Canadian Women's Foundation

1920 Yonge St., Suite 302
Toronto, ON M4S 3E2
CEO: Paulette Senior
Board Chair: Dr. Kristin Blakely

Charitable Reg. #:12985 5607 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) 61 cents are available for programs.

My anchor


About Canadian Women's Foundation:

Founded in 1991, Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF) funds projects that help women move out of violence and poverty, and into confidence and leadership. According to CWF, Canada ranked 24th place on the Global Gender Gap Index by the World Economic Forum in 2021. In F2019, CWF funded 73 programs, of which 26 served remote communities and 29 served First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities. CWF funds programs in four main categories: Out of Violence, Out of Poverty, Empower Girls, and Inclusive Leadership. A breakdown of spending on these programs is not provided.

By funding Out of Poverty programs, CWF provides women the tools they need to be financially secure. CWF funds ten Economic Development programs: five 4-year grants, and five 5-year grants.

CWF’s Out of Violence programs prevent violent relationships by teaching youth how to recognize abusive behaviour. CWF also funds services that help women and children who have experienced violence, including legal advice, counselling, safe housing, interest-free loans, and sexual assault response and care.

CWF’s Empower Girls programs focus on girls aged 9 to 13. The charity states that the years between 9 and 13 are when most girls lose self-confidence. The CWF Girls’ Fund offers science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, sports and physical activity, media literacy, Indigenous culture and connection, and mentorship.

CWF invests in Inclusive Leadership programs that provide opportunities for women and girls to practice leadership skills.

Recent News: CWF states that women and girls are disproportionally affected by the covid-19 pandemic. In response, the charity developed the Tireless Together Fund, which provides critical support to women and girls. CWF is also working with the Government of Canada to deliver emergency funding to important services and advocate for fair policies implemented during the pandemic.

My anchor

Results and Impact

Canadian Women’s Foundation reports 46% of women in its Out of Poverty programs developed a more sustainable livelihood. Additionally, 90% of participants in the Out of Violence programs said they learned to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship. The foundation reports 92% of girls in its Empower Girls programs felt more confident after participating. It also says that 97% of graduates of the Inclusive Leadership program rated it as either excellent or good. However, it is not clear when this data was collected.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Canadian Women’s Foundation’s results and impact. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r). 

My anchor


Canadian Women’s Foundation had total donations and special event fundraising of $3.6m in F2020. Despite donations decreasing, total revenues increased 246% from F2019 to F2020. This is because government funding jumped from $1.1m in F2019 to $15.2m in F2020. In F2020, government funding made up 78% of total revenues.

Administrative costs are 5% of revenues (excluding investment income), compared to 25% in F2019 and 28% in F2018. This decrease is due to the 1331% increase in government funding mentioned above. As such, the F2020 administrative cost ratio may not be representative of CWF’s activities. Fundraising costs are 34% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 39%. For every dollar donated, 61 cents go to the cause, which is not within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

CWF has $19.7m in funding reserves, of which $233k is donor endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, CWF could cover 107% or almost 13 months of annual program costs with reserves.

­Charity Intelligence sent an update of this report to Canadian Women’s Foundation for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 21, 2021 by Sydney Olexa.


Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 4.6%24.5%27.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 34.3%39.9%32.2%
Total overhead spending 38.8%64.3%59.7%
Program cost coverage (%) 106.1%365.2%459.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 3,2853,8684,162
Government funding 15,1811,061449
Special events 314506449
Investment income 6782761,235
Total revenues 19,4585,7116,294
Program costs 4,2152,1201,697
Grants 14,1372,4652,566
Administrative costs 8601,3301,396
Fundraising costs 1,2331,7441,482
Total spending 20,4457,6597,140
Cash flow from operations (987)(1,948)(846)
Capital spending 111085
Funding reserves 19,69016,93219,769

Note: Ci did not report amortization in administrative expenses, reducing administrative costs by $23k in F2020, $10k in F2019, and $7k in F2018. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 35

Avg. Compensation: $87,894

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

My anchor

Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

Canadian Women's Foundation added these comments to the 2019 profile update:

The Foundation invested $800K of its internally restricted reserves as well as investment income to finance the operations and fundraising activities in 2017-2018 to ensure the majority of each donated dollar was directed to our mission.

Our charitable ratio remains strong at 61% (program expenses as a % of total expenses).


Comments for the 2021 profile update may be forthcoming. 

Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 416-365-1444