Calgary Public Library Foundation

800 3 Street SE
Calgary, AB T2G 2E7
CEO: Tracy Johnson
Board Chair: Rob Van Wielingen

Charitable Reg. #:87292 3537 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) 69 cents are available for programs.

My anchor


About Calgary Public Library Foundation:

Calgary Public Library Foundation is an average, 3-star charity. The foundation is financially transparent and has an average results reporting grade. Calgary Public Library Foundation has funding reserves that can cover over ten years of annual program costs.

Founded in 1999, Calgary Public Library Foundation (CPLF) fundraises for the Calgary Public Library Board. Its mission is to provide the Calgary community with the best public library system in the world. According to the foundation, one in four children start school behind their peers in reading and language skills. CPLF does not replace existing funding sources but instead seeks to enhance the collections, programs, and services offered by Calgary Public Library branches.

Calgary Public Library Foundation covers priority library needs that are not covered by the $60.5m received in government funding in F2021. The library reports that in F2021, nearly 14 million items were checked out. Additionally, the library offered 116,623 free online courses in F2021. The charity runs various programs and services across the 21 Calgary Public Library branches.

The ‘My First Bookshelf’ program is an initiative to provide a new, age-appropriate book for a child every month from birth to age five. In F2021, the Foundation delivered 16,638 books to participants. Additionally, the charity operates a ‘Borrow a Computer’ program. In F2021, 2,992 computers were borrowed from the charity. CPLF also ran various advocacy and education programs in F2021. The charity held three virtual programs as part of its ‘Human Rights and Holocaust Education’ initiatives. CPLF built 15 Indigenous Placemaking installations at seven Calgary Public Library locations as part of its reconciliation initiatives.

My anchor

Results and Impact

Calgary Public Library Foundation underwent a social audit led by BERK Consulting. The findings were published online in January 2016. According to the study, each dollar invested in the Calgary Public Library leads to a return of between $2.66 and $5.73 in direct benefits. The midpoint value of the direct benefits is $4.20 per dollar invested. Direct benefits are defined as the calculated gain received by clients using library services and programs.

The study also found that each dollar invested generates an economic impact of between $3.30 and $6.38. The midpoint value is $4.84. Economic impact is defined as both direct benefits and community benefits after dollars are spent and then circulated in the Calgary economy.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Calgary Public Library Foundation’s results and impact.

My anchor


Calgary Public Library Foundation received $4.2m in donations and special events revenue in F2021. Administrative costs are 12% of revenues (less investment income), and fundraising costs are 19% of donations and special events revenue. As a result, total overhead spending is 31%. For every dollar donated, 69 cents go towards the charity’s programs. This falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

CPLF has funding reserves of $15.3m, $587k of which is donor-endowed. Excluding donor-endowed reserves, Calgary Public Library Foundation can cover annual program costs for 10.5 years.

This charity report is an update that is being reviewed by Calgary Public Library Foundation. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 20, 2022 by Ann Lei.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 12.4%15.9%6.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 18.5%15.8%11.0%
Total overhead spending 30.9%31.6%17.7%
Program cost coverage (%) 1,051.0%779.7%176.2%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 4,1873,6239,152
Goods in kind 8791316
Government funding 1802460
Business activities (net) 1515689
Special events 3822106
Investment income 839468365
Other income 0300400
Total revenues 5,4824,80610,429
Grants 1,4251,5313,379
Administrative costs 576688675
Fundraising costs 7805761,021
Total spending 2,7822,7945,076
Cash flow from operations 2,7002,0125,354
Capital spending 410
Funding reserves 15,25912,43010,519

Note: Ci reported merchandise revenue net of expenses, affecting revenue by ($24k) in F2021, ($58k) in F2020, and ($54k) in F2019. Ci reported casino revenue net of expenses, affecting revenues and expenses by ($nil) in F2021, ($2k) in F2020, and ($nil) in F2019. Ci took administrative and fundraising costs from the charity’s T3010 filing with the CRA.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 9

Avg. compensation: $99,456

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

My anchor

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: 403-221-2002


Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Our website posts free reports on more than 800 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 500,000 Canadians use our website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.6 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.


Be Informed. Give Intelligently. Have Impact


Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001