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962 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON M6H 1L6
Executive Director: Patricia O'Connell
Board Co-Chair: Anne Chappelle

Charitable Reg. #: 10798 3009 RR0001
Sector: Social Services - Women
Operating Charity

Results Reporting

Grade: C+

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 available only upon request [Audited financial statement for most recent year]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Cents to the Cause

2014 2015 2016
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Full-time staff #33

Avg. Compensation $58,723

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 0
$120k - $160k 0
$80k - $120k 0
$40k - $80k 10
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2016

About Sistering:

Founded in 1983, Sistering helps at-risk, socially isolated women in Toronto who are poor, mentally ill, disabled, homeless, struggling with addiction, fleeing an abusive household or otherwise marginalized. Sistering operates on a ‘trauma-informed and relationship-based model’ and states that a harm reduction philosophy is a core element of all its programs.

Sistering runs two low-barrier Drop-In centers for women in need of basic services such as shelter, food, washroom facilities, and clothes. In November 2015, its Bloor location became 24/7 due to growing concerns of isolated women in the area who had no access to shelters. The charity reports that 2,271 women visited the Bloor 24/7 Drop-In in 2016. Sistering’s two Drop-In locations served 105,117 meals and had 68,763 visits in total during the year, including over 2,500 overnight visits. The charity reports that every day, 30 to 49 women stay the night. Women can access Sistering’s other programs through the Drop-In centers.

Sistering’s Harm Reduction program helps women involved with substance use and/or sex work improve their overall health. The charity runs workshops on safe practices and distributes kits for safe smoking and injections. In 2016, Sistering distributed over 11,000 harm reduction kits and ran 48 harm reduction workshops.

Sistering also offers employment preparation and opportunities to earn supplemental income through two enterprise programs: Spun Studio and Inspirations Studio. The two studios provide training in sewing, knitting, pottery and other crafts to allow members to generate income through sales, exhibitions and commissions. Sistering reports that Inspirations Studio has 30 members as of 2016.

Sistering also offers Support Services such as case support and housing support. Case support staff help women with the healthcare system, criminal justice system and immigration system, while housing support staff help women find stable housing. In 2016, the charity reports making over 6,000 referrals to navigate health, social services, legal and immigration services and close to 600 housing referrals for its clients.

Financial Review:

Sistering is a medium-sized charity with total donations and special events fundraising of $1.2m in F2016. Administrative costs are 11% of revenues and fundraising costs are 8% of donations. Per dollar donated to the charity, $0.81 goes to its programs, which falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. The charity’s funding reserves of $1.2m can cover only 41% of annual program costs, indicating a funding need.

This charity report is an update that is currently being reviewed by Sistering. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 5, 2017 by Katie Khodawandi.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 10.9%21.3%23.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 8.4%9.5%7.4%
Program cost coverage (%) 40.7%24.6%18.4%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 1,092,0661,047,2641,175,785
Government funding 2,485,8551,894,6191,961,426
Special events 66,310156,063305,462
Investment income 3,8412,0483,564
Other income 40,47521,23034,770
Total revenues 3,688,5473,121,2243,481,007
Program costs 2,990,1042,205,7942,440,104
Administrative costs 401,065665,579822,201
Fundraising costs 96,667114,559109,537
Cash flow from operations 200,711135,292109,165
Funding reserves 1,215,453541,462449,419
Note: Ci gathered expense figures from the charity’s T3010 CRA filing and backed out amortization on a pro-rata basis from program and administrative costs. Ci reported Youth Challenge fund revenues in special events fundraising, and West Neighborhood House and Regent Park revenues in donations.

Comments added by the Charity:

Sistering is a multi-service agency supporting some of Toronto’s most marginalized women - poor, homeless or precariously housed, often victims of violence, and often facing mental health challenges. Our redesigned and updated website, launching shortly, will provide potential donors and others interested in our work with detailed information about the programs and services we deliver.

Some key services offered at our 24/7 Drop In:

  •  Three hot meals, soup and sandwiches overnight
  •  Showers and laundry facilities 
  •  Clothing and footwear 
  •  Telephones, mailing address and Internet access
  •  Crisis intervention and trauma-informed counselling 
  •  Housing support
  •  Harm reduction support and supplies 
  •  Peer support groups in English, Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin
  •  Information, referral and accompaniment to social assistance, legal aid, doctors, and other appointments
  •  Onsite access to primary healthcare with general practitioners, psychiatrists and nurse
  •  Onsite access to a Settlement Worker and immigration lawyer 

 Sistering was one of only 62 agencies awarded Anchor Status this past year by the United Way of Toronto and York Region. Additionally, Sistering received a Vital Ideas Grant from the Toronto Foundation to explore the feasibility of a storefront for our social Enterprise, Inspirations Studio.

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