Alberta Cancer Foundation

710 - 10123 99 St NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 3H1
CEO: Wendy Beauchesne
Board Chair: Chris Eagle

Charitable Reg. #:11878 0477 RR0001


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

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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) 42 cents are available for programs.

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About Alberta Cancer Foundation:

Founded in 1985, Alberta Cancer Foundation (ACF) is the fundraising arm for all 17 Alberta Health Services cancer centres. This includes the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, as well as 15 regional and community cancer centres across the province. ACF’s purpose is to "create more moments for Albertans facing cancer by inspiring the community to donate to innovation in detection, treatment and care." Alberta Cancer Foundation distributes grants in four areas: improved treatment, earlier detection, quality of life, and better prevention. These grants help fund research, equipment purchases, patient care, and major capital builds.

In F2020, Alberta Cancer Foundation reported grants of $18.1m, with an additional $100,000 in grants that were deferred in previous years less $608,000 in returned program investments. Of reported grants, 68% went to research, 26% to enhanced care, and 5% to prevention.

Alberta Cancer Foundation helps fund the Alberta Tomorrow Project. It started in 2008 and is a longitudinal study tracking the health of 55,000 Albertans to determine why some people develop cancer and chronic diseases while others do not. Over 30,000 samples have been taken to establish a large research database. In its most recent F2019 annual report, ACF reports funding PROFYLE (Precision Oncology for Young People) in partnership with Terry Fox Research Institute. It is a Canada-wide research project focused on providing personalized treatments for young cancer patients. ACF states that it funds every clinical trial in Alberta. Nearly 80% of clinical trials that ACF supports are focused on immunotherapy.

Alberta Cancer Foundation describes three equipment purchases in its F2019 annual report. Cross Cancer Institute received a PET-MR scanner that enables doctors to detect cancer at its earliest stages. Early detection means patients are exposed to 50% less radiation during treatment. ACF also invested in PET imaging technology that uses radioactive labelling to track cancer cells. This provides very targeted images of tumours. A new Point-of-Care Ultrasound was also purchased. As a portable piece of equipment, patients can be visited at home rather than in emergency clinics.

Alberta Cancer Foundation funds the Patient Financial Assistance Program. This program offers financial aid to Albertans receiving cancer treatment to help cover the cost of food, housing, medication, childcare, and transportation. It was accessed 5,779 times in F2019. ACF also funds the Patient Navigator program, which is available at 15 regional and community cancer centres in the province. Registered nurses help patients navigate the cancer system, educate them on treatment options and how to read test results, as well as provide support. The program was accessed nearly 21,000 times in F2019 and expanded to include an Adolescent and Young Adult stream as well as an Indigenous stream.

A new Calgary Cancer Centre is currently being built. When finished, it will double the capacity to treat patients and double the space for clinical trials in the region. It is expected to be complete by 2023. The Government of Alberta is spending $1.4 billion on its construction, and ACF is campaigning to raise money for equipment, programs, improved patient care and research.

COVID-19: In partnership with Calgary Health Trust, University Hospital Foundation, Alberta Children’s Hospital, and Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, ACF is helping to fund a $300,000 repository for preserving COVID-19 samples. It states that over 30 research projects in Alberta need positive test samples to explore things like point-of-care testing methods, drug effectiveness, antibody testing, and genome sequencing.

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Results and Impact

In its 2019 Spring Progress report, Alberta Cancer Foundation describes a new breast cancer detection test developed by funded researchers. The test is called Breast CancerScout and it is currently in clinical trials. Traditional mammography has an accuracy rate of around 75%. Pre-clinical test results show that Breast CancerScout has an 87% accuracy rate.

Another funded researcher, Dr. Lewis, developed a new non-invasive blood test in 2018 called ClarityDx that can detect prostate cancer 40% more accurately than current PSA testing. The test also helps determine whether patients need a biopsy for further testing. He developed this test using samples from the Alberta Prostate Cancer Registry and Biorepository, which he also manages. ACF explains that this test is important for patients diagnosed with low-grade prostate cancer and currently taking part in yearly biopsies, which are invasive and potentially complicated procedures.

The GALLIUM clinical trial, which involves researchers at the Cross Cancer Institute and Tom Baker Cancer Centre, found that the drug obinutuzumab reduces relapse in lymphoma patients by 34% compared to the current standard of care for lymphoma (rituximab). The new treatment also showed an 80% progression-free survival at three years, relative to 73% with rituximab. The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2017, and obinutuzumab has been approved by the FDA.

