Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

3228 South Service Road, Suite 113E
Burlington, ON L7N 3H8
President & CEO: W. Matthew Chater
Vice Board Chair: Shalomi Abraham

Charitable Reg. #:11880 8740 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) 86 cents are available for programs.

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About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada:

Founded in 1964, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBS) connects volunteer mentors with Canadian youth. BBBS works with kids who face barriers such as poor living conditions and family violence, being exposed to risk factors for mental health, struggling in school, or having identity challenges. Unaddressed, these conditions can lead to poverty, crime, and mental illness. Through mentorship, BBBS aims to reduce and avoid these risks and improve a child's chance of success.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada assists 102 local Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies, which serve over 1,100 Canadian communities. BBBS collects fees from these agencies and provides them with assistance in running programs. BBBS also distributes grants to its agencies, awarding $2.4 million in F2019. 

Through its agencies, BBBS runs Big Brothers and Big Sisters One-to-One mentoring programs. Case workers match kids with volunteer mentors based on common interests. Mentors and mentees meet at least twice a month for a minimum of one year. One-to-One mentoring is also offered in schools where volunteers spend an hour each week reading, playing board games, or doing crafts with students.

BBBS also has two group programs – Go Girls! and Game On! These programs teach teenage girls and boys about healthy lifestyles and promote physical activity, balanced eating, self-esteem, positive communication, and emotional health. Go Girls! is a seven to 10 week program for girls aged 12-14, with sessions lasting 90 to 120 minutes. Game On! is a seven-session program for boys, with each session lasting 75 minutes.

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Results and Impact

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) completed a pro-bono study that evaluated the impact of BBBS's One-to-One mentoring program. The study compared adults who participated in One-to-One programs as kids to those who did not. BCG found that for every $1 invested in the program, $23 is returned to society. BCG also found that past mentees are 17% more likely to be employed and earn 13% more, leading to a $315,000 increase in earnings over their lifetime. Other outcomes include: 81% have stronger financial literacy, 87% have strong social networks, and 63% have post-secondary education.

Charity Intelligence has evaluated Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada and found the charity to have Average demonstrated social impact per dollar spent.

Impact Rating: Average

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Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada is a medium-sized charity, receiving $2.7m in donations in F2019. Compared with F2018, total donations increased by 75%. The charity also received $2.9m in government funding (43% of total revenue) in F2019. Administrative costs are 9% of revenues and fundraising costs are 6% of donations. For every dollar donated, 85 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci's reasonable range for overhead spending. Funding reserves of $2.6m can cover 5.5 months of annual program costs.

In F2019, BBBS received $490k from units of a hedge fund received in 1999. In 1999, the units were valued and tax receipted at $8.8 million.

BBBS Canada has a separate foundation that Ci has not consolidated in this review. From a brief review of BBBS Canada Foundation's annual filing, assets were $276k and donations were $35k in F2019.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada for review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 14, 2020 by Tenzin Shomar.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 8.6%12.3%8.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 5.8%10.1%8.8%
Total overhead spending 14.4%22.3%17.5%
Program cost coverage (%) 45.7%21.9%23.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 2,7211,5591,806
Government funding 2,8862,1873,060
Fees for service 9861,0081,025
Investment income 110(21)13
Total revenues 6,7024,7325,904
Program costs 3,3721,9962,222
Grants 2,4202,0322,998
Administrative costs 567584513
Fundraising costs 158157158
Total spending 6,5174,7685,891
Cash flow from operations 185(35)13
Capital spending 18358
Funding reserves 2,6458811,233

Note: In F2019 and F2017, deferred donations and government funding were material. The charity's financial statements report changes in deferred contributions of ($1.1m) in F2019, $38k in F2018, and ($959k) in F2017. Revenues were not adjusted to report on a cash basis because Ci could not accurately allocate deferred adjustments to donations and government funding separately. Ci reported unrealized loss on investments as a contra-revenue item in investment income instead of as an expense, changing total revenue and expenses by $62k in F2019 and ($40k) in F2018.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 17

Avg. Compensation: $86,639

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: 905-639-0461