Nature Conservancy of Canada

245 Eglinton Ave East, Suite 410
Toronto, ON M4P 3J1
President & CEO: Catherine Grenier
Board Chair: Mike Pedersen

Charitable Reg. #:11924 6544 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 5/5]



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) 77 cents are available for programs.

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About Nature Conservancy of Canada:

Nature Conservancy of Canada is a top-rated 5-star charity with an above-average results reporting score. This charity has reasonable overhead costs and is financially transparent.   

Founded in 1962, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) works to protect natural areas, plants, and animals while finding solutions to biodiversity loss and climate change. The charity leads large-scale projects to permanently conserve land. NCC partners with the Canadian government and Indigenous communities.  

A Charity Intelligence 2023 Top 100 Rated Charity

In NCC’s strategic plan, it outlines multiple goals with the overarching target to double its impact by 2030. The charity hopes to conserve 1 million additional hectares of land, create solutions to help Canada reach the 30x30 targets, and work in allyship with Indigenous-led conservation efforts. 

In F2022, Nature Conservancy of Canada led 67 projects to conserve land. Over 95% of Canadians live within 100 kilometres of a NCC project. During F2022, multiple new projects started, including the Boreal Wildlands in central Ontario. The Boreal Wildlands is now the biggest conservation agreement in Canada. 

Nature Conservancy of Canada hosted over 300 educational events in F2022 which had over 24,000 participants. In its Annual Report, NCC reports that it led 28 collaborations with Indigenous communities in F2022. One project included working with Kebaowek First Nation to obtain and conserve Fitzpatrick Island.

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Results and Impact

Through its conservation programs, NCC protects habitats for one-third of at-risk species. 

In F2022, NCC protected 99,944 hectares of land and water. Most of this land was from the Boreal Wildlands project which spans nearly 1,500 square kilometres. The land protected is home to 244 different species. NCC has set a goal to conserve at least 135,000 more hectares next year. 

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Nature Conservancy of Canada’s results.

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Nature Conservancy of Canada is a major charity with $72.9m in cash donations in F2022. The charity received $85.9m in government funding, representing 43% of revenue. In F2022, Nature Conservancy of Canada received $24.3m in donated land ($16.6m in F2021). Administrative costs are 7% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 16% of donations, including donated land. NCC spends 23% on overhead. This means for every dollar donated, 77 cents go towards the charity’s programs. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

NCC has $290.7m in reserve funding, of which $115.9m is donor-endowed and $29.4 is donor-restricted. Excluding donor-endowed funds, NCC could cover 1 year and 9 months of annual program costs with reserves. 

NCC’s audited financial statements do not disclose government funding, administrative costs, or fundraising costs. Ci reported this information from the charity’s unaudited filing with the CRA.   

This charity report is an update that was sent to Nature Conservancy of Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.   

Updated on August 23, 2023 by Clive Stevens.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending May
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.9%7.7%8.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 16.4%15.8%16.7%
Total overhead spending 23.3%23.5%25.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 176.9%232.8%166.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 72,87862,10775,759
Goods in kind 24,27316,5887,037
Government funding 85,86152,05539,660
Business activities (net) 0510
Investment income 95326,2121,933
Other income 17,34513,7279,091
Total revenues 201,310170,740133,479
Program costs 80,92150,82657,544
Grants 23,68217,72912,527
Donated goods exp 24,27316,5887,037
Administrative costs 13,85411,11411,018
Fundraising costs 15,91812,40413,826
Total spending 158,648108,661101,952
Cash flow from operations 42,66262,07931,527
Capital spending 474163285
Funding reserves 290,738260,163201,027

Note: Ci reported government funding from the charity's T3010 CRA filing and backed out the amounts from donations. Ci used T3010 data to report grants to qualified donees and backed out the amounts from program costs. Ci used T3010 data for the charity’s reported administrative and fundraising expenses. Ci removed the unreconciled differences in total costs from program costs, affecting them by ($99k) in F2022, $1.5m in F2021, and $42k in F2020.    The charity’s audited financial statements only recognized a portion of investment income in revenues. Ci recognized all investment income (net of management fees) and included the portion of investment income that was reported by the charity as other revenues. This affected total revenues by $953k in F2022, $26.2m in F2021, and $1.9m in F2020. This also reduced other income by ($536k) in F2022, ($7.1m) in F2021, and ($913k) in F2020. Ci recognized endowment contributions as donations, affecting total revenues by $2.4m in F2022, $1.4m in F2021, and $2.6m in F2020. Ci adjusted for deferred donations (amounts received for restricted purposes less amounts recognized as revenue during the year) affecting total revenues by $21.1m in F2022, $9.1m in F2021, and $22.1m in F2020. Ci adjusted for deferred contributions transferred to endowments, affecting revenues by $7.3m in F2022, $9.0m in F2021, and $3.4m in F2020. Ci did not include loan repayments for prior year acquisitions, affecting total expenses by $nil in F2022, ($1.6m) in F2021, and ($131k) in F2020. To report on a cash basis, Ci removed amortization from administrative expenses.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 340

Avg. compensation: $85,471

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:

Nature Conservancy of Canada added these comments on August 18, 2023:


About the Nature Conservancy of Canada:

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner NCC works with people, communities, businesses, and government to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares. To learn more, visit


Current Initiatives:


In a world facing the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, NCC is focused on nature-based solutions. We protect the natural areas that clean our water and air, absorb and store carbon, and support healthy and prosperous communities.  