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Alberta Cancer Foundation is a Major 100 charity, meaning it is one of Canada’s largest charities in terms of donations. The Foundation received $23.3m in donations and special events fundraising in F2020. Administrative and fundraising costs combined are 58% of total revenue. Per dollar donated, 42 cents go to the cause, which is not within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

Ci uses ACF’s T3010 CRA filings to report expenses in four areas using activity-based costing: program costs, grants, administrative costs, and fundraising costs. The audited financial statements do not disclose program costs separate from grants, or administrative costs separate from fundraising costs. At the time of this profile update, the F2020 T3010 filing was not available, and as such F2020 data includes lumped overhead and mission spending items.

ACF’s F2019 T3010 filing reports using external fundraisers as part of fundraising activities. External fundraisers were paid $744k by ACF and raised $928k. This produces an external fundraising ratio of 80%, which means that ACF received 20 cents of every dollar raised by external fundraisers.

F2020 investment income includes $9.4m in net realized investment income, as well as ($7.4m) in unrealized losses due to changes in fair value of investments. With a March year-end, economic issues associated with COVID-19 are likely a major contributing factor to this unrealized loss. The audited financial statements note COVID-19 as a subsequent event, stating that an estimate of the financial effect of COVID-19 on the Foundation is not practicable at this time.

ACF’s total funding reserves of $172.6m include $44.7m in donor-endowed funds. Excluding these endowments, the Foundation’s reserves can cover annual program and grants spending at current levels for roughly eight years and four months.

ACF’s audited financial statements disclose that three grant recipients are also related parties: Alberta Health Services (received $7.0 from ACF in F2020), University of Alberta (received $4.4m in F2020), and University of Calgary ($2.9m in F2020). 

ACF’s F2020 audited financial statements disclose funding commitments of $48.5m over the next five years: $23.0m in F2021, $10.2m in F2022, $7.0m in F2023, $4.6m in F2024 and $3.7m in F2025. Further breakdowns of commitments indicate the majority of funds are for research, and a minority of funds for patient care and prevention. Of total F2021 commitments, $16.3m is for research, $6.2m for enhanced care, and $520k for prevention.

This report is an update that has been sent to Alberta Cancer Foundation for review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 20, 2020 by Katie Khodawandi.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 0.0%18.0%13.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 0.0%35.0%29.9%
Fundraising & admin costs as % of revenues 57.9%49.5%41.8%
Total overhead spending 57.9%49.5%41.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 834.9%986.6%894.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 17,41918,45325,098
Government funding 281,00081
Lotteries (net) 2,0881,8321,998
Special events 5,8597,4497,905
Investment income 1,97513,73616,272
Other income 179
Total revenues 27,36942,47851,363
Program costs 03,2782,645
Grants 17,55513,34414,349
Administrative costs 05,1644,795
Fundraising costs 09,0719,859
Fundraising & administrative costs 14,69800
Total spending 32,25430,85631,648
Cash flow from operations (4,884)11,62219,715
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 172,585186,476176,373

Note: Lotteries are reported net of expenses, decreasing total revenue and expenses by $6.7m in F2020, $7.0m in F2019, and $6.9m in F2018. Unrealized gains (losses) have been included in investment income, affecting total revenue by ($7.4m) in F2020, $4.3m in F2019, and $6.4m in F2018. Returned program investments of $608k in F2020, $590k in F2019 and $275k in F2018, which represent prior years of unspent grants returned to the Foundation, have been recorded as a reduction in grants, decreasing total revenue and expenses accordingly. The foundation’s audited financial statements do not separately report administrative and fundraising costs, nor grants separate from in-house program spending. Ci used the T3010 CRA filings for administrative and fundraising spending figures, as well as grants and program spending figures. The F2020 T3010 filing was not available at the time of this profile update.  As such, all mission spending for F2020 is reported as grants, and all overhead spending is reported together. Ci adjusted grants for changes in amounts due to Alberta Health Services. This affected total expenses by $100k in F2020, ($568k) in F2019, and ($113k) in F2018. The audited financial statements do not report any capital expenditures.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 60

Avg. compensation: $108,111

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 F2019

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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: 780-643-4400


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001