100 Alexis-Nihon Blvd, 7th floor
Saint-Laurent, QC H4M 2P3
Board President: Benoit Desormeaux
Board Vice-President: Francine Sauriol

Charitable Reg. #:83203 8228 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) 92 cents are available for programs.

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About SEMAFO Foundation:

SEMAFO Foundation supports communities and offers an improved quality of life through investments in community development projects. The charity works in West African communities, specifically in or nearby villages where SEMAFO Inc., a Canadian gold mining company, or its subsidiaries are present. Since 2008, SEMAFO Foundation has been operating in West Africa, particularly in Burkina Faso and in Niger. In July 2014, the charity discontinued its activities in Niger and transferred its assets to Larrasu, an NGO set up by employees of Fondation SEMAFO Niger.

In F2017, SEMAFO Foundation invested in education (47% of project spending), community and production support (33%), agriculture and revenue-generating activities (19%), and health (1%).

SEMAFO Foundation’s education program distributes school kits, supports specialized training and extracurricular activities, and builds school infrastructure. In F2017, the charity reported that it constructed 10 classrooms and 2 freshwater boreholes; distributed 12,959 school kits, 1,581 solar lamps, 245 desk-benches, 94 bicycles, and 60 hand-washing stations; and refurbished 3 classrooms. Education programs reached 45,185 people in F2017.

The charity’s community support program develops weak village water supplies and sanitation, with a focus on helping women and children. In F2017, the charity constructed 173 latrines, including 169 ECOSAN latrines, as well as installed 4 freshwater boreholes and 3 tap stands on a simplified water supply network. Community support programs reached 51,682 people in F2017.

SEMAFO Foundation’s agriculture program helps families produce and sell products to generate a sustainable source of income. In F2017, 1,974 producers took part in the sesame project. The charity also constructed grain banks in Wona, Kéra, Lah, Boungou, and Natongou during the year. Agricultural and income-generating programs reached 34,736 people in F2017. In its July 2018 newsletter, the charity reports that 8 villages continued collecting honey from 102 hives distributed between 34 beekeepers.

SEMAFO Foundation’s healthcare program develops healthcare infrastructure, supports autistic children, and fights cervical cancer. Cervical cancer prevention, which accounted for 76% of health care project costs, included screening 509 women from 9 villages in Pompoï and 33 women from 8 neighbouring communes. Health programs reached 806 people in F2017.


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Results and Impact

SEMAFO Foundation reports that its F2017 income-generating projects have resulted in $696,428 in income generated by the charity’s beneficiaries in Burkina Faso. In its community and product support programs, the charity offers specialized training classes for adults; following its sewing course, students made 300 uniforms that resulted in $2,032 in income.

Charity Intelligence has given SEMAFO a Fair impact rating based on demonstrated impact per dollar spent.

Impact Rating: Fair

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SEMAFO Foundation is a medium-sized charity with donations of $1.6m in F2017. Its administrative costs are 8% of revenues, down from 12% in F2015 largely because of increased grants from SEMAFO Inc. that have caused revenue to rise faster than administrative costs. In F2017, 89% of donations and revenues were grants from SEMAFO Inc. The charity did not report any fundraising costs in its financial statements or CRA T3010 fillings between F2015 and F2017. For every dollar donated to the charity, 92 cents go to the cause, falling within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending; however, the lack of reported fundraising costs is a concern. The charity has funding reserves of $589k, resulting in a program cost coverage ratio of 47%. This ratio means that the charity can cover under 6 months of program costs, indicating a need for funding.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to SEMAFO Foundation for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 10, 2018 by Joeyanne Cheung.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending June
Administrative costs as % of revenues 8.4%9.8%11.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 0.0%0.0%0.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 46.9%44.9%50.2%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 1,555,0941,289,262970,790
Total revenues 1,555,0941,289,262970,790
Program costs - International 1,256,5991,067,826817,716
Administrative costs 130,299126,542112,341
Fundraising costs 000
Cash flow from operations 168,19694,89440,733
Funding reserves 589,108479,527410,223

Note: Charity Intelligence has analyzed the charity’s French audited financial statements to the best of our abilities but we recognize that detailed financial information is beyond our linguistic expertise. Material omissions may be reflected in Charity Intelligence’s analysis. Ci removed amortization from program and administrative costs as per the charity's schedule in its financial statements.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 3

Avg. Compensation: $78,010

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 F2017

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

The mission of the SEMAFO Foundation is to support communities and offer an improved quality of life in the areas in which SEMAFO or one of its subsidiaries operates, through its actions, its investments in community development projects as well as the training and development of people. The mining company SEMAFO is its primary funder, and has pledged up to 2% of its annual net profits to the SEMAFO Foundation.

The Foundation adopts a participatory approach that ensures the social acceptability of each of its projects. Funded projects are selected with the residents, according to their needs and also their strengths, in accordance with municipal development plans and in partnership with local authorities, government services, and local non-governmental organizations.

The aim of the SEMAFO Foundation is to encourage the sustainable development of these villages, creating a strong economic network that would not have existed without the Foundation and that can be maintained independently if mining activities were reduced. True to its philosophy of empowering people, the SEMAFO Foundation believes that a durable reduction in poverty can be achieved by providing opportunities for skills development and entrepreneurship.

Ci has asked SEMAFO Foundation to provide an updated comment.

Charity Contact

Website: www.fondationsemafo.org
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