A few highlights of our FY22 accomplishments:

  • We secured 99,944 hectares on 67 projects from coast to coast to coast. 
  • We protected and cared for habitat for 244 of Canada’s 687 species at risk. 
  • More than 7,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the lifetime emissions of close to 102,650,000 typical passenger vehicles, were sequestered throughout the 15 million hectares you have helped us protect since 1962. 

Since 1962, our collective actions have resulted in about two million hectares of direct conservation, and another 13 million where our actions have made it possible for others to do amazing work. That’s equivalent to almost twice the size of New Brunswick.

In addition, thanks to the support of our donors and partners, the following accomplishments were made possible: 

  • On Earth Day, we launched the Boreal Wildlands project near Hearst, Ontario.
    — It is the largest private land conservation project in Canadian history, at nearly 1,500 square kilometres.
  • NCC and Parks Canada came together to reintroduce bison to The Key Fist Nation in Saskatchewan. Twenty of the animals came from NCC’s Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area.
  • We launched our Nature + Climate Projects Accelerator program, which will leverage finance tools toward furthering NCC’s core conservation mission.

Federal Government Partnership:

The Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP), launched in April 2019, brings Canadians together to conserve nature. It continues the momentum of the previous federal partnership administered by NCC: the Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP). Under the NACP, NCC and its partners conserved more than 550,000 hectares (more than 1.1 million acres) coast to coast, providing habitat for 219 species at risk. The NACP achieved more than $1B in conservation outcomes.

The NHCP aims to add an additional 200,000 hectares (nearly half a million acres) to the protected area network by 2023. The Government of Canada has committed $100M to the program, while NCC and its delivery partners, including local land trusts, are raising contributions to match the federal investment.

Additionally, NCC acts as a facilitator of largescale conservation partnerships – helping to negotiate the release of private rights and encumbrances to allow conservation to take place.

NCC also works with Indigenous communities to support the creation of Indigenous Conserved and Protected Areas.


In addition to its mandate of protecting nature, NCC provides Canadians with access to nature so that they may enjoy its health and wellness benefits. Ninety four per cent of Canadians live within 100 kms of an NCC-protected site. 

NCC also offers a curated suite of protected areas for public enjoyment, both online and on the ground.

The Conservation Volunteers program encourages Canadians to join NCC staff in the field to work on stewardship projects. In total, we welcomed more than 24,000 participants at over 300 events in FY22.Internships:

NCC is committed to inspiring the conservation leaders of the future. Despite COVID-19, 24 young professionals joined NCC in 2019-20 to gain job-ready skills through internships.



A big year for conservation


Year-to-year changes in revenue and expenses are normal for NCC and reflect the multi-year nature of many of our large conservation projects. NCC continues to maintain a solid, healthy balance sheet with insignificant long-term debt.

NCC calculates some of its performance metrics on a five-year rolling average in order to give an accurate picture of its financial standing. These rolling averages allow NCC to account for the fluctuations that a year-on-year measure can cause, such as when there is a large project in one fiscal year, or when projects span more than one year, as well as benefits of some non-program expenses that may exceed one year.

As noted in NCC’s Annual Report for FY22, based on a five-year average, NCC received grants and donations from government (44 per cent), the private sector (46 per cent) and other sources (10 per cent). The private sector funding provided the match required for government grants.

On the expense side, 79 per cent of NCC’s expenditures went directly to program costs (on a five-year rolling average), 10 per cent was spent on administration, 9 per cent on fundraising and 2 per cent on communications. NCC reported total revenues for FY22 of $170.1 million (2021 = $132.2 million) with an additional $9.6 million (2021 = $6.5 million) in restricted endowment contributions. As a national organization with offices across Canada, and despite strategic investments in fundraising and technology, NCC’s overhead costs are low, especially when compared to many organizations of a similar size and structure. NCC does not allocate overhead expenses to program costs.

To support NCC’s mission, it is essential that there are adequate resources available to protect its conserved land portfolio for the future. NCC has established and continues to contribute to a stewardship endowment fund (reserve) to ensure that funding will always be available for necessary conservation actions to protect the natural values on its lands. This accounts for $184.8M of funding reserves, with the remainder being restricted funds for conservation purposes.

Often reviewers of NCC’s financial statements over-estimate its reserves. These are funds accumulated to meet the organization’s commitment to sustainable funding for management and restoration of properties (book value of $888.5M). Fundraising for new property acquisitions is less challenging than fundraising to maintain and restore existing properties. Long term conservation is the mission of the organization.

NCC is thankful to all its donors and funders for their generous support. Both the Board of Directors and management have ensured that the organization is in a healthy financial position to ensure a sustainable future to fulfil its mission.


Charity Contact

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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001