Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada (Quebec Division)

1450, City Councillors, Suite 790
Montréal, QC H3A 2E6
Executive Director: Louis Adam
Board Chair: Gilles Dionne

Charitable Reg. #:10490 2523 RR0001


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

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Most recent Audited financial statements 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) 38 cents are available for programs.

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About Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada (Quebec Division):

Founded in 1948, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada Quebec Division (MS Society Quebec) aims to improve patients’ quality of life and find a cure for multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. MS can cause vision problems, mobility issues, pain, and fatigue. There is currently no known cure. The charity states that around 20,000 people have MS in Quebec. MS Society Quebec funds client services, public advocacy, and research to help people with MS.

Client services and chapter support represented 61% of program spending in F2019. MS Society Quebec offers client services through its 18 local chapters across the province. These programs ensure that people affected by MS have access to information, support groups, training sessions, referrals, and consultation services. In 2018, the charity held two summer camps for children who have a parent with MS. The charity also launched a new MS Knowledge Network in three regions to provide easily-accessible information for those with MS.

Public awareness and community relations were 27% of program spending in F2019. MS Society Quebec advocates for people affected by multiple sclerosis. It aims to improve laws, government policies, and workplace practices to help reduce barriers for people living with MS. In 2018, MS Society Quebec held an MS Recognition Evening to raise awareness, featuring ten invited experts to speak about MS. It also held a provincial MS Walk, which included 4,036 participants from 17 Quebec towns.

Research was 12% of program spending in F2019. MS Society Quebec provides research grants towards multiple sclerosis research. It provides operating grants to scientists working in universities and healthcare institutions, as well as funding to doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. In 2018, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada’s combined research efforts funded a $5m study on cognitive function at different stages of MS. MS Society of Canada provided funding for 50 researchers to study patients over a five-year period.

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Results and Impact

Following MS Society Quebec’s advocacy efforts, Health Canada approved a new medication in 2018 to treat primary progressive forms of MS. MS Society Quebec states that the drug will be the first treatment available for primary progressive MS in Canada.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada (Quebec Division)’s results and impact.

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Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada (Quebec Division) is a Large charity with donations and special events revenue of $6.3m in F2019. MS Society Quebec receives a substantial amount of its revenue from community fundraising events, gala dinners, golf tournaments, and third-party events. At $5.2m, its special events fundraising makes up 70% of total revenues.

Administrative costs are 6% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 55% of donations and special events revenue. This results in total overhead spending of 62%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 38 cents go to the cause. This falls outside of Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Due to high fundraising costs, MS Society Quebec has been outside of this range for the past three years.

Research grants of $387k dropped 68% from $1.2m in F2018. MS Society Quebec’s audited financials state that it temporarily reduced research grants near the end of F2019 in anticipation of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is unclear how the charity was aware of the impact of the looming pandemic in mid or late F2019. MS Society Quebec expects research contributions to rise closer to F2018 levels in the future.

MS Society Quebec has $2.5m in funding reserves, of which $19k is donor-endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity can cover 78% or nine months of annual program and grant costs at the F2019 level.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada (Quebec Division) for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 8, 2020 by Eric Zhao.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.8%6.2%6.2%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 54.8%46.3%44.8%
Total overhead spending 61.6%52.5%51.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 78.0%62.1%57.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 1,1321,2941,416
Government funding 953804837
Fees for service 126147123
Business activities (net) 221
Special events 5,2085,3855,231
Investment income 434020
Other income 262739
Total revenues 7,4907,6987,667
Program costs 2,7852,8122,852
Grants 3871,2001,260
Administrative costs 508476472
Fundraising costs 3,4763,0932,978
Total spending 7,1567,5817,561
Cash flow from operations 334117105
Capital spending 6723113
Funding reserves 2,4912,5092,393

Note: Ci removed amortization of deferred lease inducement from donations, fees for service, and special event fundraising on a pro-rata basis. This affected total revenues by ($15k) in F2019, ($23k) in F2018, and ($23k) in F2017. Ci reported business activities net of expenses, affecting total revenues and expenses by ($4k) in F2019, ($4k) in F2018, and ($12k) in F2017.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 35

Avg. Compensation: $45,256

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

Comments added by the Charity:

The following comments were added to a previous profile:

The Quebec Division of the Multiple Sclerosis Society is part of the National organization. In order to have a global picture of the activities of our National organization, I invite you to consult the following web site:

Please note that the MS Society of Canada is 95 per cent self-funded meaning that the vast majority of our funding comes from our donors, not government grants or pharmaceutical support. The limited amount of government funding we do receive means we need to raise funds ourselves to meet our mission. Statistics Canada notes that the average health charity receives 70 percent of its revenues from the government. By comparison, the MS Society of Canada is only less than 3 percent government funded. Funds received through government grants have little or no costs which allow other charities to boast a very low cost of fundraising.

Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 1-800-268-7582