Wildlife Conservation Society Canada

344 Bloor Street West, Suite 204
Toronto, ON M5S 3A7
President: Justina Ray
Board Chair: Susan Lieberman

Charitable Reg. #:85425 5882 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



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) 85 cents are available for programs.

My anchor


About Wildlife Conservation Society Canada:

Wildlife Conservation Society Canada is a 4-star charity. It has an above-average results reporting score, low overhead spending, and is financially transparent. 

Founded in 2004, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCS Canada) uses research and advocacy to protect wildlife and wild places. The charity is affiliated with Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates in over 60 countries. WCS Canada runs a national program to influence conservation policy and practices. The charity also works alongside local communities and funds research projects to conserve and learn more about at-risk areas and species. 

According to WCS Canada’s audited financial statements, the charity runs four main programs: National Conservation & Policy, Boreal Forests, Western Arctic, and Outside Canada. On the charity’s website, it breaks programming into four field programs (Northern Boreal Mountains, Ontario Northern Boreal, Western Arctic, and Western Bats) and a larger national initiative. Lean more about WCS Canada’s program breakdown on this page: https://www.wcscanada.org/National.aspx  

In F2022, National Conservation and Policy made up 40% of program spending ($2.5m). In WCS Canada’s Annual Report, this program includes Key Biodiversity Areas (which received $1.1m in F2022) and Bat Conservation ($1.0m), and general National Conservation & Policy ($386k). The Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) program works to conserve areas that are key to protecting biodiversity. As of F2022, WCS Canada helped over 80 sites become registered KBAs. In terms of bat conservation, the charity started a project in F2022 to study how white-nose syndrome impacts Canadian bats. This project involved developing and testing a probiotic to help fight this deadly syndrome. WCS Canada also created the SHAPE of Nature website to make environmental science information accessible to the public and governments to help people make more environmentally conscious decisions. In F2022, the charity funded 13 students through its Weston Family Boreal Research fellowship to train the next generation of conservation scientists. 

In F2022, Boreal Forests represented 31% of program costs ($1.9m). This program conducts research to protect at-risk species and habitats in Ontario, BC, and Yukon. In F2022, WCS Canada tracked 19 new wolverines and 45 new lake sturgeon in Ontario. The charity also created species distribution models for 66 endemic plant species in Yukon and Alaska. Tracking animals gives information about their living patterns and the threats they face.   

In F2022, 19% of program spending ($1.2m) went to the Western Arctic program. WCS Canada continued research in the Arctic Ocean to see how underwater noise affects aquatic life. In F2022, it published four articles about this topic. The charity continued observing the diets and movement patterns of thick-billed murres. It recovered 44 geolocator tags, representing 73% of the total tags it implanted. In F2022, WCS Canada conducted a study to see the amount of microplastics present in seal stomachs. 

The remaining spending for Wildlife Conservation Society Canada includes Outside Canada (7% - $470k) and the Next Generation of Conservation Scientists (3% - $197k). The charity sends funds to other conservation organizations to help achieve its goals globally. 

Included in WCS Canada's main programs are partnership grants of $570,000 made to other Canadian charities. The main partnerships are with Birds Canada ($215,000) and Nature Serve ($137,000) for the KBA program. WCS Canada also gave smaller grants to Canadian universities for collaboration on research.

My anchor

Results and Impact

In F2022, its research led to the publication of 64 reports. WCS Canada hopes this will decrease the knowledge gap within the environmental sector. 

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

My anchor


Wildlife Conservation Society Canada received $4.8m in donations in F2022. It also received $2.4m in Canadian government funding, representing 32% of revenues. Administrative costs are 11% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 4% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 15%. For every dollar donated, 85 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

WCS Canada has $3.3m in funding reserves. This means the charity can cover 46% or around six months of annual program costs with its existing reserves. 

Charity Intelligence has sent this update to Wildlife Conservation Society Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming. 

Updated on August 24, 2023 by Clive Stevens.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending June
Administrative costs as % of revenues 11.5%10.7%11.1%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 3.5%4.8%4.3%
Total overhead spending 15.0%15.5%15.5%
Program cost coverage (%) 46.3%79.1%69.2%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 4,7754,2134,100
Government funding 2,3842,0641,674
Fees for service 000
Investment income 121414
Other income 271424334
Total revenues 7,4436,7156,122
Program costs - International 648208340
Program costs - Canada 5,8804,6174,220
Grants 570364580
Administrative costs 852714680
Fundraising costs 168202177
Total spending 8,1186,1055,998
Cash flow from operations (676)610125
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 3,2884,1023,557

Note: Ci reported investment income from the charity’s T3010 filings with the CRA, and removed the amounts from other income. Ci reported program costs, grants, administrative costs, and fundraising costs from T3010 filings as Wildlife Conservation Society's audited financial statement do not breakout costs this way. Grants between WCS and WCS US: Grants WCS Canada receives from Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS US) are reported as other income: $271k in 2022, $424k in 2021 and $334k in 2020. WCS makes grants to US Wildlife Conservation Society. These are shown as international programs costs: $648k in 2022, $208k in 2021, and $340k in 2020. To report on a cash basis, Ci adjusted the grant received from WCS US by actual cash received rather than payments coming in the future. This affected revenues by ($357k) in F2022, $106k in F2021, and ($62k) in F2020. It also affects spending. Ci adjusted international spending by changes in amounts payable to WCS, affecting expenses by $178k in F2022, ($193k) in F2021, and $86k in F2020. Ci also adjusted revenues by deferred donations from non-government sources. This affected revenues by $nil in F2022, $63k in F2021, and ($103k) in F2020.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 30

Avg. compensation: $102,534

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

My anchor

Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

This comment was added on August 26, 2023:

As a scientific charity, at WCS Canada we strongly believe in transparency and integrity. We also encourage and invite donors to learn about us and any other charity they are considering supporting. However, we question the value of the ranking model used by Charity Intelligence and its methods in evaluating charities. We are not alone in questioning Charity Intelligence’s (CI) model. The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP Canada) has an extensive article describing the issues with this methodology (http://bitly.ws/PUq8).  Here are the issues we have identified with CI’s model:

  1. According to CI’s rubric, the value of the impact of a charity is only 20% of its score. This is truly troubling as donors support charities to bring change and offer solutions that impact the social issues donors care about. Instead of impact, Charity Intelligence puts a massive focus on communications methods rather than the content and value of the work of a charity.
  2. While CI puts 20% value on the social impact of charities, many charities including WCS Canada are not rated for their impact and CI has not performed an impact analysis for them. This means that the current score of WCS Canada does not reflect the value of our impact even based on CI’s standards. Additionally, this ranking does not measure the impact of a charity’s work, it measures “how a charity demonstrates” its impact. Which is completely a different measure and goes back more to scoring a communication style rather than the tangible impact of an organization. 

Due to the issues highlighted above, as well as the details provided in the article by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, we believe that Charity Intelligence is not the best tool for donors to learn about a charity and understand its impacts. We invite all donors who share our passion for wildlife conservation to reach out to us directly to have a conversation about the impact we can achieve together to address these important challenges. Please reach out to us at supportwcscanada@wcs.org with any questions you have and we will be happy to respond.

Charity Contact

Website: www.wcscanada.org
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 416-850-9038


Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Our website posts free reports on more than 800 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 500,000 Canadians use our website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.6 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.


Be Informed. Give Intelligently. Have Impact


Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001