Cape Breton University

1250 Grand Lake Rd
Sydney, NS B1M 1A2
President: David Dingwall
Board Chair: Robert Sampson

Charitable Reg. #:11927 9032 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 3/5]



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) 89 cents are available for programs.

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About Cape Breton University:

Cape Breton University is a 3-star rated charity. It has an above-average results reporting score, reasonable overhead spending, and is financially transparent. However, the charity has enough reserve funds to cover over three years of program costs. 

Cape Breton University (CBU) was established in 1974 when the Sydney Campus of Saint Francis Xavier University and the Nova Scotia Eastern Institute of Technology combined. CBU offers undergraduate and graduate programs to approximately 5,000 students. CBU also aims to increase the population on Cape Breton Island by promoting tourism. 

Cape Breton University focuses its work in two main areas: Academics and Research. The charity does not provide a spending breakdown between these two programs. In its audited financial statements, 9% of program spending ($8.0m) goes towards “Special purpose and research expenses.” However, an additional 52% of program spending ($45.0m) goes towards “Instruction and non-sponsored research,” so it is unclear exactly how much CBU spends on research versus academics. 

Cape Breton University offers over 60 degrees, certificates, and diplomas to its students. It has around 600 employees. The University gives out $2.6m in scholarships and bursaries each year. In F2020, it created a Perseverance Student Relief Fund which provided assistance to 393 students who had been financially impacted by the pandemic. CBU also offers the course “Learning About the L’nu Way” to educate students about Indigenous history and culture. In F2020, 133 students completed this course.  

Cape Breton University supports faculty and students in their research work. In F2022, researchers at CBU received over $1.0m in federal funds. Non-governmental agencies contributed additional funds. The University gave out 25 Research Innovation Scholarship Exploration (RISE) grants of up to $8k each. It awarded the Start-Up Research Grant (SURG) to Dr. Dong Meng Ren to continue his research on nonlinear taxation models. CBU created 200 new student undergraduate research opportunities. This included 23 students that received $2k each in Undergraduate Student Scholar Awards. In F2022, the University created a Centre of Excellence for Health Aging (CEHA) based on its previous research on the best care practices for dementia patients. 

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Results and Impact


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Cape Breton University received total donations of $27.6m in F2023. Administrative costs are 11% of revenues (excluding investment income). CBU reported no fundraising costs in F2023. For every dollar donated, 89 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.  

Cape Breton University has $321.7m in reserve funds. Of these funds, $55.6m are endowed by donors. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity can cover over three years and two months of annual program costs with its current reserves. 

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

Updated on July 6, 2023 by Clive Stevens.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 10.8%7.5%10.5%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 0.0%0.0%0.0%
Total overhead spending 10.7%7.4%10.5%
Program cost coverage (%) 318.2%249.7%124.9%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 27,55120,28315,255
Government funding 28,93380,53128,876
Fees for service 84,34255,24656,472
Business activities (net) 1,5641,978(413)
Investment income 9,3332,9763,734
Other income 4,2734,2393,461
Total revenues 155,994165,253107,385
Program costs 86,43166,34460,725
Administrative costs 15,76312,08910,869
Fundraising costs 000
Other costs (408)(137)(75)
Total spending 101,78578,29671,519
Cash flow from operations 54,20986,95735,866
Capital spending 10,5048,95811,130
Funding reserves 321,733211,615120,458

Note: To report on a cash basis, Ci adjusted donations by changes in deferred revenue from non-government sources. This affected revenues by $20.5m in F2023, $15.8m in F2022, and $12.1m in F2021. Ci also adjusted donations by changes in deferred revenue from government sources. This affected revenues by $nil in F2023, $54m in F2022, and $nil in F2021. Ci has considered ancillary enterprises as a business activity and calculated ancillary enterprises revenue net of expenses affecting revenues and expenses by ($2.2m) in F2023, ($1.8m) in F2022, and ($1.4m) in F2021. Ci has adjusted for amortization of deferred capital contributions, affecting revenues by ($1.9m) in F2023, ($1.9m) in F2022, and ($2.1m) in F2021.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 357

Avg. compensation: $134,715

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 F2022

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 902-563-1136


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001