Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

600-100 Gloucester Street
Ottawa, ON K2P 0A4
Executive Director: Sandra Schwartz
Board President: Laura Colella

Charitable Reg. #:10686 5272 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 5/5]



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) 82 cents are available for programs.

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About Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society:

Founded in 1963, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) works to protect Canada's natural environment. Its main goals are to help Canada protect at least 17% of its land and freshwater and 10% of its oceans by 2020. In the next decade, CPAWS seeks to ensure the protection of 30% of Canada’s natural land. Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society consists of a national office in Ottawa and 13 regional chapters.

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society runs two main programs: Conservation and Conservation Awareness.

Conservation programs were 90% of program spending in F2019. CPAWS works with government agencies to protect Canadian wildlife, parks, and oceans. As of F2019, CPAWS states that it has protected 399,228 km² of land in 11 provinces and territories. To protect oceans and water bodies, CPAWS designates certain regions as marine protected areas (MPAs). In F2019, CPAWS reports that it added two new MPAs in the American Bank and Laurentian Channel, adding up to 12,580 km².

Conservation Awareness made up 10% of program spending in F2019. CPAWS runs educational programs in its 13 chapters across Canada. In addition, it runs an annual Canadian Wilderness Stewardship Program (CWSP) to inspire future conservationists. The program consists of a CPAWS-led trip to a regional watershed in need of protection, a community service project, and an annual convention. The charity offers CWSP in four regions: New Brunswick, Ottawa, Manitoba, and Southern Alberta.

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Results and Impact

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society states that as of December 2017, Canada had only achieved 10% protection of its land and 4% protection of its oceans. As of F2019, CPAWS reports that its efforts have helped Canada achieve 13% land protection and 14% ocean protection. CPAWS states that its new MPA in the Laurentian Channel helped to protect migration routes for 20 whale species in F2019.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s results and impact.

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Ci consolidated the financial statements of CPAWS and its foundation for the following financial analysis.

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is a Large charity, with total donations of $8.3m in F2019. Administrative costs are 11% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 6% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 18%. For every dollar donated, 82 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society has $8.5m in total funding reserves, of which $3.4m is donor-endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, CPAWS can cover around one year of annual program costs.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 6, 2020 by Eric Zhao.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 11.3%12.3%14.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 6.4%7.4%9.2%
Total overhead spending 17.7%19.7%23.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 104.9%122.3%61.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 8,2686,6265,054
Government funding 277313299
Investment income 721212
Other income 2765736
Total revenues 8,8937,0095,400
Program costs 4,8523,6103,592
Grants 140165195
Administrative costs 998862753
Fundraising costs 529489464
Total spending 6,5195,1265,004
Cash flow from operations 2,3741,883396
Capital spending 1122
Funding reserves 8,4595,9383,599

Note: Ci consolidated CPAWS with its associated foundation for this financial analysis. Ci reported foundation donations and endowment contributions as donations, affecting total revenues by $2.0m in F2019, $100k in F2018, and $100k in F2017. Ci adjusted for changes in deferred contributions, affecting total revenues by $455k in F2019, $1.8m in F2018, and $444k in F2017. Ci reported investment income from the foundation, affecting total revenues by $2k in F2019, $1k in F2018, and $1k in F2017. Ci reported investment income from the charity’s annual filings with the CRA and removed the amounts from other income. Ci reported grants to qualified donees from CRA filings and removed the amounts from program costs. Ci included bank charges and professional fees from the foundation, affecting administrative costs by $4k in F2019, $3k in F2018, and $3k in F2017.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 54

Avg. Compensation: $41,533

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

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Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 613-569-7226