Fighting Blindness Canada

890 Yonge St., 12th Floor
Toronto, ON M4W 3P4
President & CEO: Doug Earle
Board Chair: Tara James

Charitable Reg. #:11912 9369 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) 67 cents are available for programs.

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About Fighting Blindness Canada:

Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC) was founded in 1974 as the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation of Canada. Renamed as Foundation Fighting Blindness in 1995, and Fighting Blindness Canada in 2019, the charity has a mission of leading the fight against blindness by advancing retinal disease research, education, and public awareness. FBC reports that 1.5 million Canadians are blind or partially sighted, and 5.6 million have an eye disease that puts them at risk of vision loss. Since 1974, FBC has invested $40m in vision research and education, funding more than 200 research grants that have led to over 600 new discoveries in areas such as stem cell research, technological developments, pharmaceuticals, and gene therapies. 

FBC runs two main programs: Research, and Education & Advocacy. Both programs prioritize understanding why vision loss occurs, and discovering ways to slow, stop, or repair vision loss.

Research: In F2020, Fighting Blindness Canada allocated 69% of annual program spending to Research. Throughout 2020, FBC funded 26 research grants, six of which were New Outstanding Research Grants. The charity partners with the Canadian Institute of Health Research as well as international collaborators in its effort to prevent blindness and restore sight. FBC’s Restore Vision 20/20 Award funds research with the greatest potential to progress new sight-restorative treatments for retinitis pigmentosa. In 2020, Dr. Catherine Tsilfidis, Dr. David Gamm, Dr. Philippe Monnier, and Dr. Richard Kramer's teams received Restore Vision 20/20 awards totalling over $1.6m to be disbursed over the next two/three years.

Education & Advocacy: This program accounted for 31% of program spending in F2020. Its goal is to educate the public on eye diseases and advocate on behalf of Canadians living with, or at risk of developing blinding eye diseases. In F2020, FBC reported that 325 people received support from its Out Health information line, 115,000 people accessed its website, and over 1,700 people virtually attended its new View Point educational series. The charity notes that throughout its history, it has connected with over 30 million Canadians to raise awareness of the importance of regular eye exams.

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Results and Impact

In the past two years, FBC's researchers have made several advancements in the vision domain, such as discovering a new genetic cause for non-syndromic inherited retinal diseases, and that levels of vitamin D are higher in the eyes of patients with retinal disease. As such, some of the work conducted by FBC-funded researchers has been published in peer-reviewed journals including BMJ Open Ophthalmology, Opthalmic Genetics, Neurobiology of Disease, and New England Journal of Medicine.

A F2020 highlight was FBC's advocacy contributing to Health Canada's approval of Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec), the first ever sight-restoring gene therapy medication for the inherited retinal disease known as leber congenital amaurosis. Two of FBC's researchers, Dr. Elise Héon and Dr. Robert Koenekoop, are helping Canadians gain early access to this treatment through FBC's Patient Registry. In F2020, FBC also continued advocating for the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (GDNA), a law which protects genetic information from being shared without consent from the patient. On July 3, 2020, the GDNA became constitutional.

Charity Intelligence highlights these key results. They may not be a complete representation of Fighting Blindness Canada's results. Charity Intelligence has not assessed impact on FBC. This shows as n/r, meaning not rated.

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Fighting Blindness Canada received $6.2m in donations and special events fundraising in F2020. Administrative costs are 6% of revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 27% of donations. For every $1 donated to the charity, 67 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

The charity has funding reserves of $7.1m, which could cover annual programs and grants for 2.9 years. In F2020, donor restrictions on FBC's (former) Endowment Fund were lifted, explaining the $1.3m decrease in endowed funds, and increase in program cost coverage ratio.

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

Updated on July 28, 2021 by Rachel Leteta.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 5.7%8.3%13.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 27.4%42.1%32.1%
Total overhead spending 33.1%50.4%45.9%
Program cost coverage (%) 290.8%134.3%205.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 5,3013,0043,090
Government funding 38282
Special events 8881,2821,605
Investment income (85)188(59)
Other income 016
Total revenues 6,4854,4834,643
Program costs 1,1091,232740
Grants 1,3301,5471,202
Administrative costs 376356646
Fundraising costs 1,6941,8051,508
Total spending 4,5094,9404,096
Cash flow from operations 1,976(457)547
Capital spending 5275
Funding reserves 7,0934,9605,159

Note: Ci adjusted for deferred revenue, affecting total revenues by $1.5m in F2020, ($440k) in F2019, and $381k in F2018. Ci used the charity's t3010a filing with the CRA to report government contributions for F2019 and F2018. Investment income includes change in fair value of investments and investment management fees. Expenditures noted as direct costs to Scientific Research and rent were included in program costs.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 22

Avg. compensation: $71,280

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

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 416.360.4200


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001