Canadian Civil Liberties Association

400 - 124 Merton Street
Toronto, ON M4S 2Z2
Executive Director: Noa Mendelsohn Aviv
Board Chair: Andrew Lokan

Charitable Reg. #:75480 2288 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



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.

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About Canadian Civil Liberties Association:

Canadian Civil Liberties Association is a 4-star charity with a below average results reporting grade and reasonable overhead spending. It is financially transparent. With its current reserves the charity can cover 15 months of annual program costs. 

Founded in 1964 and registered as a charity in 2019, Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) protects the civil liberties, human rights and democratic freedoms of Canadians. CCLA focuses on cases that involve criminal justice, equality, fundamental freedoms, and privacy. The Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust (CCLET) offers educational resources and workshops to educate Canadians about their civil and human rights. CCLA and CCLET are registered as separate charities, but provide consolidated financial statements and one annual report.  

While the charity's F2022 financial statements were released at the time of this profile update, the charity had not yet released its F2022 annual report, thus the program information below comes from the F2021 annual report.  

In F2021, CCLA's criminal justice program intervened before the Supreme Court of Canada in 14 appeals. In December 2021, CCLA’s equality program filed an appeal against Bill 21 in the Quebec Court of Appeal. Bill 21 prohibits public workers in Quebec from wearing religious symbols. After the law passed in 2019, CCLA challenged its constitutionality. Then in 2020 it presented a case against it in front of the Quebec Supreme Court. The most recent appeal challenges the decision of the Quebec Supreme Court to not strike down Bill 21 in its entirety. CCLA's privacy program published a report on the effects of facial recognition technology on civil rights.  

In F2021, CCLET delivered programs like Civil Liberties in Schools, that provides workshops and resources for students K-12. It also offered Teaching Civil Liberties, a program that provides training for future teachers about civil rights. The Newcomer Program offers workshops for newcomers to Canada. CCLA Talks is a series of workshops for professionals such as teachers, police officers and lawyers, about the rights of the communities they serve. The charity reports that CCLET reached around 10,000 people through its programs. In F2021, CCLA published a report on the state of education for Ontario youth in detention and rehabilitation centers.  

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Results and Impact

In F2021, CCLA’s equality program launched a lawsuit against the province of New Brunswick. The lawsuit challenges a provincial regulation that restricts access to abortions. The charity reports that due to the regulation, 90% of New Brunswickers do not have adequate access to abortion services. CCLA won the first round of the appeal. It now has standing to pursue the challenge against New Brunswick’s government.  

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s results and impact. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r). 

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Canadian Civil Liberties Association had $2.3m in donations in F2022. Donations have increased by 21% since F2021. Administrative costs are 18% of total revenues less investment income and fundraising costs are 13% of donations. This results in overhead spending of 31% in F2022, down from 41% in F2021. For every dollar donated, 69 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

CCLA had $1.8m in reserve funds in F2022. These are the charity’s cash and investments. In these reserve funds, $232k are endowed by donors. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity has one year and three months of annual program costs covered by its current reserves. 

This charity report has been sent to Canadian Civil Liberties Association for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.   

Updated on August 3, 2023 by Alessandra Castino. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 18.5%23.7%15.2%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 12.9%17.2%11.9%
Total overhead spending 31.4%41.0%27.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 128.9%115.8%152.3%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 2,278,1201,888,3791,972,607
Government funding 0040,650
Fees for service 56,44700
Business activities (net) 40,346167,789175,080
Investment income (34,302)91,95417,952
Other income 29,51513,0053,930
Total revenues 2,370,1262,161,1272,210,219
Program costs 1,277,8541,323,3571,042,271
Administrative costs 444,902491,170333,585
Fundraising costs 293,765325,509233,742
Total spending 2,016,5222,140,0371,609,597
Cash flow from operations 353,60421,090600,622
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 1,864,7431,531,8141,587,495

Note: Ci included endowment contributions to donations. Ci adjusted for deferred donations, affecting total revenues by $44k in F2022, $65k in F2021, and $87k in F2020. Ci included unrealized gain (loss) in investment income, affecting total revenues by ($60k) in F2022, $74k in F2021, and ($716) in F2020. Ci reported program, administrative and fundraising costs from CCLA and CCLET’s T3010 filings with the CRA. Ci removed amortization from program, administrative and fundraising on a pro rata basis.  

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 14

Avg. compensation: $64,613

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:

This comment was left on the 2023 profile:

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, like many charities engaged in the complex, long-term work of seeking to create more social justice for all people in Canada, is not a traditional charity with traditional charitable outputs. As such, the value and worth of our work to people in Canada cannot be measured by the traditional charitable measurements and metrics used by Charity Intelligence to evaluate our success in achieving goals such as combating racism and discrimination, challenging unfair laws or the unfair application of laws by police and courts, and defending fundamental rights like freedom of expression or religion, in one-year increments with specific budget allocations. We recommend Charity Intelligence attempt to create an appropriate rating system for organizations like CCLA which seek to fundamentally transform society in profound and more equitable ways in order to demonstrate the true worth of our work and the long-term value to donors of supporting our efforts.

Charity Contact

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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001