Nature Conservancy Canada

245 Eglinton Ave East, Suite 410
Toronto, ON M4P 3J1
President & CEO: John Lounds
Board Chair: Bruce MacLellan

Charitable Reg. #:11924 6544 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 4/4]



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) 68 cents are available for programs.

My anchor


About Nature Conservancy Canada:

Founded in 1962, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) partners with individuals, corporations, and other non-profit organizations to protect and care for Canada’s natural environment which sustains its plants and wildlife. NCC acquires land across Canada and manages it to ensure the survival of the plants and wildlife that live there. NCC works with willing landowners to build natural corridors, ensure habitat for species at risk (plant and animal), and maintain healthy, functioning ecosystems. NCC runs four programs: natural area conservation, conservation planning and stewardship, forest conservation, and community engagement.

The natural area conservation program works to increase the rate of land conservation and protects important habitats across Canada. Through this program, NCC partners with other organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, and regional land trusts to expand the network of protected land. Since the creation of this program in 2007, NCC has conserved more than 446,000 hectares of land with 15,000 hectares secured in 2018.

In 2018, overall, NCC secured 329,849 hectares of land. NCC reports that Canada has close to 10% of the world’s forests. Through the forest conservation program, NCC protects forests across Canada. Canada’s forests are an important part of Canada’s natural environment as they purify water, regulate the climate, produce oxygen, and provide a habitat for wildlife. Since the charity’s inception, it has helped to protect over one million acres of forested habitat.

Through the conservation planning and stewardship program, NCC takes a science-based approach to identify, plan, protect, and restore Canada’s natural environment. The charity uses research to identify high-priority areas that need protection and to determine if current conservation projects are effective. The charity seeks to collect new information to further the understanding of Canada’s biodiversity.

NCC’s community engagement program connects Canadians with the natural environment through outdoor exploration and hands-on volunteering experiences. NCC now features a collection of nearly 40 natural areas across the country where visitors may explore the local natural environment. In F2018, NCC hosted over 342 events that saw more than 19,000 participants. NCC gives people the opportunity to join NCC staff in volunteer field work across the country. In F2018, NCC had over 3,000 volunteers contribute their time to complete 128 habitat restoration projects, 45 biological surveys, and 44 infrastructure improvement projects and site cleanups.

My anchor

Results and Impact

Through NCC's natural area conservation program, it has protected the habitats of 28% of the species considered to be at risk by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. In F2018, NCC's staff helped create a report focusing on freshwater biodiversity areas in Canada which was published with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, a global authority of the health of the natural environment and steps needed to protect it. Through the community engagement program, NCC's volunteers removed 1,043 kilograms of garbage from the shorelines in Prince Edward Island.

My anchor


Nature Conservancy of Canada is one of Canada’s Major 100 charities with $37m in donations in 2018. In 2018, Nature Conservancy Canada received $12.7m in donated land. Land donated is shown below as "Goods in kind". Including donated land, NCC's fundraising costs are 21%. Administrative costs are 11% of revenues and fundraising costs, including the value of donated land received, are 21%. NCC spends 32% on overhead costs. For every dollar donated to the charity, 68 cents is available for its programs. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

NCC has net funding reserves of $163.9m, of which $84.7m is donor-endowed. Excluding endowed funds, the charity’s reserves can cover program costs for 16 months. NCC's funding reserves produced $5.1m in investment income in F2018 ($15.0m in F2017), a 4% investment return. NCC is invested 4% in cash, 18% in equities, 17% in bonds, 25% in alternative investments and hedge funds, and 37% in funds.

NCC's audited financial statements do not disclose government funding, fundraising cost or administrative costs. This information is from the charity's annual filing which is not audited.

NCC reports using external fundraisers as part of its fundraising activities. In F2018, NCC paid external fundraisers $61,980 to raise $10,523. This means that for every dollar raised, NCC paid $5.89 to the third party. In comparison, NCC paid $1.53 to a third party for every dollar raised in F2017.

This charity report is an update that NCC has discussed with Charity Intelligence. Additional comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 2, 2019 by Stefan Tetzlaff. Following discussions with NCC management, additional details and changes made to fundraising costs to include donated land - October 2019 by Kate Bahen.



Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending May
Administrative costs as % of revenues 11.3%9.6%9.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 21.0%14.4%13.6%
Total overhead spending 32.3%24.1%22.9%
Program cost coverage (%) 133.6%155.7%75.9%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 37,25957,40034,039
Goods in kind 12,6568,56725,688
Government funding 37,24328,38730,735
Business activities (net) 291,004500
Investment income 5,13915,034(1,570)
Other income 6,3825,1604,994
Total revenues 98,706115,55094,386
Program costs 63,45554,66472,488
Administrative costs 10,5519,6698,916
Fundraising costs 10,4589,5288,125
Total spending 84,81274,20289,686
Cash flow from operations 14,24242,6904,857
Capital spending 298166552
Funding reserves 163,891155,315118,733
Donor Endowed Funds 84,77176,13166,236

Note: Ci used T3010 data for government funding and NCC's reported administrative and fundraising expenses. Ci removed the unreconciled differences in total costs from program costs, reducing them by ($85k) in F2018, ($407k) in F2017, and ($59k) in F2016. . Ci recognized endowment contributions as donations. This raises donations by $3.2m in F2018, $493k in F2017, and $3.7m in F2016. Ci recognizes restricted donations receive in donations. This raises donations by $0.1m in F2018, $26.7m in F2017 and $1.9m in F2016.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 276

Avg. Compensation $75,073

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 F2018

My anchor

Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), is committed to conserving Canadian biodiversity. To support our mission, it is essential that we ensure there are adequate resources available to protect our 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 conserve biodiversity on our protected land. This substantially accounts for the funding reserves with the remainder being restricted funds for conservation purposes.

Total revenue of $91.7 million increased from the previous fiscal year of $76.9 million, mainly due to increased contributions for properties acquired by others and land donations and conservation agreements. NCC ensures that all projects are fully secured and funded before being recorded and therefore revenue will vary based on the value of projects in which we are involved. Our endowment funds to support science and stewardship activities grew to more than $135 million [F2017 - $123 million]. We continue to build this solid foundation to adequately fund the care and management of our conservation lands well into the future

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, as well there is an increased investment in fundraising capacity and infrastructure related to technology for conservation and operations. NCC continues to maintain a solid, healthy balance sheet with insignificant long-term debt.

NCC calculates some of our performance metrics on a five-year rolling average in order to give an accurate picture of our financial standing. These rolling averages allow us to account for the fluctuations that a year-on-year measure can cause, such as when we have 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.

We maintain a close watch over our expenses, though we have also broadened our measures of success to include more tangible measures of long-term impact, not simply concentrating on shorter-term overhead cost ratios. In the period ending May 31, 2018, a total of 78 percent of our expenditures went directly to program costs (on a five-year rolling average basis), and 22 percent was spent on administration, communications and fundraising. Compared to many in the charitable sector our overhead costs are low. We are proud of our ability to manage our costs, but do not wish to do so at the expense of an effective and impactful conservation program. Our overhead costs over the past few fiscal years also reflect a strategic investment in our operational capacity, especially in fundraising initiatives. This investment was approved by our Board of Directors and we expect it will continue to be reflected in our overhead costs for the next few years.

NCC works as a partner with individuals, government, Indigenous communities and nations and industry to make conservation happen. On the settled landscape in southern Canada NCC works with willing landowners to build natural corridors, ensure habitat for species at risk (plant and animal), and maintain healthy, functioning ecosystems that support prosperous communities. NCC’s also shares its conservation planning expertise to assist communities, especially in the North, to achieve their conservation goals through supporting efforts to expand parks and protected areas, including Indigenous Conserved and Protected Areas. We work with many groups, including academic institutions to conduct, support and distribute research and learnings about biodiversity conservation in Canada.

During the fiscal year 2017-18 NCC had the opportunity to expand its role as a facilitator of large-scale conservation partnerships. By convening a unique partnership between the Tall Cree Tribal Government, the Governments of Alberta and Canada and Syncrude Canada, NCC helped to retire timber quotas along the Birch River in northeast Alberta.  The resulting 3,300 sq. km of conserved area became the Birch River Wildland Provincial Park.  When added to contiguous conserved areas it is now part of the largest swath of conserved boreal forest on the planet. 

In F18 NCC also focused on the final year and completion of the successful public-private partnership, the Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP).  As of March 31, 2018, the 10-year program had helped to expand Canada’s network of protected areas by 446,000 hectares (1.1 million acres), an area 7 times the size of the City of Toronto.  A commitment of $345 million invested by the Government of Canada will be matched 2:1 by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and its partners.  In order to continue the momentum NCC and its partners will lay the groundwork to request a program renewal.

NCC balances its role in protecting nature with providing access to Canadians to explore our conservation projects.  The Nature Destinations program profiles a suite of protected areas for access and enjoyment by the general public, both on the ground and online. We also work with many groups, including academic institutions to conduct, support and distribute research and learnings about biodiversity conservation in Canada.

NCC looks forward to building upon this collection in years to come. For more information:

Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.