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Social Services
Toronto, ON

Make-A-Wish Canada

4211 Yonge Street, Suite 520
Toronto, ON M2P 2A9
President & CEO: Jennifer Klotz-Ritter
Board Chair: Barb Hambly

Charitable Reg. #: 89526 9173 RR0001
Sector: Social Services - Wish Granting
Operating Charity

Donor Accountability

Grade: B

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

Cents to The Cause

2013 2014 2015
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Impact Rating: Low

Full-time staff #24

Avg. Compensation $70,763

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 1
$120k - $160k 1
$80k - $120k 4
$40k - $80k 4
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2016

About Make-A-Wish Canada:

Founded in 1983, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada (Make-A-Wish Canada, MAWC) is a granting charity that helps kids with life-threatening diseases live out their biggest wishes. The charity pays for all of the costs associated with a qualified child’s wish and hopes that after their wish experience, the child will feel happier, healthier and stronger than before. Make-A-Wish Canada and its eight chapters across the country have collectively granted 6,864 wishes since inception. Wishes fall into four categories: to have, to go, to be, and to meet.

Make-A-Wish Canada separates itself from other wish-granting charities by operating on an international level, meaning that it can both send its Canadian wish children to other countries and host children visiting from other countries. The charity pairs each wish child with a team of local wish granting volunteers who work with the child and their family to identify and make the child’s one wish come true.

Make-A-Wish Canada made almost 500 grants to Canadian children with life-threatening illnesses in F2015 and states that total grants increased by 38% from 2010. Ci could not determine the number of wishes made in F2010. Based on total operating costs, the charity spent $13,004 per wish granted in F2015 (comparable to $11,591 per wish in F2014). Wishes to go to Walt Disney World were the main wish type, making up 37% of wishes during the year.

Make-A-Wish Canada measured the impact that its grants have on recipients with a Wish Impact Study that was released in 2013. The study surveyed previous wish kids and their families, Make-A-Wish volunteers, and doctors and nurses of previous wish kids. 97% of adult former wish kids reported that their wish experience improved their mental and emotional health and 83% reported that their physical health improved. Overall, 71% of former wish kids believed that their wish experience contributed to saving their life. The charity does not report the proportion of past wish kids that this survey reached, or the proportion of wish kids who go on to live a healthy life after their wish experience.

Financial Review:

Make-A-Wish Canada is a medium-sized charity with total cash donations of $4.3m in F2015. When including donated gifts, total public support increases to $7.1m. Administrative costs are 4% of revenues and fundraising costs are 25% of donations. Per dollar donated to the charity, $0.71 goes toward wish granting, which falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Ci did not include amounts received from chapters ($481k in F2015, $370k in F2014 and $327k in F2013) when calculating MAWC’s fundraising cost ratio.

The charity’s funding reserves of $2.9m can cover 55% of annual wish granting activities, indicating a funding need.

This charity report is an update that is currently being reviewed by Make-A-Wish Canada. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 24, 2017 by Katie Khodawandi.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 3.8%4.6%4.5%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 25.2%24.2%22.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 54.8%53.2%52.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 4,2953,8923,328
Goods in kind 2,8032,0421,920
Other income (4)1510
Total revenues 7,0945,9495,258
Program costs 5,2534,4403,842
Administrative costs 268272234
Fundraising costs 963850683
Cash flow from operations 610387499
Funding reserves 2,8812,3622,003
Note: Ci excluded amortization from program, administrative and fundraising costs. Ci did not include amounts received from chapters in donations when calculating the charity’s fundraising cost ratio.

Comments added by the Charity:

Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We are on a quest to bring every eligible child's wish to life, because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in Canada, and in 50 countries worldwide. Together, generous donors, supporters, staff and more than 1,100 volunteers across the country grant more than one wish per day on average. Since 1983, Make-A-Wish Canada has granted close to 7,500 wishes across the country; more than 600 last year alone. For more information about Make-A-Wish Canada, visit

Updated Feb. 5, 2018


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