Victoria Hospice Society

1952 Bay St., 3rd Floor Richmond Pavilion
Victoria, BC V8R 1J8
CEO: Kevin Harter
Board Chair: Marguerite Rowe

Charitable Reg. #:11928 4230 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) 77 cents are available for programs.

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About Victoria Hospice Society:

Founded in 1980, Victoria Hospice Society (VHS) provides end-of-life care to residents of Greater Victoria. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for people dealing with life limiting illness, death, and bereavement. VHS runs a 17-bed inpatient unit at Royal Jubilee Hospital for respite care, pain and symptom management, and ongoing end-of-life care. It also runs a 24-7 home care program, offers bereavement and counselling services, conducts research on best practices in pain and symptom management for palliative care, and educates doctors, caregivers, and other healthcare professionals (HCPs) through training programs and workshops.

VHS states that most of its services are free for clients. In keeping with BC government policies, there are daily charges for long-term and respite care beds in the in-patient unit at Royal Jubilee Hospital. The charity also states that some bereavement group services may include a charge to cover basic expenses.

Victoria Hospice Society’s in-patient unit admitted 484 people in F2018. Although the majority (70%) of VHS’ registered patients have cancer, VHS also helps people with diagnoses such as ALS or other chronic, progressive diseases. Referrals to the Hospice are made by Home & Community Care Nurses who work in partnership with VHS. The Hospice accepts patients in advanced stages of progressive illnesses who usually have a prognosis of six to 12 months. The unit has nine beds for ongoing end-of-life care (average length of stay of 17.7 days in F2018) seven beds for pain and symptom management (average length of stay was 7.7 days), and one bed for respite care to give caregivers one week of rest (average length of stay was 6.8 days).

The Palliative Response Team (PRT) is VHS’s home care program. Nurses, who are on-call 24-7, provide consultation and treatment to palliative patients in the comfort of their own homes, as well as counselling for patients and families. The Palliative Response Team made 1,399 home visits in F2018. Nurses made 5,020 phone consults to doctors and 1,472 to patients and families, and palliative care specialist doctors made 1,392 visits to patients at home, in hospital, or in other facilities. Bereavement services are available to family members of registered patients as well as the general public. In F2018, the charity made 2,347 personal counselling contacts and 1,637 people received counselling.

VHS’s research and education program offers two flagship courses for healthcare professionals: Palliative Care: Medical Intensive and Psychosocial Care of the Dying and Bereaved. In F2018, 325 HCPs received training through these courses. The charity also developed several other training workshops in F2018, including Violence Prevention Simulation, Serious Illness Conversations Training, and Point of Care Ultrasound Training.  

In its 2019-2024 strategic plan, VHS describes plans to find a new location for its inpatient care services and expand respite care services. It also plans to extend its home care program reach in the next five years by helping more people with pain and symptom management at home, psychosocial care at home, ambulatory clinics for palliative patients, and in-home respite care. Through a new navigation program, VHS hopes to have a single, consistent point of contact to access VHS’s patient and caregiver programs and services, and connect with patients and families at the time of diagnosis.

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Results and Impact

As part of its research activities, Victoria Hospice Society published two manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals in F2018 – one on complicated grief in Canada, and another on spiritual care training in healthcare.

In VHS’s F2017 Social Results Report, the charity provides client-reported outcomes gathered from a F2012-13 FamCare-2 satisfaction survey. As per the survey, 100% of patient family respondents felt that the Palliative Response Team respected their dignity and 93% were very satisfied or satisfied with the services they received. For the charity’s in-patient care unit, 87% of survey respondents indicated they were very satisfied or satisfied with the care they received. 86% of bereaved family respondents reported they were very satisfied or satisfied with the bereavement counselling services provided.

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The following financial analysis represents the consolidated activities of Victoria Hospice Society and Victoria Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation.

Victoria Hospice Society is a large charity that received $5.2m in donations in F2018. Government funding of $4.8m, representing amounts from Vancouver Island Health Authority, made up 45% of total revenue. Administrative costs are 10% of revenue (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 14% of donations. Per dollar donated, 77 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

Total funding reserves of $15.2m include just under $2.0m in donor-endowed funds. Excluding endowments, the charity’s reserves can cover annual program spending at the F2018 level for two years.

This report is an update that has been sent to Victoria Hospice Society for review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 26, 2019 by Katie Khodawandi.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 9.6%7.2%9.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 13.9%9.0%16.5%
Total overhead spending 23.5%16.2%25.9%
Program cost coverage (%) 202.5%170.2%92.0%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 5,2467,4923,551
Government funding 4,8364,7713,849
Fees for service 248388398
Business activities (net) 05054
Investment income 375976(58)
Other income 605914
Total revenues 10,76513,7377,808
Program costs 6,6196,6356,277
Administrative costs 993918741
Fundraising costs 729673585
Other costs 797570
Total spending 8,4218,3017,672
Cash flow from operations 2,3445,436135
Capital spending 1059693
Funding reserves 15,17213,0487,603

Note: Ci consolidated Victoria Hospice Society with its associated Foundation, excluding transfers between the two charities. This reduced total revenue and expenses by $2.5m in F2018, $4.9m in F2017, and $821k in F2016. Increase in cash surrender value of life insurance policies (non-cash) of $16k in F2016 is not included in revenues.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 33

Avg. Compensation: $77,520

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 F2018

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Comments & Contact

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Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 250-370-8715