David Suzuki Foundation

219-2211 West 4th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6K 4S2
CEO: Steve Cornish
Board Chair: Margot Young

Charitable Reg. #:12775 6716 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) 78 cents are available for programs.

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About David Suzuki Foundation:

Founded in 1990, David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) works to protect Canada’s natural environment. The charity is based in Vancouver, with offices in Toronto and Montreal. DSF’s work focuses on three main areas: climate solutions, biodiversity, and environmental rights.

David Suzuki Foundation’s goal for climate solutions is to speed up the transition to a low-carbon future. DSF advocates for methane regulations, carbon pricing, and sustainable transportation in cities. In F2019, DSF initiated its Get Out the Vote campaign to make climate change a top election issue. Members of the campaign sent more than 1,000 letters and 43,000 online messages to party leaders demanding action on climate change. In F2019, DSF also paid for legal costs of 15 young Canadians in a lawsuit against the federal government for its role in climate change. DSF’s uses legal action to pressure the Canadian government to urgently respond to climate change.

David Suzuki Foundation’s goal for biodiversity is to protect and restore nature. DSF advocates for endangered and at-risk species, including marine life, butterflies, and caribou. In F2019, Canada announced new laws to protect at-risk orcas and salmon. These included whale-watching restrictions, no-vessel zones, and limits to salmon harvests. In F2019, DSF's Butterflyway Project planted pesticide-free flowers to help millions of monarch butterflies in their yearly migration.

David Suzuki Foundation’s goal for environmental rights is to establish a legal right for all Canadians to live in a healthy environment. DSF states that more than 90% of Canadians support this right. Launched in 2014, DSF’s Blue Dot movement pushes for the recognition of environmental rights across Canada. More than 100,000 people joined the movement and 174 municipal governments now recognize certain environmental rights. In Canada’s 2019 federal election, DSF reported that over 200 MPs from all major parties pledged to recognize environmental rights.

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Results and Impact

David Suzuki Foundation reports that its climate campaign has encouraged the B.C. government to pass a law requiring all new vehicles to be zero-emission by 2040. The transportation sector accounts for around 40 percent of B.C.’s carbon emissions. DSF also reports that Regina passed a motion in F2019 to become a 100 percent renewable energy city by 2050.

In F2019, the federal government made three major policy changes to protect biodiversity. Canada officially committed to protecting 30 percent of its oceans by 2030. It also modified the Oceans Act and Petroleum Resources Act to include a simpler process of creating protected areas. Finally, Canada’s renewed Fisheries Act commits to restoring local fish populations.

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

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David Suzuki Foundation is a ­­­­Large charity, with total donations of $12.1m in F2019. Administrative costs are 6% of revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 15% of donations. DSF’s overhead costs are 22%. For every dollar donated, 78 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

DSF has $21.1m in total funding reserves, of which $9.3m is donor-endowed. Excluding these donor-endowed funds, DSF could cover 144% or 1.4 years of its annual program costs.

According to DSF’s annual filing with the Charities Directorate, it paid external fundraisers $349k in F2019. It does not report how much these external fundraisers raised. 

­This charity report is an update that has been sent to David Suzuki Foundation for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on May 22, 2020 by Eric Zhao.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.3%5.9%8.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 15.4%16.5%17.5%
Total overhead spending 21.7%22.4%25.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 144.3%143.4%142.0%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 12,11510,2558,740
Special events 462307271
Investment income 691,1691,014
Other income 533555
Total revenues 12,69911,76610,080
Program costs 8,6087,8137,224
Grants 939729
Administrative costs 798629749
Fundraising costs 1,9331,7431,578
Total spending 11,43210,2819,579
Cash flow from operations 1,2671,485500
Capital spending 1316347
Funding reserves 21,14919,94118,898

Note: Ci reported restricted donations received during the year instead of restricted donations recognized, affecting revenues by $701k in F2019, $491k in F2018, and ($267k) in F2017. Ci reported endowment contributions in donations, increasing revenues by $7k in F2018. Ci reported realized and unrealized gains on endowment fund investments in investment income, affecting revenues by ($403k) in F2019, $749k in F2018, and $641k in F2017. Ci reported grants to qualified donees from the charity's T3010 CRA filings and backed out the amounts from program costs. Ci backed out amortization of capital assets from program, administrative, and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 81

Avg. Compensation: $73,808

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 F2019

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

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Charity Contact

Website: www.davidsuzuki.org
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 604-732-4228