Southern Alberta Land Trust Society

P.O. Box 45016
High River, AB T1V 1R7
Executive Director: Justin Thompson
Board President: Kelly Hall

Charitable Reg. #:89701 3223 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 3/5]


Most recent Audited financial statements 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) 99 cents are available for programs.

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About Southern Alberta Land Trust Society:

Founded in 1998, Southern Alberta Land Trust Society (SALTS) aims to protect southern Alberta’s clean water, natural habitats, and rural communities. It focuses on using conservation easements to preserve land with ecological value, such as grasslands and wetlands near the Eastern Slopes. SALTS also runs stewardship projects to help to protect and maintain its existing conservation easements. In 2019, SALTS spent 94% of program costs on soliciting conservation easements and 6% on stewardship projects.

Conservation easements are legal agreements between landowners and land trusts that allow ranchers to retain ownership of their land while agreeing to certain land use restrictions. For instance, landowners must refrain from surface mining and energy projects, but may use their land for some recreational or tourism purposes. Through easements, the land becomes protected from future development in perpetuity. Before finalizing an easement, SALTS hires a third-party appraiser to assess the difference between a land parcel’s fair market value and its value when restricted for conservation. SALTS then compensates landowners for the lost value, which can range from 40% to 85% of fair market value, through tax receipts or cash. In 2019, SALTS added five new easements, totalling 4,049 acres of land. This raised its total acres of land to 27,689.

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Results and Impact

SALTS has not yet posted its 2020 annual report at the time of this update. These results refer to 2019.

Southern Alberta Land Trust Society currently has more than 50 conservation easements in place. In late 2019, SALTS received approval for three new conservation projects set to cover 2,625 acres of land. SALTS is on track to cover more than 32,000 acres of land in total by the end of 2020, ranging from the west of Sundre to the border of Waterton Lakes National Park.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Southern Alberta Land Trust Society's results and impact. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

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SALTS does not explicitly report fundraising costs on either its audited financial statements or its annual filing with the Charities Directorate. As a result, overhead costs are likely understated.

Southern Alberta Land Trust Society is a small charity, with $320k in cash donations in F2020. It also received $7.4m in land easements (67% of revenues) and $3.1m in government funding (28% of revenues). Administrative costs are 1% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are less than 1% of cash and land donations. This results in total overhead spending of 1%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 99 cents go to the cause. This is not within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending of between 65 and 95 cents, since charities above this range may be understating their overhead costs. SALTS’ fundraising costs fell to $1k in F2020, compared to $6k in F2019 and $45k in F2018.

SALTS has $4.0m in total funding reserves. Excluding the value of land easements, the charity can cover around 1.6 years of annual program costs with its reserves.

Charity Intelligence has sent this update to Southern Alberta Land Trust Society for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 22, 2021 by Eric Zhao.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 1.3%1.2%1.5%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 0.0%0.1%0.6%
Total overhead spending 1.3%1.2%2.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 157.5%213.6%96.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 32093136
Goods in kind 7,3659,5597,012
Government funding 3,0854,0453,267
Fees for service 111
Lotteries (net) 0043
Special events 0013
Investment income 161112130
Other income 0013
Total revenues 10,93213,80810,616
Program costs 2,5482,3702,246
Grants 00253
Donated goods exp 7,3659,5597,012
Administrative costs 135160160
Fundraising costs 1645
Total spending 10,05012,0959,715
Cash flow from operations 8821,713901
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 4,0135,0622,415

Note: Ci included the value of new conservation easements in donated goods in kind, affecting revenues and expenses by $7.4m in F2020, $9.6m in F2019, and $7.0m in F2018. Ci reported investment income net of investment management fees, affecting revenues and expenses by ($23k) in F2020, ($5k) in F2019, and ($nil) in F2018. Ci reported lottery revenues net of expenses, affecting revenues and expenses by ($3k) in F2018.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 4

Avg. compensation: $62,578

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: 403-652-9998


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001