Canadian Women's Foundation

1920 Yonge St., Suite 302
Toronto, ON M4S 3E2
CEO: Paulette Senior
Board Chair: Laurie Young

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) 81 cents are available for programs.

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About Canadian Women's Foundation:

Canadian Women's Foundation is a 3-star charity with a below-average results reporting grade. It is financially transparent and has overhead costs within Ci's reasonable range. 

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 40th out of 156 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index by the World Economic Forum in 2021. 10% of women in Canada live on low incomes. 28% of women-led households in Canada are in core housing needs. The rate at which girls are hospitalized for mental health problems is twice that of boys at the same age. According to Statistics Canada, about every six days, a woman in Canada was killed by her partner in 2021.

In F2022, CWF funded 521 programs. These include 12 in Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, 113 in British Columbia, 120 in the Prairies, 14 in Quebec, 66 in Atlantic Canada, and 196 in Ontario. These programs helped over 1 million people in total in F2022. CWF funds programs in five main categories: Out of Violence, Out of Poverty, Into Confidence, Into Leadership, and Northern Strategy. While program spending is provided for some individual programs, a breakdown is not provided by its main program categories.

Out of Poverty supports women of diverse backgrounds to achieve financial stability. It empowers participants to launch and develop their own businesses. It offers work opportunities and access to career sectors (technology, construction, mechanics, and electrical).

Out of Violence prevents violence by teaching youth how to recognize abusive behavior and build healthy relationships. CWF also paid services that help women and children who have experienced violence to rebuild their lives, including legal advice, counselling, safe housing, interest-free loans, and sexual assault response and care.

Into Confidence focuses on girls aged 9 to 13. The charity offers STEM education, sports and physical activity, media literacy, Indigenous culture and connection, and mentorship to girls.

Into Leadership provides opportunities for women and girls to practice leadership skills.

Northern Strategy supports projects that help Northern communities’ women gain life skills and connections.

Recent News: As of September 2022, the charity moved more than $93 million in emergency grants to gender violence prevention and intervention programs. This new fund serves about four million people all over the country.

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Results and Impact

Canadian Women’s Foundation reports 46% of women in its Out of Poverty programs developed a more sustainable livelihood. 90% of participants in the Out of Violence programs said they learned to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship. The foundation reports 62% of girls in Into Confidence felt more confident after participating. However, it is not clear when any of this data was collected.

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

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Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF) received donations and special events revenue of $4.1m in F2022. It also received $46.8m in government funding in F2022, representing 89% of revenues during the year. The majority of the almost $22m increase is because the charity will use $18.2m of government funding on specific program expenses in the future. In F2022, it used $31.8m to fund 521 programs all over Canada. Administrative costs are 1% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 18% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 19%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 81% cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

CWF has $40.8m in reserve funds. These reserve funds are CWF’s cash and investments. The charity can cover almost 1.3 years of its annual program costs with its existing reserves.

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

Updated on May 19, 2023 by Krystie Nguyen.


Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 1.3%1.3%3.8%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 18.1%16.5%35.5%
Total overhead spending 19.4%17.8%39.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 127.5%49.2%106.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 4,0292,3193,209
Government funding 46,81624,96319,000
Special events 77145264
Investment income 1,8121,873678
Total revenues 52,73429,30023,151
Program costs 6,0533,5544,215
Grants 25,73824,08714,137
Administrative costs 680360860
Fundraising costs 7414071,233
Total spending 33,21228,40820,445
Cash flow from operations 19,5228922,706
Capital spending 6011
Funding reserves 40,76123,55819,690

Note: Ci adjusted deferred donations of $610k in F2022, $278k in F2021, and ($76k) in F2020. Ci adjusted deferred government funding. This affected revenues by $18.1m in F2022, ($1.2m) in F2021, and $3.8m in F2020. Ci adjusted deferred special events revenues of ($50k) in F2020. From September 2020, CWF changed its fiscal year end from December to March. The financial statement for F2021 is for a seven-month period.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 38

Avg. compensation: $87,291

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:

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 2023 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


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001