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:

David Suzuki Foundation is a top-rated 4-star charity with an above-average results reporting score. This great charity has reasonable overhead costs and is financially transparent. 

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. Of its total program spending, DSF allocated 32% to communications, education, and public engagement, 18% to science and policy, 20% to British Columbia and Western Canada, 16% to Quebec and Atlantic Canada, and 14% to Ontario and Northern Canada in F2021. DSF focuses its work on three main areas: climate solutions, thriving nature, and sustainable communities. The charity does not provide a breakdown of spending on these programs. 

David Suzuki Foundation’s goal for climate solutions is to cut Canadian carbon pollution in half by 2030. DSF uses legal action to pressure the Canadian government to respond to climate change. In 2021, DSF’s advocacy led to Canada adding “plastic manufactured items” to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act's (CEPA) list of toxic substances. The Foundation also played a role in the introduction of a bill to modernize the CEPA which would make it the first Canadian law to recognize the right to a healthy environment.  

DSF’s goal for thriving nature is to protect and restore Canada’s most at-risk ecosystems and species. Today, 521 plant and animal species are considered at risk under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. The Foundation advocates for endangered and at-risk species, including marine life, butterflies, and caribou. In F2021, Blueberry River First Nations won an important ruling that stated the province of B.C. failed to uphold its treaty promises. DSF's Atlas of Cumulative Landscape Disturbance in the Traditional Territory of Blueberry River First Nations played a key role in convincing the court of this ruling. The charity's campaigning also helped the Quebec government recognize the scientific link between pesticide use and Parkinson’s. The government also launched a review of the Pest Control Products Act and announced a $50m investment over three years to find pesticide alternatives.  

David Suzuki Foundation’s goal for sustainable communities is to reduce Canada’s ecological footprint by a third by 2030. DSF states that 8.8 million people die early from air pollution each year. In F2021, DSF helped Edmonton become the first municipality to create and commit to a carbon budget. The Foundation also created two Future Ground Network online organizing hubs that mentor the environmental community. Over 3,000 people registered for this network in F2021.  

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Results and Impact

Quebec has also made the decision to close the door on oil, gas and coal in its territory for good thanks to the pressure from environmental groups. In F2021, Quebec also said no to the GNL project, a 780-km pipeline linking Quebec to northeastern Ontario. It was then officially rejected by the federal government. If this project had moved forward, it would have generated more than 50m tonnes of greenhouse gases every year for at least 25 years.  

The Canadian Net-Zero Accountability Act was passed in F2021. This law is designed to ensure the government follows through on promised climate action and never misses another climate target.  

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

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David Suzuki Foundation had total donations and special event revenue of $13.9m in F2021. Administrative costs are 6% of revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 16% donations. The David Suzuki Foundation spends 22% on overhead. This means for every dollar donated, 78 cents go towards the charity’s programs. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.  

DSF has $26.3m in total funding reserves, of which $9.3m is donor endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, DSF could cover 2.3 years of its annual program costs with reserves.  

According to DSF’s annual filing with the Charities Directorate, it paid external fundraisers $308k in F2021. It does not report how much these external fundraisers raised.  

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

Updated on June 10, 2022 by Emma Saganowich.  

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.4%7.0%5.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 15.8%16.9%17.3%
Total overhead spending 22.2%23.9%23.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 230.2%152.4%144.3%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 13,08412,60011,414
Government funding 81870
Special events 76767462
Investment income 1,2781,07269
Other income 3718553
Total revenues 15,24814,01211,998
Program costs 7,7829,1198,608
Grants 611593
Administrative costs 893907679
Fundraising costs 2,1842,1402,052
Total spending 10,92112,18111,432
Cash flow from operations 4,3271,831566
Capital spending 4461131
Funding reserves 26,25422,47921,149

Note: Ci reported realized and unrealized gains on endowment fund investments in investment income, affecting revenues by $999k in F2021, $683k in F2020, and ($403k) in F2019. 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. Ci reported government donations from the charity’s T3010 CRA filings.  

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 68

Avg. compensation: $82,143

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 F2021

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

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


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001