Elephant Thoughts


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Executive Director: Jeremy Rhodes
Board Chair: Deb Keep

Website: www.elephantthoughts.com
Charitable Reg. #: 85213 9336 RR0001
Sector: Social Services
Operating Charity

Donor Accountability

Grade: C-

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

Financial Transparency

Audited financial statements available only upon request [ Audited financial statement for most recent year ]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Cents to The Cause

95¢
75¢
avg
65¢
50¢
2015 2016 2017
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Full-time staff #8

Avg. Compensation $54,515

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 0
$120k - $160k 0
$80k - $120k 1
$40k - $80k 6
< $40k 1
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2017

About Elephant Thoughts:

Founded in Canada in 2002 by a group of teachers, principals and other professional educators, Elephant Thoughts works to develop educational systems in schools across Canada, including over 100 Indigenous schools annually. The charity also works with thousands of teachers globally to create effective educational solutions in developing countries such as Tanzania, Nepal and India. Elephant Thoughts has also responded to multiple major humanitarian issues including rebuilding schools after the earthquakes in China and Nepal, and sponsoring refugee families. The charity is based out of Collingwood, Ontario.

Elephant Thoughts runs numerous educational programs for indigenous students based around STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics). The charity’s CodersNorth program teaches robotics and coding skills to indigenous students through in-class programs, professional development workshops for teachers and summer camps. Other programs include indigenous school programs, summer science camps and science internships for indigenous students. The charity also runs science camps on PD days and March break for children in the Georgian Bay area.

Elephant Thoughts operates two youth centers, in Collingwood and Kimbercote, that provide a safe place for youth to hang out and learn new skills such as computer coding, art, cooking and graphic design. These centers focus on the mental wellbeing of indigenous youth. The charity also supports poverty relief projects in developing countries such as Nepal, India, Nicaragua, China, Tanzania and Ghana.

Results and Impact: Elephant Thoughts reports that in 2010 it began a 5-week academic intervention program with a Northern School Board whose graduation rates had fallen to 1.7%. The first year after the charity’s program, graduation rates increased by 6%. It reports a 15.6% increase in the second year, meaning 135 students graduated compared to only 12. According to the charity, eight years after the charity’s intervention, 86% of students that it works with in that school board graduate.

Financial Review:

Elephant Thoughts is a Small charity with total donations of $628k in F2017, a 46% decrease since F2015. Administrative costs are 5% of revenues and fundraising costs are 7% of total donations. Per dollar donated to the charity, $0.87 goes toward its programs, which falls well inside Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

Elephant Thoughts has no cash on hand to spend and in F2017 had $1.2m of interest-bearing debt. 49% of this debt is a mortgage for the charity’s building in Collingwood. Negative funding reserves of $1.2m are more than one year of annual program costs, indicating a strong need for donations.

Charity Intelligence believes Elephant Thoughts incorrectly filed its F2017 employee compensation numbers on its T3010 with the CRA. As a result, the average compensation value could be overstated. Ci has contacted the charity to confirm its employee salary information.

This is a new charity report that has been sent to Elephant Thoughts for review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Created on August 16, 2018 by Derek Houlberg.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending June
201720162015
Administrative costs as % of revenues 5.5%5.0%3.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 7.2%6.1%2.6%
Program cost coverage (%) (103.7%)(67.3%)(47.4%)

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
201720162015
Donations 627,779746,0341,165,753
Fees for service 907,5851,004,1651,271,704
Business activities (net) 94,69888,20263,285
Total revenues 1,630,0621,838,4012,500,742
Program costs - International 86,624183,879108,110
Program costs - Canada 1,107,3911,267,9561,973,116
Administrative costs 89,56692,25092,346
Fundraising costs 45,02845,82630,681
Other costs 72,14058,65588,403
Cash flow from operations 229,312189,835208,086
Funding reserves (1,237,707)(977,456)(986,676)
Note: Ci reports business activity revenue net of expenses, decreasing total revenue and expenses by $131k in F2017, $134k in F2016 and $87k in F2015. Ci gathered administrative and fundraising costs from the charity’s T3010 CRA filing. Ci backs out amortization from program, administrative and fundraising costs on a pro-rated basis. 

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