Georgian Bay Land Trust

120 Eglinton Ave. E. Suite 1000
Toronto, ON M4P 1E2
Executive Director: Bill Lougheed
Board Chair: David Doritty

Charitable Reg. #:13195 8811 RR0001


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

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Audited financial statements available only upon request.



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) 80 cents are available for programs.

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About Georgian Bay Land Trust:

Founded in 1990, Georgian Bay Land Trust (GBLT) protects Georgian Bay and the North Channel of Lake Huron. As the world’s largest freshwater archipelago, Georgian Bay is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Georgian Bay Land Trust aims to preserve natural areas with ecological or historical significance. GBLT states that urbanization, climate change, and pipeline construction have destroyed critical habitats and put stress on Georgian Bay in recent years. The charity acquires protected land to ensure its ecosystems remain safe and preserved for future generations to enjoy. Georgian Bay Land Trust’s three largest programs are Land Protection, Stewardship, and Education and Research. Ci notes that total program costs in the financial analysis section include donated land, which represented 87% of the charity’s program costs in F2019.

Land Protection represented 48% of program costs, excluding donated land, in F2019. Georgian Bay Land Trust acquires protected land in one of three ways. GBLT accepts land ownership transfers by donation or by sale at fair market value. Landowners can reserve a “life estate” as part of a donation or sale, allowing themselves and family members to continue living on transferred land. Alternatively, GBLT offers Conservation Easement programs, which allow clients to retain ownership of their land. In return, the charity monitors the land to ensure the preservation of natural or cultural features. Finally, the charity offers combinations of the two options to partially transfer ownership of land. Once acquired, the charity classifies its protected land into three categories. These include natural areas, which permit public access; preserves, which allow visits by scheduled appointment; and critical reserves, which deny access due to ecosystem fragility. In F2019, Georgian Bay Land Trust reports that it preserved 7,227 acres of land and 8 provincially-significant wetlands.

Land Stewardship represented 26% of program costs. GBLT’s stewards are responsible for maintaining protected areas and removing garbage or invasive species. More than 130 volunteer stewards monitored 61 protected areas in F2019. At seven of these properties, the charity reports that four invasive plant species were successfully removed.

Education and Research programs were 18% of program costs in F2019. GBLT’s Conservation Quest program teaches young students about the importance of preserving Georgian Bay. More than 500 students participated in interactive stations and activities at Conservation Quest in F2019. GBLT also funds scientific research on Georgian Bay wildlife and endangered species. In F2019, the charity monitored four endangered bat species and seven rattlesnake breeding sites.

The remaining 8% of program costs are allocated to project management, dues, conferences, and training.

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Results and Impact

Georgian Bay Land Trust reports that its protected land encompassed 50 at-risk species in F2019. During the year, GBLT began its Tadenac Conservation Initiative, a land acquisition project in the heart of Georgian Bay’s undisturbed natural area. The initiative preserved 5,400 acres of land and 32 species at risk. The region also included 2 provincially-significant wetlands, as designated by the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Georgian Bay Land Trust’s results and impact.

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Georgian Bay Land Trust is a small charity, with $637k in donations and special events revenue in F2019. Goods in kind (donations of land) were $3.1m, representing 56% of total revenue. The charity also received $1.2m in government grants ($75k in F2018), representing 22% of total revenue. According to GBLT's annual report, this spike in government funding was from Canada’s Nature Fund for the charity's new Tadenac Conservation Initiative. At 5,400 acres, the initiative was GBLT's largest land protection project to date. Georgian Bay Land Trust also receives government funding to protect at-risk species by improving mapping tools and investing in research.

Administrative costs are less than 1% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 20% of donations and special events revenue. This means that total overhead spending is 20%. For each dollar donated to the charity, 80 cents go to the cause. This falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

GBLT has net funding reserves of $3.3m, of which $238k is donor-endowed. Excluding endowed funds, the charity’s reserves can cover 88% of programming and donated land costs. This means the charity can cover between 10 and 11 months of annual program costs using its reserves. With donated goods excluded from program costs, the charity can cover 663% or 6.6 years of annual programming.   

This charity report is an update that is currently being reviewed by Georgian Bay Land Trust. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 15, 2020 by Eric Zhao.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 0.5%1.5%1.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 19.9%14.9%13.3%
Total overhead spending 20.4%16.4%14.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 662.5%565.0%520.3%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 563721858
Goods in kind 3,0617341,526
Government funding 1,17675112
Business activities (net) 31447
Special events 758384
Investment income 58714145
Other income 001
Total revenues 5,4651,6412,773
Program costs 478452444
Donated goods exp 3,0617341,526
Administrative costs 262526
Fundraising costs 127120125
Other costs 171415
Total spending 3,7091,3452,135
Cash flow from operations 1,756297638
Capital spending 1,16027539
Funding reserves 3,3242,7232,486

Note: Ci reported investment management fees as other costs. Ci reported professional fees and office and general expenses as administrative costs. All other project management, dues, conferences, and training costs are reported as program costs. Ci included the value of donated land in program costs to better reflect the charity’s net cash surplus each year. This affected total expenses by $3.1m in F2019, $734k in F2018, and $1.5m in F2017.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 4

Avg. compensation: $87,682

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 F2018

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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: 416-440-1519


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001