1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8
President: David Farrar
Board Chair: Jane Allen

Charitable Reg. #:11903 5988 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) 93 cents are available for programs.

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About McMaster University:

McMaster University is a 5-Star charity. It is financially transparent, has a strong results reporting grade, and has reasonable overhead spending. 


Founded in 1887, McMaster University (McMaster) is a public university in Hamilton, Ontario. The school is named after Senator William McMaster, founding president of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, who funded its creation through a $900k bequest. Today, McMaster is a research-intensive university with six main faculties: business, engineering, health sciences, humanities, science, and social sciences. Its main programs are education and research, for which it does not provide a spending breakdown.

A Charity Intelligence 2023 Top 100 Rated Charity

In F2022, McMaster University had 35,082 enrolled students (full-time equivalent), including 30,477 undergraduates and 4,605 graduates. International students make up around 17% of its student population. McMaster has 997 faculty members, of which 26% teach health sciences, 22% teach science, 18% teach engineering, 14% teach social sciences, 12% teach humanities, and 8% teach business.


McMaster University is home to 86 Canada Research Chairs. Its researchers also include 118 endowed research chairs, two Ontario Research Chairs, and a Canada 150 Research Chair. McMaster states that it ranks second among Canadian universities for faculty research intensity based on research spending per faculty member. In F2022, it spent $369k per research faculty member and $69k per graduate student.

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Results and Impact

McMaster University awarded 5,988 bachelor’s degrees, 242 first-professional degrees, 1,569 master’s degrees, 248 doctoral degrees, and 35 graduate certifications/diplomas. The university reports that 94% of its undergraduate students continue to second year, and 84% graduate within seven years. 


In April 2019, McMaster University completed an impact evaluation with KPMG. Its impact assessment found that McMaster contributes around $1.6 billion in GDP and 14,000 full-time jobs to Ontario’s economy annually. Including the indirect effects of spending, KPMG estimated that McMaster’s total economic impact is around $9.2 billion each year.


While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of McMaster University’s results and impact. 


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

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McMaster University is a Major 100 charity, one of Canada’s largest charities in terms of donations. It received donations of $121.0m in F2022. It also received $567.4m in tuition and other fees (48% of revenues) and $450.6m in government funding (38% of revenues). Administrative costs are 2% of revenues (less investment income), and fundraising costs are 5% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 7%. For every dollar donated, 93 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

McMaster has $1.7 billion in net reserve funds (cash and investments), of which $548.4m is donor endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, McMaster could cover 113% or almost one year and two months of its annual program costs with reserves.


Charity Intelligence has sent this update to McMaster University for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.


Updated on July 24, 2023, by Sydney Olexa.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending April
Administrative costs as % of revenues 2.3%2.7%1.9%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 4.6%9.0%4.5%
Total overhead spending 6.8%11.7%6.4%
Program cost coverage (%) 113.2%121.1%86.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 120,99655,851113,640
Government funding 450,641466,737429,859
Fees for service 567,387529,597479,465
Business activities (net) 64,71817,76775,959
Investment income (66,777)315,72215,104
Other income 44,85342,76140,773
Total revenues 1,181,8181,428,4351,154,800
Program costs 1,006,056937,951950,931
Administrative costs 28,40029,87821,359
Fundraising costs 5,5145,0255,093
Other costs 17,39213,21113,257
Total spending 1,057,362986,065990,640
Cash flow from operations 124,456442,370164,160
Capital spending 131,926105,608127,922
Funding reserves 1,656,2351,684,8231,280,903

Note: Ci reported government funding from the charity’s T3010 filings and removed the amounts from donations. Ci classified amortization of deferred capital contributions as other income, as McMaster’s audited financials do not disclose the source of this funding. Ci included external endowment contributions in donations, increasing revenues by $20.6m in F2022, $11.5m in F2021, and $8.5m in F2020. Ci included investment gains (losses) from external endowments in investment income, affecting revenues by ($36.4m) in F2022, $116.3m in F2021, and ($14.7m) in F2020. McMaster does not report administrative and fundraising costs in its audited financial statements. Ci reported administrative and fundraising costs from the charity’s T3010 filings and removed the amounts from program costs. Ci removed amortization on a pro-rata basis from program, administrative, and fundraising costs.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 4,865

Avg. compensation: $107,753

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

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

Website: www.mcmaster.ca
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 905-525-9140


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001