Toronto Public Library Foundation

789 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4W 2G8
President: Jennifer Jones
Board Chair: Sarah Fulford

Charitable Reg. #:88655 4476 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) 58 cents are available for programs.

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About Toronto Public Library Foundation:

Founded in 1997, Toronto Public Library Foundation (TPLF) fundraises for the Toronto Public Library Board. TPLF believes that Toronto’s character depends on its resources, and a great library is crucial to achieving its full potential. The foundation's grants pay for improved collections, community programs, renovations, and technology upgrades. The Toronto Public Library now features 100 branches with a collection of more than 12 million items.

Toronto Public Library Foundation covers priority needs of its libraries that are not covered by the $220.3m in total government funding received in F2018. Toronto Public Libraries had 18 million visits in F2018, for a cost of around $12.24 in grants per visit. This is 57% higher than Calgary Public Library’s grant funding per visit of $7.82.

Aside from improving collections and facilities, TPLF focuses its grant funding on three program areas: Reading and Literacy, Lifelong Learning, and Creativity and Culture. Its programs and services represented 77% of grants in 2018, compared to 15% towards collections and 6% towards facilities.

Reading and Literacy services include programs that encourage reading among children and adults. TPLF states that 25% of children and 40% of adults in Toronto have low literacy skills. The foundation’s funding supports programs such as TD Summer Reading Club, Ready for Reading, and Home Library Services for seniors. TPLF reports that more than 300,000 kids take part in TD Summer Reading Club each year.

Lifelong Learning programs aim to teach new skills. These services range from Newcomer Hubs for recent immigrants to Personal Finance classes. In partnership with Ryerson University, Toronto Public Library delivers a digital literacy and coding course in five cities across Ontario.

Creativity and Culture programs provide entertainment, creative expression, and collaboration. These programs provide museum passes, distinguished speaker lectures, and poetry events. Toronto Public Library also celebrates Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month, and Aboriginal History Month.

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Results and Impact

Toronto Public Library Foundation underwent a social audit led by the Martin Prosperity Institute. TPLF published the findings online in December 2013. According to the study, each dollar invested in the Toronto Public Library leads to an economic impact valued at $5.63. The social audit defines economic impact as both the direct spending by library branches and indirect benefits when dollars circulate through the economy.

Martin Prosperity Institute further estimates that one open hour at one library branch has an average economic value of $2,515.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Toronto Public Library Foundation’s results and impact.

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Toronto Public Library Foundation is a Large charity with total donations of $5.4m in F2019. Administrative costs are less than 1% of revenues due to free services received from the Toronto Public Library Board and fundraising costs are 42% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 42%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 58 cents go to the cause. This falls outside of Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending, which has been the case for the past three years.

Toronto Public Library Foundation has $11.0m in total funding reserves, of which $3.4m is donor-endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity could cover 2.8 years of annual program costs with its existing reserves.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Toronto Public Library Foundation. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated July 8, 2020 by Eric Zhao.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 0.1%0.2%0.1%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 41.6%37.7%41.9%
Total overhead spending 41.7%37.9%42.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 281.6%183.7%251.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 5,4185,7224,740
Goods in kind 223245183
Investment income 544650651
Total revenues 6,1866,6175,574
Grants 2,8493,9223,008
Administrative costs 5124
Fundraising costs 2,2522,1581,987
Other costs 191844
Total spending 5,1256,1095,042
Cash flow from operations 1,060508532
Funding reserves 10,96010,07410,264

Note: Ci adjusted grants by changes in payables to the Toronto Public Library Board. This affected grants and total expenses by ($98k) in F2019, ($134k) in F2018, and $43k in F2017. Ci removed amortization from administrative and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 13

Avg. Compensation: $108,045

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

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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: 416-393-7123