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

Charitable Reg. #:88657 8095 RR0001

STAR RATING

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

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FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY

Most recent Audited financial statements available on the charity’s website.

A

RESULTS REPORTING

Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.

Fair

DEMONSTRATED IMPACT

The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.

NEED FOR FUNDING

Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.

86%

CENTS TO THE CAUSE

For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 86 cents are available for programs.



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Programs

About WE Charity:

WE Charity (formerly Free the Children) was founded by Canadian teenagers, Craig and Marc Kielburger, in 1995. Originally, WE Charity's focus was on overseas development. Today it also runs youth programs in Canada, the US, and the UK to educate and empower youth by giving them, and their teachers, the tools to create transformative social change.

WE Charity has two programs: programs for youth in Canada and international development projects in 86 WE Villages in 9 countries.

In F2019, WE Charity spent $32.6m on Canadian programs, including donated goods in kind and volunteer time. Canadian programs include the WE Days, WE School resources, WE Teachers and WE Well-being.  WE Days are youth rallies that celebrate social good. The 2019 WE Day tour included six Canadian cities: Toronto, Halifax, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Ottawa. WE Days feature speakers, athletes, and celebrity performers. Corporate sponsors contribute to WE Days. WE Days cost approximately $1 million to put on, not including volunteers and donated support. Attendance ranges from 20,000 youth in Toronto to 3,000 youth in Winnipeg. WE Charity reports that more than 200,000 youth attend WE Days. WE Days are free with youth “earning tickets” by doing social activities.

WE Charity reports that 4.3 million youth and 37,359 teachers around the world engaged with more than 10,000 of its WE Schools program in F2018.

WE Charity spent $26.8m on international programs in F2019. Donations go to WE Villages. WE Charity’s largest international region is Africa, spending $18.5m (Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone) followed by Latin America at $6.6m (Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Haiti) and Asia at $1.7m (India and China). This support is distributed in two ways: $18.0m in direct funding for its WE Villages and $8.7m goes to local non-profits working in its WE Villages. WE Charity has a 5-pillar approach to development supporting education, water, health, food security and opportunity (job creation/entrepreneurialism to improve incomes).

 

DONOR ADVISORY: WE Charity has a nearly completely new board. Six of last year’s directors were replaced with four new directors, with Greg Rogers as the new board chair. In June 2020, one new director resigned. 

Charity Intelligence's Top 10 questions to ask Marc and Craig Kielburger

Charity Intelligence's statement WE Charity's Next Steps

 

Recent News: In December 2018, WE announced plans to pivot towards college and university students. It will spend $30 million for a new high-tech facility, called Scale Up, to support social entrepreneurship. Its goal is to support and showcase 50 social entrepreneurs.

On June 25, 2020 for the COVID-19 pandemic response, the Canadian government awarded a $912m contract to WE Charity to recruit, manage, and fund student volunteers.  On July 3, WE Charity withdrew from this contract.

 

ME to WE: There is donor confusion about the blurred lines between WE Charity and ME to WE. Collectively these two distinct organizations are referred to as “WE”, or “WE organization” or “WE movement”. ME to WE is an affiliated social enterprise/for-profit private corporation controlled by Craig and Marc Kielburger, We Charity's co-founders. Where WE Charity was founded in 1995, ME to WE started up in 2004. ME to WE's CEO is Roxanne Joyal, Marc Kielburger's wife. WE Charity's CFO is also ME to WE's CFO.

WE Charity buys promotional goods and travel services from ME to WE. In F2019 WE Charity paid ME to WE $3.6m for travel, leadership training services, and promotional goods. In F2019, ME to WE contributed $4.4m to WE Charity in donated time and services and cash. ME to WE is also a corporate partner of WE Days.

Listen to Charity Intelligence's interview with CBC The Current on the relationship between WE Charity and ME to WE July 13, 2020

Charity Intelligence's analysis uses WE Charity's audited financial statements that are linked above under financial transparency.  

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Results and Impact

WE Charity’s 2019 annual report is not yet posted. These results refer to 2018.

