Amnesty International - Canadian Section

312 Laurier Ave E.
Ottawa, ON K1N 1H9
Interim Executive Director: Frida Kruijt
Board Chair: Mohamed Haque

Charitable Reg. #:11878 5914 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 2/5]



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) 60 cents are available for programs.

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Amnesty International - French Canadian Section
Protéger la liberté, la justice, la dignité.
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Montreal, Quebec

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About Amnesty International - Canadian Section:

Amnesty International Canada is a 2-Star charity. It is financially transparent and has a need for funding. However, it has a below average results reporting grade and overhead costs outside of Ci's reasonable range. This is largely due to its high fundraising costs. Before you give, read Charity Intelligence's report. 

Founded in 1974, Amnesty International Canada (AIC) is the Canadian arm of Amnesty International (AI), a global movement of over 10 million people in 150 countries working to protect and promote human rights. Its mission is to research and prevent or end significant abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.

AIC has approximately 90 support groups and Action Circles across Canada that participate in national campaigns and write letters on behalf of people who are facing human rights violations. To work towards its mission, the charity diverts funds to AI's international programming and runs three of its own programs: Action Strategies, Grassroots Activism in Canada, and Communications and Marketing.

AIC spent $4.9m on International Projects in F2021 (52% of total program spending). Typical projects funded include research missions, investigations and reports, worldwide campaigns, and work with international bodies like the United Nations. AIC states that AI sends around 130 research teams to 70 countries to investigate human rights violations annually.

Action Strategies supports AIC's response to crises and its Urgent Action Network. AIC mobilizes letters of appeal written on behalf of individuals in immediate danger whose human rights are being violated. Its biggest letter writing event is Write for Rights. In 2021, the Global Write for Rights campaign had 4,657,104 actions including 80,630 from Canadians. Canadians held 180 in person and virtual events for Write for Rights.

AIC’s Grassroots Activism provides support and materials to the greater Amnesty network that is working on issues (e.g., Indigenous peoples), or with groups (e.g., human rights defenders).

Communications and Marketing works towards educating the public on human rights violations through channels such as social media or published reports.

In F2019, a review of Amnesty International's workplace culture was conducted following the death by suicide of two of its employees. This review characterized AI's workplace culture as “toxic,” with prevalent bullying, public humiliation, sexism, and other abuses of power. AI's response can be found here. Following this report, Amnesty International's Secretary-General, Kumi Naidoo, resigned. In 2021, another review of AI found it had a culture of white privilege, with incidents of overt racism.

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Results and Impact

Amnesty International Canada contributes to AI's efforts in sending letters of appeal to release unfairly detained individuals. As of July 2022, one person featured in the 2021 Write for Rights campaign was released from prison. Canadians sent over 26,000 letters in support of Bernardo Caal Xol who was imprisoned for over four years in Guatemala. He was released in March 2022.

Following the 2020 Write for Rights campaign, Germain Rukuki was released from prison. Canadians wrote nearly 10,000 letters supporting him. Nassima al-Sada was also released from prison. Canadians wrote nearly 13,000 letters supporting her.

In response to research by Amnesty International and partners, Mali’s authorities launched an investigation into an ‘anti-terrorist operation’ carried out by Mali’s armed forces and mercenaries from the Wagner group. The operation left 203 dead. Amnesty International and its partners’ research concluded that dozens of civilians were killed in the operation.

Charity Intelligence highlights these key results. They may not be a complete representation of Amnesty International (Canada)'s results. Charity Intelligence has not assessed impact on AIC. This shows as n/r, meaning not rated.

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Amnesty International Canada received donations of $17.5m in 2021. AIC's administrative costs are 9% of revenues and its fundraising costs are 31% of donations. For every dollar donated, 60 cents go to the cause. This is outside of Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending and has been for every year of Ci’s analysis of AIC. 

AIC has funding reserves of $5.4m, which could cover nearly 7 months of annual program costs at the 2021 level.

AIC uses external fundraisers as part of its fundraising activities. The charity reports paying $3.0m for external fundraisers to raise $3.6m in F2020, equating to a cost of $0.83 to raise a dollar. This 83% cost is consistent over the last 9 years. Donors wanting to avoid these high fundraising costs should donate directly to Amnesty International rather than through external fundraisers. 

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Amnesty International Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 21, 2021 by Emily Downing. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 9.0%10.1%9.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 31.3%34.3%31.5%
Total overhead spending 40.2%44.3%40.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 57.4%40.0%41.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 17,51514,46015,286
Special events 4063
Investment income 181718
Other income 532516
Total revenues 17,59114,50115,382
Program costs - International 4,8824,0523,763
Program costs - Canada 4,4513,9054,362
Administrative costs 1,5731,4561,424
Fundraising costs 5,4784,9584,836
Total spending 16,38414,37014,384
Cash flow from operations 1,206131998
Capital spending 864289
Funding reserves 5,3533,1823,384

Note: Ci has reported donation revenues gross of fundraising expenses and reported the fundraising expenses in fundraising costs, increasing revenues and expenses by $5.0m in F2020, $4.9m in 2019, and $5.1m in 2018. International program costs have been backed out of Canadian program costs. Ci has also backed out amortization from program costs, administrative, and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis. The charity's F2021 T3010 filing is not yet available on the CRA's charity directorate website. As such, compensation information and details on amounts collected by and paid to external fundraisers reflects F2020.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 45

Avg. compensation: $98,285

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 F2020

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Comments & Contact

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Charity Contact

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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001