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:

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is a 5-star charity. It has a results reporting grade of A-, which is above average. For every dollar donated to the charity, 82 cents are available to go to the cause, which is within Ci's reasonable range. 

Founded in 1963, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society works to protect Canada’s land, freshwater, and oceans. Its main goal is to help Canada protect at least 25% of its land and oceans by 2025 and 30% by 2030. CPAWS states that at least 30 to 70% of land and ocean systems need protection to sustain vital ecosystems. CPAWS consists of a national office in Ottawa and 13 regional chapters. Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society runs two main programs: Conservation and Conservation Awareness.

A Charity Intelligence 2023 Top 100 Rated Charity

Conservation: Conservation programs made up 90% of program spending in F2022. CPAWS works with government agencies to protect Canadian wildlife, parks and oceans, and prevent climate change. In 2023 CPAWS updated its conservation assessment report of all provinces and territories. Within the report, the charity provided recommendations on how each region can improve. In F2022 CPAWS assessed Canada’s Marine Protected Areas (MPA). The charity reported that half the area Canada counted toward its marine protection targets is defined as weakly protected, with under 10% being strongly protected. CPAWS reported that 147 species are to be designated as critical habitat while only 93 of these species are protected in a national protected area.

In F2022, the federal government budgeted $3.2 billion over five years to protect nature. The charity states that $977 million will be spent to protect the ocean, $2.3 billion will be spent to protect one million km2 of land and freshwater. This will increase Canada’s protected area by 10%. Nova Scotia established 61 new protected areas in F2022: six wilderness areas, six nature reserves, and 49 provincial parks. Quebec pledged to protect 30% of its land and water by 2030 in F2022 due to CPAWS Quebec (SNAP) advocacy. BC announced an $8e million investment in provincial parks through to F2025, of which $36m is planned for operations, while $47 million is planned for capital investments.

Awareness: Awareness programs made up 10% of program spending in F2022. CPAWS reports it appeared in 1,180 news stories, 7,170 social mentions, and reached 983m people in F2022.

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Results and Impact

CPAWS reported that after 101 months of delay, the federal government enforced a prohibition to destroy critical habitat of the copper redhorse under the Species at Risk Act. Further, Northern Alberta protected 152,000 hectares of boreal forest and wetlands, a critical habitat for at-risk woodland caribou and wood bison. The charity reports this is the largest expansion of boreal forest in the world, totaling 314,000 hectares in F2022. CPAWS and its supporters sent 5,000 letters to the Alberta Joint Review Panel, which denied Benga Mining Ltd’s application to create a new coal mine project.

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

CPAWS is not yet rated on impact (n/r). 

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Ci consolidated the financial statements of CPAWS and its foundation for the following financial analysis. As such, Ci excluded fund transfers between the two charities.  

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society received $5.9m in Canadian donations and $3.1m in international donations in F2022. The charity received $2.1m in government funding, representing 15% of total revenue. Administrative costs are 8% of total revenue (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 10% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 18%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 82 cents are available to go to the cause.

CPAWS has $15.9m in reserve funds, of which $3.5m is donor endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, CPAWS can cover 148%, or one year and a half of its annual program costs.

According to its annual filing with the Charities Directorate, CPAWS paid external fundraisers $93k in F2022. It does not report how much these external fundraisers raised.

The charity paid $8k, or less than 0.2% of salaries, in professional fees in F2022.

Charity Intelligence has sent this update to Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.  

Updated on June 19, 2023 by Liam Chapleau.  

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 7.7%9.0%12.1%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 10.4%11.3%9.7%
Total overhead spending 18.1%20.3%21.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 147.6%122.7%94.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 5,9135,3106,063
International donations 3,1072,5153,001
Government funding 2,1173,1461,572
Investment income (27)28(73)
Other income 2,9341,0551,157
Total revenues 14,04412,05311,720
Program costs 7,0835,6926,707
Grants 1,5001,9581,090
Administrative costs 1,0771,0791,421
Fundraising costs 618599590
Total spending 10,2789,3299,809
Cash flow from operations 3,7662,7251,911
Capital spending 2636401
Funding reserves 15,89412,65410,655

Note: Ci consolidated CPAWS with its associated foundation for this financial analysis. As such, Ci removed all fund transfers between the two charities from donations and grants. The foundation transferred to CPAWS $20k in F2022, $21k in F2021, and $23k in F2020. Ci excluded grants to CPAWS foundation in the amount of ($100k) in F2022, ($157k) in F2021, and ($90k) in F2020. Ci reported international donations from the charity’s annual T3010 filings and removed the amounts from Canadian donations. Ci reported investment income from the charity’s T3010 filings and removed the amounts from other income. Ci adjusted for deferred contributions, increasing revenue by $2.6m in F2022, $777k in F2021, and $639k in F2020. The charity did not disclose the source of these contributions. As such, Ci included it in other revenue. Ci included Loss on Investment in Subsidiary, decreasing revenue and expenses by ($289k) in F2022, ($235k) in F2021, and ($214k) in F2020. Ci reported grants to qualified donees from the charity’s T3010 filings and removed the amounts from program costs.  

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 77

Avg. compensation: $57,009

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 F2022

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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: 613-569-7226


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001