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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Finances

Please note: WE Charity changed its fiscal year-end to August. The 2018 figures are for only 8 months and are not comparable with 2019 figures for 12 months.

WE Charity is one of Canada’s largest charities with $27.5m in donations and corporate sponsorships. In addition, WE Charity received $20.9m from WE US and $1.2m from WE UK, $8.5m in donated goods in-kind and volunteer time, and $1.6m in Canadian government funding. Excluding the funds from WE US and WE UK (since each has its own fundraising costs), WE Charity’s fundraising costs are 8% of donations. Administrative costs are 6% of total revenues. WE Charity’s total spending on overhead is 14%. This is within Charity Intelligence’s reasonable range.

At August 2019 year-end, WE Charity had cash and investments (gross funding reserves) of $11.5m compared with $14.0m at year-end August 2018. WE Charity’s bank loans increased to $13.7m in 2019 compared with $11.1m in 2018. This creates a negative funding reserve of $2.2m. For the second year, WE Charity is in breach of its financial covenants on its bank debt. Its bank has waived these conditions for the current period. These bank loans are secured against WE Charity’s properties valued at $39.4m.

WE Charity’s audited financial statements disclose related party transactions: In F2019, WE Charity paid ME to WE $3.6m for promotional goods, travel and leadership training services, and rent. WE Charity received contributions from ME to WE of $4.4m. WE Charity paid $1.4m to We365 Holdings Inc. for support for Canadian programs. We365 Holdings Inc. is entirely owned by WE Charity. WE Charity gave Imagine 1 Day, a controlled charity, $860k in F2019 and $300k in F2018 for programs in Ethiopia, giving children access to education, including building schools and latrines. Imagine 1 Day owes WE Charity $3.1m.

On January 1 2019, WE Charity registered a charity, a public foundation, WE Charity Foundation. WE Charity's audit does not report any transaction with WE Charity Foundation and is not consolidated in Charity Intelligence’s analysis.

This report is an update. Charity Intelligence is reviewing the financial information with WE Charity’s management. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 10 2020, by Kate Bahen.

 

Financial Review


Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
201920182017
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.2%6.5%4.8%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 7.9%7.3%3.7%
Total overhead spending 14.1%13.8%8.5%
Program cost coverage (%) (4.4%)9.0%(2.1%)

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
201920182017
Donations 27,46824,51441,319
International donations 22,08813,64722,706
Goods in kind 8,4758,2894,829
Government funding 1,5801,5942,988
Investment income 13529411
Other income (84)167(150)
Total revenues 59,53948,73972,103
Program costs - International 26,76119,64620,872
Program costs - Canada 23,72910,65430,051
Grants 40000
Donated goods exp 8,4758,2894,829
Administrative costs 3,6892,9353,434
Fundraising costs 2,1611,1631,524
Other costs 627337725
Total spending 65,84143,02361,433
Cash flow from operations (6,301)5,71610,669
Capital spending (1,630)(372)10,268
Funding reserves (2,212)2,885(1,070)

Note: Charity Intelligence presents figures based on what actually happened during the year. This includes removing donations received in previous years that are reported in the current year. Charity Intelligence removed $6.4m in F2019, added $4.9m in F2018, and removed $3.6m in F2017. Included in F2019 is an endowment donation of $150k. Investment returns, both realised and unrealized, are included in investment income. Foreign exchange gains and losses are included in other income.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 352

Avg. Compensation: $55,860

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
0
$300k - $350k
0
$250k - $300k
0
$200k - $250k
0
$160k - $200k
0
$120k - $160k
5
$80k - $120k
5
$40k - $80k
0
< $40k
0

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2019

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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
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 416.925.5894

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Sources:

Jason Miller, "Toronto-based charity WE planning major downtown expansion with enterpreneurship centre" Toronto Star, December 20, 2018 

Sarah Turnball, "Trudeau defends WE Charity contract amid concerns of conflict, lack of accountability", CTV News June 29, 2020

Tel: 416-925-5894

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