339 Queen Street East
Toronto, ON M5A 1S9
Executive Director: Dalal Al-Waheidi
Board Chair: Michelle Douglas

Charitable Reg. #:88657 8095 RR0001


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

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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) 91 cents are available for programs.

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About WE Charity:

Founded in 1995, WE Charity (formerly Free the Children) is an international aid charity working to help poor children in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. WE Charity runs domestic programs, which include WE Schools and WE Day, and an international WE Villages program. ME to WE is an affiliated social enterprise that WE Charity reports has donated $20m in cash, the value of donated goods and services to WE Charity since 2009. WE Charity's audited financial statements disclose donations from ME to WE of $8.5m since 2011. During this same period, WE Charity has purchased $4.9m in promotional goods, books, educational materials, and travel services from ME to WE. 

WE Charity’s international programs made up 51% of total program spending in F2018. WE Villages aim to create sustainable community development in areas with prevalent child labour, child exploitation, and gender inequality. WE Villages are based on a five-pillar model that focuses on improving education, water, health, food, and opportunity in each community. There are 86 WE Villages partner communities in nine countries worldwide: Nicaragua, Haiti, Ecuador, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, China, and India.

In F2018, 49% of WE Charity's charitable program spending was on domestic programs in Canada. WE Schools help students understand social issues and equips youth with tools to give back to the community. The charity reports that 4.3 million youth and 37,359 teachers around the world engaged with the WE Schools program in F2018. In F2018, WE Schools participants collected food that supported 15,163,433 meals. WE Days are events held across Canada featuring well-known speakers and celebrities who motivate students to take action. 

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Results and Impact

WE Charity reports that $265,921,623 of social value was created globally in F2018 by youth involved in the WE Schools program. In surveys of U.S. and Canadian educators, WE Charity found that through its domestic programs, 90% of students demonstrated increased leadership amongst their peers and 83% of teachers feel better equipped to teach about social justice issues.

WE Charity reports that over 200 women were empowered in F2018 through a new Women’s Empowerment Centre in Kenya. The centre has a computer lab, banking facility, artisan production space, and daycare.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of WE Charity’s results and impact.

Charity Intelligence has given WE Charity a Fair impact rating based on demonstrated impact per dollar spent.

Impact Rating: Fair

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WE Charity is a ­­­­large charity, with total donations of $33.2m in F2018. Administrative costs are 6% of revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 4% of donations. For every dollar donated, 91 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Net funding reserves of $4.2m can cover just over one month of annual program costs.

­­In 2018, WE changed its fiscal year end to August. As such, the figures for F2018 are only for 8 months ending August 2018, and are not directly comparable with the twelve months ending in December for F2017 and F2016.

WE Charity's audited financial statements reveal that it is in breach of certain financial covenants on its bank loans at August 31, 2018. WE Charity has $11.1m in bank loans and mortgages secured against various properties in Toronto. However, the bank has waived the covenant requirements for the current period. Please see Financial Note 13: Bank Loans linked above in the unconsolidated financial statements.

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

Updated on July 11, 2019 by Lauren Chin.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.0%5.3%7.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 3.5%2.7%2.5%
Total overhead spending 9.5%8.0%9.9%
Program cost coverage (%) 11.1%0.8%(3.8%)

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 33,21556,60547,420
Goods in kind 7,3774,8291,645
Government funding 1,5942,9882,100
Other income 167158145
Total revenues 42,35264,57951,310
Program costs - International 19,56320,87219,917
Program costs - Canada 18,51234,88025,222
Administrative costs 2,5373,4343,769
Fundraising costs 1,1631,5241,200
Other costs 3991,033320
Total spending 42,17461,74250,428
Cash flow from operations 1792,837882
Capital spending (372)10,2681,930
Funding reserves 4,239467(1,710)

Note: Ci included gain on foreign exchange in other revenue, affecting revenues by $155k in F2018 and $90k in F2016. Ci did not include gain on disposal of capital assets, affecting expenses by $572k in F2018, $1.3m in F2017, and $992k in F2016.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 380

Avg. Compensation: $27,372

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 F2018

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

Comments provided by WE Charity to the 2018 update:

Welcome to WE Charity.

WE Charity is the charitable division of WE: a movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world.

WE Charity empowers change with resources that create sustainable impact. We do this through domestic programs like WE Schools and internationally through WE Villages. Our WE Schools program is active in over 12,000 schools in the United States, Canada and the UK, engaging over 2.4 million students in service learning. Our WE Villages program is active in 9 developing countries, creating a sustainable model of international development. WE Villages has already provided high quality education to over 200,000 children while helping families break the cycle of poverty at the same time.

And of course we'll continue to celebrate all great change-makers at WE Day. These are powerful, life-changing experiences with world-renowned speakers and performers, mixed with real inspirational stories of change. This year alone over 200,000 young people will come together in 14 stadiums across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Plus, millions tune in to our live televised broadcasts.

Our reach continues to scale as we build a truly global movement for civic action, global citizenship, and social change. The Board of Directors consists of high-level professionals, most of whom have sat on multiple Boards during their prestigious careers, and has been highly engaged with our incredible team of dedicated staff. They ensure that our governance is of the highest caliber and integrity and that all of the necessary systems are in place for the sustainable growth and impact of our organization.

We are grateful for all of the passion and constant encouragement from our supporters, as we continue to grow our international and domestic programs to new heights.

Without you there would be no WE.
We invite you to come along on this journey with us.

Charity Contact

Website: www.we.org
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