321 Chapel Street
Ottawa, ON K1N 7Z2
Executive Director: Scott Walter
Board Chair: Brian Traquair

Charitable Reg. #:11883 4878 RR0001


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) 70 cents are available for programs.

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About CODE:

CODE is a 5-star charity. It has an A results reporting grade, which is above average. Ci has given CODE a High impact rating. For every dollar donated to the charity, 70 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci's reasonable range. 

Founded in 1959, CODE (Canadian Organization for Development Through Education) is a charity that promotes education in poor communities in Africa. CODE’s mission is to create a world where everyone can become literate and educated regardless of their background. The charity reports that 88% of children aged six to 14 in Sub-Saharan Africa do not meet minimum literacy levels. It also reports that a child whose mother is literate is 50% more likely to live past the age of five. CODE’s charitable programs are Literacy and Research Initiatives.

A Charity Intelligence 2023 Top 100 Rated Charity

Literacy: CODE’s main program is Literacy. CODE works with local organizations to distribute culturally relevant books and learning materials to kids. It also provides teachers and librarians with training workshops to improve the quality of education in schools. In F2022, CODE distributed 299,874 books to 1,615 schools and libraries. Its literacy programs reached 300,615 children during the year. CODE ran literacy programs in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Mozambique, Liberia, and Malawi in F2022.

Research Initiatives: The charity’s Research Initiatives program gives $10,000 grants to African researchers to conduct studies on literacy in their own countries. In F2022, three studies reached completion and four new grants were awarded for literacy research. The charity now has six research papers available on its website.

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Results and Impact

81% of girls in the charity’s Transforming Girls’ Education Project in Sierra Leone passed the national primary school exam. The national average for girls is 76%. 100% of scholarship participants in Sierra Leone passed their second-year teachers’ college exams and 14% passed with distinction.

71% of girls in its Liberia Literacy program improved at least one reading level after six months. The average for girls not in the program was 45%.

The children in Ghana’s Literacy program increased their word recognition by 35% from the national average. The charity reports reading comprehension improved by 36% in upper primary and 32% in junior high school, compared to national averages.

Charity Intelligence has given CODE a High impact rating based on demonstrated impact per dollar spent. 

Impact Rating: High

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Ci consolidated the audited financial statements of CODE with the statements of CODE Foundation. While transfers between the two organizations have been excluded, Ci has included a designated gift of $416k from CODE to CODE Foundation in donations because this money was never recognized as revenue by CODE. The charity reports that these gifts were recorded as a liability by CODE upon receipt. The liability was reduced when the money was sent to CODE Foundation.

CODE received $3.1m in donations and $5.2m in government funding in F2022. Government funding represents 52% of total revenue. The charity received $1.8m in investment income in F2022, representing 18% of total revenue.

Administrative costs are 10% of total revenue (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 20% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 30%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 70 cents are available to go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range. CODE has $23.6m in reserve funds, of which $8.3m in donor endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds the charity can cover 218%, or two years and two months of its annual program costs.

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

Updated on June 27th, 2023 by Liam Chapleau

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 9.8%14.4%15.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 20.3%15.2%41.5%
Total overhead spending 30.1%29.6%56.9%
Program cost coverage (%) 218.0%347.4%217.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 3,1204,0031,553
International donations 109107452
Goods in kind 032112
Government funding 5,1693,3483,650
Investment income 1,8024,294(1,725)
Other income (122)7972,074
Total revenues 10,07712,5816,116
Program costs - International 7,4384,6445,225
Donated goods exp 032112
Administrative costs 8091,1941,209
Fundraising costs 634606644
Total spending 8,8816,4767,190
Cash flow from operations 1,1966,104(1,074)
Capital spending 781256
Funding reserves 23,59322,97918,752

Note: Ci consolidated the audited financial statements of CODE and CODE Foundation.  Ci adjusted for donations paid to CODE by the foundation, affecting revenues by ($1.3m) in F2022, $948k in F2021, and ($1.3m) in F2020. To report on a cash basis, Ci included deferred revenue. The charity did not disclose the source of deferred revenue; therefore, Ci included it within other revenue in the amount of ($213k) in F2022, $673k in F2021, and $2.0m in F2020. Ci adjusted for the amount paid to CODE by the foundation for administration, affecting revenues and expenses by ($20k) in F2022, F2021, and F2020. Investment income is reported as income less portfolio management fees, affecting revenue and expenses by ($90k) in F2022, ($81k) in F2021, and ($80k) in F2020. Ci adjusted program costs by changes in advances to program partners to report on a cash basis. This affected expenses by ($531k) in F2022, $701k in F2021, and $221k in F2020.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 23

Avg. compensation: $80,731

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 F2021

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

Website: www.codecan.org
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 613 232-3569


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001