University of Waterloo

200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
President: Dr. Vivek Goel
Board Chair: Murray Gamble

Charitable Reg. #:11926 0685 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) 58 cents are available for programs.

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About University of Waterloo:

University of Waterloo is a three-star charity with an above average results reporting grade. It is financially transparent and excluding donor-endowed funds it can cover 14 and a half months of annual program costs.  

Founded in 1957, University of Waterloo (Waterloo) is a public research university in Waterloo, Ontario. Founded on a curriculum of science and engineering, it now has six faculties. Waterloo provides both undergraduate and graduate education. It has research facilities, and offers cooperative education (co-op), and entrepreneurship programs. It strives to be one of the most innovative universities in the world. The university does not provide a breakdown of its spending between learning, research and entrepreneurship.  

In fall 2022, University of Waterloo reported an enrollment of 32,509 undergraduate and 4,967 graduate students. In its student body, 21% of undergraduate and 40% of graduate students are international students. In 2022, Waterloo awarded 7,019 undergraduate degrees and 2,150 graduate degrees. As of 2021 it had a 27:1 student to faculty ratio. Waterloo’s co-op program is the largest in Canada. It had 26,230 students in fall 2022. Waterloo reports that students that take part in its co-op program graduate with up to two years of paid work experience. In 2022 students completed a total of 24,045 co-op work terms. The average student earnings for a typical four-month co-op term were $14,047. 

According to Research Infosource's 2022 ranking, Waterloo was ranked first in Canada for comprehensive research. In F2022, Waterloo received $231.2m in research funding from external sources. University of Waterloo hosts 71 Canada Research Chairs. It also has two Canada 150 Research Chairs, one Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) and two CERC laureates. In 2022 it awarded 354 PhDs. In F2022, Waterloo students and researchers received 97 NSERC post graduate awards and 683 NSERC discovery grants. 

Waterloo places a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship. It reports that as of 2023, its students, faculty, alumni, and staff have founded more than 1,000 ventures. The University of Waterloo hosts Velocity. Velocity is the largest free startup incubator in the world. As of 2023, Waterloo reports that Velocity founders have raised more than $26 billion USD in enterprise value. In F2022, Pitchbook ranked University of Waterloo first in Canada for entrepreneurs.  

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Results and Impact

In November 2019, Waterloo published an economic impact assessment by Deloitte. The report took into consideration money spent on university activities. It accounted for indirect spending through payments to suppliers and distributors. It also considered induced contributions through jobs created as a result. Deloitte estimated that Waterloo’s operations added $1.5 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2018, from a total spending of just over $1.0 billion. This is equal to 12,168 full time jobs in Canada. Waterloo’s research contributed $458m to Ontario’s GDP in 2019. The co-op program contributed $567m to Canada’s GDP in 2019. The program generated $525m in employer gains across 60 countries. This is equal to 5,779 full time jobs created or sustained across Canada. In 2019, the Velocity and Accelerator Centre programs added $170m to Canada’s GDP. Waterloo’s entrepreneurship programs created more than 7,500 jobs.  

In the 2023 QS World Ranking, University of Waterloo is the first university in Canada for graduate employment. From data collected in 2022, Waterloo reports that 92% of graduates have a job within six months. After two years, 96% of graduates have a job. This compares to an average employment rate of 90% in six months and 94% in two years among all Ontario university graduates.  

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of University of Waterloo’s results and impact. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

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University of Waterloo is a Major 100 charity, one of the largest in Canada in terms of donations. In F2022, it received $43.1m in donations and grants. In F2022, University of Waterloo received $403.2m in government funding (35% of total revenues) and $593.2m in tuition fees (58% of total revenues).  

Administrative costs are 2% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 40% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 42%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 58 cents go to the cause. This falls outside of Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. This has been the case for the past three years. In F2021 the calculated overhead spending was 164%. The charity does not disclose government funding on its audited financial statements, so Ci took these values from the charity’s T3010 filing with the CRA and backed them out of donations and grants. However, if some government funding is reported on other line items on the financial statements, the calculated fundraising ratios will be overstated.  

University of Waterloo has $1.5 billion in total reserve funds. These reserve funds are Waterloo’s cash and investments. In these reserve funds, $317.6m is donor endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity could cover 121% or 14 and half months of program costs with its existing reserves. 

This charity report is an update that has been sent to University of Waterloo. Changes and edits may be forthcoming. 

Updated on May 31, 2023 by Alessandra Castino. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending April
Administrative costs as % of revenues 2.4%2.4%5.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 39.5%161.6%34.9%
Total overhead spending 41.9%164.0%40.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 121.3%130.0%92.3%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 43,14311,61128,004
Government funding 403,218434,035404,124
Fees for service 593,158594,677530,430
Business activities (net) 101,59769,689116,381
Investment income 13,05758,35032,994
Total revenues 1,154,1731,168,3621,111,933
Program costs 1,029,988985,473971,179
Grants 80400
Administrative costs 27,07826,95156,830
Fundraising costs 17,05218,7619,771
Total spending 1,074,9221,031,1841,037,779
Cash flow from operations 79,251137,17874,154
Capital spending 22,73735,64847,494
Funding reserves 1,548,3471,440,3021,165,251

Note: Ci reported government funding from the charity’s T3010 filings with the CRA and removed the amounts from donations. Ci gathered program, grants, administrative, and fundraising costs from T3010 filings. Ci reported net business activities, adjusting sales and services by the cost of goods sold. This affected total revenues and program expenses by ($11.3m) in F2022, ($5.9m) in F2021, and ($16.2m) in F2020. Ci excluded amortization of deferred capital contributions, affecting total revenues by ($29.4m) in F2022, ($29.5m) in F2021, and ($31.3m) in F2020. Ci could not break out changes in government vs. non-government deferred contributions and therefore could not adjust for deferred donations. Ci removed amortization of capital assets from program, administrative and fundraising costs on a pro rata basis. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 4,109

Avg. compensation: $150,030

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

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Charity Contact

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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001