Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind

4120 Rideau Valley Drive North
Manotick, ON K4M 1B2
Founder: Jane Thornton
Board Chair: Edward Mann

Charitable Reg. #:10684 6819 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 2/5]



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) 94 cents are available for programs.

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About Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind:

Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind is a two-star charity with a low results reporting grade and reasonable overhead spending. The charity is financially transparent and has high funding reserves that can cover over nine years of program costs.

Founded in 1984, Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind (CGDB) is a charity that helps visually impaired Canadians by providing them with trained guide dogs. The charity trains guide dogs at its national training centre in Manotick, Ontario. In F2021, CGDB spent $1.5m on its program.

Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind provides two types of dogs as a part of its program. It offers professionally trained guide dogs for visually impaired clients and mobility assistance dogs for those with movement-inhibiting disabilities. Guide dogs are offered nationwide and assistance dogs are offered to people within a 200-km radius of Ottawa. To qualify for a guide dog you must be physically capable of walking a dog regularly. Clients can lease a dog for a symbolic payment of $1 and are responsible for its food and medical expenses throughout its working life. CGDB has a Veterinary Cost Assistance Fund that covers routine visits to the veterinarian.

The charity reports that by January of 2021, it had successfully trained over 900 guide dogs since its inception. This means that CGDB graduated an average of around 24 dogs per year from its training program. If the charity trained an average of 24 dogs in each of the past three years, the average operating cost per dog was $75,126 and the average amount of donations per dog was $229,253. In 2020, it opened a new dog kennel in its national training centre.  

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Results and Impact

Charity Intelligence did not find any quantified outcomes on Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind’s website. This may not be a complete representation of CGDB’s results and impact.

This charity is not rated on impact (n/r).

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Ci has consolidated CGDB with its foundation for financial analysis. As the foundation’s financial statements are not available at this time, Ci used its T3010 filing with the CRA to report its financials. In F2021, the charity sent $3.5m to the foundation.

Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind received $5.5m in Canadian donations and fundraising revenue in F2021, representing a 37% increase from F2020. It earned $1.1m in investment income during the year (16% of total revenue), representing a 14% annual return. Its average annual investment return since F2012 is 5%. The average annual investment return of the S&P 500 from 2012 to 2021 is around 15%. 

Administrative costs are 3% of total revenue excluding investment income. Fundraising costs are 3% of donations and fundraising revenue. This results in total overhead spending of 6%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 94 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

CGDB has $13.9m in net funding reserves, including $318k in donor-endowed funds. The charity’s net funding reserves, excluding donor-endowed funds, can cover annual program costs for around nine years and six months. In F2019, CGDB reported paying external fundraisers $14k on its T3010 filing, but the money raised by these efforts is not disclosed. This disclosure is required in a charity’s annual reporting.

This report is an update that has been sent to Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 11th, 2022 by Arjun Kapur.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 3.4%3.6%7.5%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 2.8%3.7%8.8%
Total overhead spending 6.2%7.3%16.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 948.3%585.0%505.3%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 5,1623,7711,851
Goods in kind 6140
Government funding 202270
Lotteries (net) 10692123
Business activities (net) 282918
Special events 340297457
Investment income 1,087181430
Other income 448156
Total revenues 6,7534,6593,036
Program costs 1,4501,5181,400
Donated goods exp 6140
Administrative costs 193160195
Fundraising costs 154150203
Total spending 1,8031,8421,797
Cash flow from operations 4,9502,8161,239
Capital spending 921325,154
Funding reserves 13,9189,1037,305

Note: Ci included bequests in donations, affecting total revenues by $4.4m in F2021, $3.3m in F2020, and $1.4m in F2019. Ci included unrealized gains (losses) on investments in investment income, affecting total revenues by $885k in F2021, ($13k) in F2020, and $143k in F2019. Ci excluded amortization of deferred capital contributions and included deferred capital contributions, affecting total revenues by ($20k) in F2021, $20k in F2020, and $145k in F2019. Deferred capital contributions were included in other revenue because the financial statements do not specify the source of the contributions. Ci removed donations from the foundation to the operating charity, affecting revenues by ($10k) in both F2020 and F2019. Endowment contributions are included in donations, affecting revenue by $4k in F2021, $3k in F2020, and $6k in F2019. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 17

Avg. compensation: $52,197

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

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 613-692-7777


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001