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) 78 cents are available for programs.

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About Alberta Wilderness Association:

Alberta Wilderness Association is a 5-star charity that is financially transparent. Its results reporting grade is an A-, which is above average. AWA overhead spending is 22%, which is within Ci’s reasonable range. AWA has reserve funds to cover program cost for 2 years and 1 month.

Founded in 1965, Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) aims to preserve Alberta’s wilderness, wildlife, and water. AWA advocates for the protection of regions necessary for native species and biodiversity. AWA’s main program is Wilderness Stewardship and Outreach.

A Charity Intelligence 2023 Top 100 Rated Charity

AWA prioritizes six natural regions in Alberta: the Boreal Forest, the Rocky Mountains, the Foothills, the Grasslands, the Canadian Shield, and the Parklands. The charity advocates to the government and other regulatory agencies in the form of letters, petitions, forums, and legal action. In F2023, AWA hosted two fish & forest forums, engaged in the “Lower Athabasca Regional Plan” review, and ran its “Don’t Mine McClelland” campaign.

AWA seeks protection for habitats of at-risk species. Current species of interest include bison, caribou, native cold-water fish, and sage-grouse. AWA also advocates for improved species-at-risk legislation, and enforcement of existing laws to protect those species.

Alberta Wilderness Association also focuses on outreach to citizens. In F2023, AWA hosted 42 adventures through its “Adventures for Wilderness” program, which had a total of 352 participants. Alberta Wilderness Association also focused on its social media presence to engage more people. Its top Instagram post reached 244,000 accounts. AWA released four issues of its Wild Lands Advocate magazine and held 10 outreach events.

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Results and Impact

AWA talks about its outreach through social media improving in 2023. The charity states, “from May to July alone, the [Instagram] account grew by over 1,000 followers, and the number of accounts reached was up by 2,948% compared to earlier that year”. Regarding advocacy, AWA wrote to oppose a project that would affect water-associated birds. After a hearing, the project was successfully rejected by the Alberta Utilities Commission for environmental reasons. A goal for AWA’s “Don’t Mine McClelland” campaign is to turn the entire 330 km2 McClelland watershed into a Provincial Park. In F2023, AWA put an email template on its website for the campaign, which led to citizens sending over 400 letters to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

While Ci highlights these results, they may not be a complete representation of AWA's results and impact. 

Ci has not yet rated Alberta Wilderness Association on impact (n/r).  

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Alberta Wilderness Association had donations and special event fundraising of $842k in F2023. AWA is considered a small charity.

The charity received $36k in government funding representing 2% of total revenues.

Administrative costs are 9% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 13% of donations and special events revenue. This results in total overhead spending of 22%. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. For every dollar donated, 78 cents are available to go to the cause, and in F2023, 53 cents went to the cause.

Alberta Wilderness Association has $1.0m in reserve funds. These reserve funds are AWA’s cash and investments. The charity has 2 years and 1 month of annual program costs covered by its current reserves. 

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Alberta Wilderness Association for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming. 

Updated on May 27th by Lily Ferguson. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending July
Administrative costs as % of revenues 9.5%11.8%11.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 12.9%15.0%14.4%
Total overhead spending 22.4%26.8%26.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 211.2%171.8%173.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 766,461572,237610,391
Government funding 35,65379,937145,318
Fees for service 2,1508993,287
Business activities (net) 00750
Special events 76,01210,28469,294
Investment income 28,86415,70850,138
Total revenues 909,140679,065879,178
Program costs 479,855461,716469,670
Administrative costs 84,00477,95996,234
Fundraising costs 108,97287,41597,831
Total spending 672,831627,090663,735
Cash flow from operations 236,30951,975215,443
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 1,013,584793,319816,413

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 7

Avg. compensation: $64,199

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 F2023

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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


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001