Alberta Wilderness Association

455 - 12 St NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1Y9
Executive Director: Debborah Donnelly
Board President: Jim Campbell

Charitable Reg. #:11878 1251 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 5/5]



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) 73 cents are available for programs.

My anchor


About Alberta Wilderness Association:

Alberta Wilderness Association is a 5-star charity with an above-average results reporting score. Its overhead costs are within Ci’s reasonable range, and it has reserve funds to cover program costs for almost a year and nine months.

Founded in 1965, Alberta Wilderness Association’s (AWA) mission is to preserve Alberta’s wilderness, water, and wildlife. It does this by seeking protection for regions that represent the province’s characteristic landscapes. AWA’s major program is wilderness conservation, which it achieves through public awareness and action. 

AWA prioritizes six natural regions: the Boreal Forest, the Rocky Mountains, the Canadian Shield, the Grasslands, the Foothills, and the Parklands. AWA proposes areas for conservation for each of these regions. AWA’s goal is to have 34% of the Boreal Forest, 90% of the Rockies, 79% of the Canadian Shield, 16% of the Grasslands, 20% of the Foothills, and 4% of the Parklands protected in the future. 

To protect wild spaces, the charity advocates to the government and other regulatory agencies including in the form of letters, petitions, forums, and legal action. In F2022, the Grassy Mountain Coal Project, which AWA opposed, was successfully rejected.

For wildlife conservation, AWA seeks protection for habitats of at-risk species through its Protected Areas. Current species of interest include bison, caribou, native cold-water fish, grizzly bears, sage-grouse, and wolves. AWA also advocates for improved species-at-risk legislation in Alberta and enforcement of existing laws to protect at-risk species.

To protect freshwater in Alberta, AWA advocates for a stronger provincial wetland policy. AWA currently prioritizes the McClelland Lake wetlands, Wood Buffalo National Park, and the Peace-Athabasca Delta, which face immediate threats. The charity is also fighting against a water pipeline proposal that would divert water from the Red Deer watershed.

In F2022, 1,161 people attended Alberta Wilderness Association’s events. The charity’s Adventures for Wilderness program hosted 37 adventures. Additionally, AWA released four issues of its Wildlands Advocate magazine. Each issue was delivered to 2,200 individuals and accessed online by more people. The charity also launched a Leave No Trace campaign to remind people to minimise any negative impact on places they visit.

My anchor

Results and Impact

Through its activities, Alberta Wilderness Association advocates for the conservation and protection of Alberta’s natural regions. As of 2022, 4,550,447 hectares of land are provincially protected areas, up almost 3.5% from 2019. AWA states that protected ecosystems provide humans with food, clean water, protection from natural disasters, and recreation opportunities. As such, AWA believes protected areas provide direct and indirect benefits to physical and mental health. AWA also states that Alberta’s protected areas result in direct economic benefits. For example, AWA reports that visitor spending in National Parks amounted to $1.5 billion in 2009.

While Charity Intelligence highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Alberta Wilderness Association’s results and impact.

This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

My anchor


Alberta Wilderness Association is a small charity that received $583k in F2022 through donations and special events revenue. The charity received $80k in government funding, which represented 12% of total revenues.

Administrative costs are 12% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 15% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 27%. For every dollar donated, 73 cents go to the cause which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. AWA’s financial statements are unaudited which Charity Intelligence finds acceptable for a charity of its size. The Charities Directorate recommends charities of AWA’s size have audited financial statements.

AWA has reserve funds of $793k. With these funding reserves, AWA could cover almost a year and nine months of its program costs.

In the charity's T3010 filings with the CRA, it reported six full time positions, but listed nine positions for the top ten salary range.

Charity Intelligence sent an update of this report to AWA for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 13, 2023 by Kiara Andrade.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending July
Administrative costs as % of revenues 11.8%11.6%12.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 15.0%14.4%16.9%
Total overhead spending 26.8%26.0%29.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 171.8%173.8%128.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 572,237610,391516,706
Government funding 79,937145,318130,221
Fees for service 8993,2872,213
Business activities (net) 0750350
Special events 10,28469,29439,971
Investment income 15,70850,138(5,142)
Total revenues 679,065879,178684,319
Program costs 461,716469,670458,365
Administrative costs 77,95996,23485,234
Fundraising costs 87,41597,83193,822
Total spending 627,090663,735637,421
Cash flow from operations 51,975215,44346,898
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 793,319816,413590,142

Note: To report on a cash basis, Ci adjusted for deferred revenues, affecting revenue by ($5k) in F2020.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 6

Avg. compensation: $87,169

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

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) 283-2025


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