Foundation Fighting Blindness

890 Yonge St., 12th Floor
Toronto, ON M4W 3P4
President & CEO: Sharon Colle
Board Chair: Andrew Burke

Charitable Reg. #: 11912 9369 RR0001
Sector: Health
Operating Charity

Results Reporting

Grade: A-

The grade is based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.

Financial Transparency

Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity's website [Audited financial statement for most recent year]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Cents to the Cause

2014 2015 2016
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Full-time staff #23

Avg. Compensation $58,659

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 0
$120k - $160k 2
$80k - $120k 3
$40k - $80k 5
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2015

About Foundation Fighting Blindness:

Foundation Fighting Blindness was founded in 1974 as the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation of Canada. Renamed to the Foundation Fighting Blindness in 1995, it has a mission to lead the fight against blindness by advancing retinal disease research, education, and public awareness. The Foundation reports that over 1 million Canadians are living with blinding retinal eye diseases.

In F2016, the Foundation allocated $980k to 23 research projects, down from $1.6m to 28 research projects in F2015. The projects supported in F2015 resulted in 42 new discoveries, 23 new research tools, and 2 clinical research trials. The Foundation partners with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as well as international collaborators in its effort to prevent blindness and restore sight.

As part of its Vision Quest program, Foundation Fighting Blindness works to raise awareness of blinding eye diseases and the work the Foundation does. In F2015, it held conferences across Vancouver, London, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax. Together, the conferences had over 1,000 cumulative attendees, 56 speakers, and 47 exhibitors. The conferences brought together 67 healthcare experts, 339 caregivers, 554 patients, and resulted in 237 new donors for the Foundation.

The Foundation also advocates for vision health, participating in forums on Parliament Hill to ensure that Canada meets the highest possible standards in vision care and research. Since 2009, the Foundation has been meeting with Canadian senators and members of provincial and federal parliaments to advance the legislation against genetic discrimination. On March 8, 2017, the federal parliament voted in support of Bill S-201, ensuring that Canadians can get genetic testing without losing or being denied insurance coverage. The protections in this bill will be included in the Canadian Human Rights Act and Canadian Labour Code.

Financial Review:

Foundation Fighting Blindness is a medium-sized charity with $4.8m in donations and special events fundraising in F2016. Administrative costs were 11% of revenues and fundraising costs were 35% of donations. For every $1 donated, 54 cents went to the cause. This falls outside of Charity Intelligence’s reasonable range for overhead spending. The Foundation has funding reserves of $3.9m, of which $1.5m are donor-endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, Foundation Fighting Blindness can cover annual programs and grants 1.5 times.

This charity report is an update that is currently being reviewed by Foundation Fighting Blindness. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 21, 2017 by Juliana Badovinac.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 11.4%11.7%13.1%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 34.7%40.1%43.4%
Program cost coverage (%) 229.6%133.3%117.5%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 2,879,6102,339,0502,007,313
Special events 1,950,4242,301,5602,325,289
Investment income 108,94459,408124,495
Other income 8,2601331,014
Total revenues 4,947,2384,700,1514,458,111
Program costs 726,611591,249768,692
Grants 980,2361,635,0691,880,314
Administrative costs 549,919542,579565,718
Fundraising costs 1,676,7721,861,7751,881,437
Cash flow from operations 1,013,70069,479(638,050)
Funding reserves 3,919,6102,968,0933,112,551

Comments added by the Charity:

Thanks to the generous support of donors and partners, the Foundation Fighting Blindness has grown by almost 30% since 2008. We work very hard to put as much of your donations to our mission programs as possible; we monitor our expenses  very closely. Unlike charities that receive government funding, we rely on events that bring our community and donors together to fund education and sight-saving research. Close to 60% of fundraising dollars are from events, which are more costly to hold. Our goal is to continue to lower expenses and at the same time diversify our fundraising sources so that we can keep putting more of your money to work. To achieve this, we need your continued support. Please visit for more information.


The Program Cost Coverage ratio is intended to reflect  the amount of funds that can be used to cover expenses. The Foundation’s $1 million endowment  fund is restricted and cannot be used to cover expenses. Therefore, we would have preferred if it had been excluded from the Program Cost Coverage ratio calculations. Our adjusted Program Cost Coverage ratios are 144% for 2012, 120% for 2011, and 132% for 2010.


On December 5, 2011, the Foundation's Board of Directors approved an increased investment in research grants over 3 years totaling $750,000, by drawing on the reserve account. The objective of this change is to reduce the Program Cost Coverage ratio to approximately 100%. With this new commitment, the Foundation's investment in research increased by 35% in 2012 to a total of $1.85 million with an investment of over $2 million anticipated in 2013.


The Foundation works to maximize the impact of your donations by collaborating with government and non-profit agencies on sight-saving research projects. Considering the contributions of these partners, the Foundation generated $3.7 million of sight-saving research in 2012, nearly doubling our donor’s contributions.  For more information, please visit


In addition to funding research, the Foundation works to create awareness about eye diseases and provides information to help affected individuals cope with their eye conditions. Our total mission spending were $1.6 million in 2011 and almost $2.2 million in 2012.


Under our CEO’s 20 years of leadership, the Foundation has grown in its ability to fund sight-saving research. We have seen dramatic advances towards treatments and cures for blinding diseases. We are proud of our organization, of the accomplishments of our funded scientists, and of the donors and volunteers that have made it all possible.

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