Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

610 University Ave.
Toronto, ON M5G 2M9
President & CEO: Paul Alofs
Board Chair: Tom Ehrlich

Charitable Reg. #: 88900 7597 RR0001
Sector: Health - Hospital Foundation
Public Foundation

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 #73

Avg. Compensation $127,080

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 4
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 3
$120k - $160k 0
$80k - $120k 0
$40k - $80k 0
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2015

About Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation:

Founded in 1982, the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (PMCF), formerly known as the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, is the fundraising arm of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Its focus is to conquer cancer in our lifetime.  Princess Margaret claims it is a top 5 cancer research center in terms of  the percentage of papers published in high-impact oncology journals and the percentage of highly cited papers.  

In 2012, the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation  launched the Billion Dollar Challenge, the largest fundraising campaign in the history of Canadian healthcare, towards four areas of Personalized Cancer Medicine: detect cancers earlier, diagnose cancers more precisely, target treatment more specifically, and provide comprehensive physical and emotional support. In F2015,  the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation  had passed the halfway point in raising $1 Billion by reaching $657m at year 3 of the launch. 

In F2015, the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation  granted $95.5m to the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre ($10.1m of which were grants payable, resulting in a cash transfer of $85.4m).  Of the total  grant of $95.5m,  79% were allocated to research, education, and patient care; 12% to buildings and constructions; and 9% to equipments. In 2014, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre  published 1,224 cancer research articles, completed 6,201 surgeries, cared for 17,460 new patients, provided 92,526 radiation visits, and delivered 368 stem cell transplants.


Financial Review:

In F2015,  the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation  spent 2% of revenues on administrative costs, and 27% of donations on fundraising costs. The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation  has funding reserves of $564m, including donor-endowed funds of $133m in F2015. Total funding reserves can cover annual grants and programs for 7 years or 5 years excluding donor-endowed funds.

Of the foundation's $490k investments, 41% are aggressively invested in equities and alternative investments.

Analysis updated by Ruoxi Gao in 2016, currently under review by the  Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.


Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 2.2%1.8%2.1%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 27.1%25.6%27.6%
Program cost coverage (%) 659.8%838.7%666.0%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 66,95266,31656,251
Lotteries (net) 23,75421,08219,370
Special events 27,38828,60129,660
Investment income 25,73413,55922,730
Total revenues 143,828129,558128,011
Grants 85,41360,32066,415
Administrative costs 2,5922,0342,252
Fundraising costs 23,75321,86223,715
Cash flow from operations 32,07045,34235,629
Funding reserves 563,593505,885442,289
Note: Ci included unrealized losses on investments, decreasing total revenue by $22m in F2015, $20m in F2014, and $10m in F2013.

Comments added by the Charity:

The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (The PMCF) raises funds to support one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. In April 2012, we embarked on a challenge to secure $1 billion in funding to create the new gold standard in cancer care: Personalized Cancer Medicine. This is our goal.

The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre prides itself on finding tomorrow’s treatments today. In the words of Medical Director Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, “We integrate research with clinical practice to provide the best care for our patients. There are tomorrow’s cures in our laboratories, and today’s care in our cancer centre.”

The PMCF is making a sizable impact, as was exhibited in Charity Intelligence’s reporting on Social Results. The PMCF was graded A-, putting us in the top 15% for all charities. The PMCF received a perfect 20/20 on Financial Transparency and 18/20 in Fundraising and Administration costs.

Overall, The PMCF received a 2-star rating out of a possible 4 stars. While this is disappointing in one way, it is actually very good news in another.

The manner in which Charity Intelligence tabulates its ratings makes it impossible for The PMCF to attain anything better than a 2-star rating. In order to qualify for a 4-star rating, charities must have less than three years’ reserves in fund balances. To receive a 3-star rating, charities must have no more than 5 years in fund balances.

The key reason that The PMCF received a 2-star rating was the level of grant giving compared to fund balances. The PMCF has 6.7 years of reserves in fund balances. Charity Intelligence does not take into account the future commitments made by The PMCF; only current expenditures.

The PMCF is holding funds for two primary reasons:

  • Funds are reserved to finance initiatives in Personalized Cancer Medicine that are being developed. Included is a major research recruitment drive for The Princess Margaret. The fund balance is crucial for multiple-year research commitments. This extends beyond the salaries of newly-hired scientists, fellows and students as they continue to work on multi-year projects, many of which are already in progress, but also to the infrastructure: space and equipment required to deliver Personalized Cancer Medicine. As the recruitment of scientists is achieved over the next several years, there will be an acceleration of spending so the fund balances will dwindle. the way in creating the new gold standard in cancer care, please go to
  • Long-term support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre research and clinical programs that require multi-year commitments for research initiatives. The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is the largest cancer research organization in Canada, and one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. The cancer centre employs over a thousand people in research . The Foundation is the primary funder of the research enterprise through philanthropy and our social enterprise programs. In order to ensure sustainability of our leading scientists and innovative programs, we must maintain a fund balance to fund these individuals and their research initiatives over the years. This differs from many other foundations who are primarily granting organizations that have the flexibility to turn up or down their grants depending on the funds available in any given year.


On October 15, 2014, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation made major announcements that provided clarity on how we are expending funds to advance our world-leading cancer program. They included an unprecedented expansion in research facilities, an unparalleled recruitment drive and a large-scale transformation of clinical space at The Princess Margaret, all to further strengthen our position in such areas as immune therapy, epigenetics, clinical genomes, biobanking, computational biology and pathology in order to better deliver on the promise of Personalized Cancer Medicine.

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We urge you read our annual report and audited financial statements in full at If you have questions, we encourage you to contact one of our staff at 416-946-6560, toll-free at 1-866-224-6560 or at In doing so, we hope you will understand what efficiency and effectiveness in the social enterprise sector truly is and we hope you will continue to support the outstanding work of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

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