659 King Street East
Kitchener, ON N2G 2M4
Board Chair: Melanie Reist
CEO: Brian Carney

Charitable Reg. #:81988 2655 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) 78 cents are available for programs.

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About Blue Sea Foundation:

Blue Sea Foundation in a 3-star rated, financially transparent charity. It has a below average results reporting grade and has overhead costs within Ci’s reasonable range. The charity has $1.6m in reserve funds, which can cover two months of annual program costs.

Founded in 2012, Blue Sea Philanthropy Inc., operating as Blue Sea Foundation, helps charities raise money. Blue Sea Foundation operates like an external fundraiser by planning, operating and paying for three fundraising events. The partner charities choose the event they want to participate in and are responsible for recruiting teams and participants to fundraise for the events. Blue Sea grants a percent of the funds raised at the event back to the partner charities. Payout rates range between 70% and 85% of funds and are determined by the scale of the event. If the charity raises a lot of money for the event, the charity receives a higher percentage. Through this uncommon charity model, Blue Sea Foundation aims to save charities money by providing larger-scale fundraising events at lower costs. This allows small charities to participate in larger, active events without needing the money or expertise to do so.

In F2022, Blue Sea Foundation received $13.6m in donations and granted $10.7m to charities that participated in its events. Overall, it cost charities 22 cents to raise a dollar through Blue Sea Foundation. This aligns with the payout rate stated by the charity and is a reasonable overhead cost. Other large-scale fundraiser events such as Princess Margaret’s Ride to Conquer Cancer, cost $0.40 for every $1 raised (based on F2023) while the overall average for fundraising costs of charities anlysed by Ci is 17 cents on the dollar.

In F2022, 249 partner charities participated in Blue Sea Foundation’s events. Partner charities can choose from one of three fundraising events in locations across Canada: Coldest Night of the Year, Ride for Refuge and The Grand Parade. Coldest Night of the Year is Blue Sea Foundation’s biggest fundraising event. It is dedicated to raising money for hungry and homeless people. In F2022, 191 charities participated in the event and each charity raised over $60k on average. Ride for Refuge is a biking and walking fundraiser for charities that help people who have been displaced or who are vulnerable and exploited. 41 charities participated in the event in F2022. Lastly, The Grand Parade is a fundraiser that supports ageing Canadians and their families. In F2022, this event had 23 partner charities. Overall, the charity reports that the average raised per charity at its events was $55k in F2022.

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Results and Impact

Charity Intelligence did not find any quantified outcomes reported on Blue Sea Foundation’s website.

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

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Blue Sea Foundation is financially transparent. Its audited financial statements are publicly available on its website. However, the charity does not disclose its sources of revenue in its statements. Revenues are stated as a single line in Blue Sea Foundation’s income statement.

Blue Sea Foundation had donations of $13.6m in F2022. Administrative costs are 2% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 20% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 22%. For every dollar donated, 78 cents are available for programs. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

Blue Sea Foundation has $1.6m in reserve funds which can cover 15% or around two months of annual program costs.

Blue Sea Foundation's F2022 T3010 filing with the CRA is unavailable at the time of this profile update. Hence, the most recent employee salary information is from F2021.

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

Updated on August 11, 2023 by Victoria Allder.  


Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 2.3%1.8%1.2%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 20.2%17.7%21.6%
Total overhead spending 22.4%19.5%22.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 14.8%18.6%12.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 13,58412,6608,816
Government funding 072347
Investment income 036
Total revenues 13,58412,7359,169
Grants 10,6769,3306,475
Administrative costs 309234113
Fundraising costs 2,7392,2381,901
Total spending 13,72411,8028,489
Cash flow from operations (140)933680
Capital spending 141211
Funding reserves 1,5761,734823

Note: Ci reported investment income from the charity’s T3010 filing with the CRA and backed out the amounts from donations in F2021 and F2020. The charity’s T3010 filling for F2022 is not available at the time of this update so this adjustment could not be made for the most recent year. Ci included government funding reported below the line in revenues, affecting revenue by nil in F2022, $72k in F2021 and $347k in F2020. Ci included foreign exchange loss in expenses, increasing expenses by $4k in F2022, nil in F2021 and $1k in F2020.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 13

Avg. compensation: $84,802

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.blueseaphilanthropy.org
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 519.603.2250


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001