,616.7%|
Summary Financial StatementsAll figures in $000s
|Cash flow from operations||9,711||(1,932)||7,671|