Wilfrid Laurier University

75 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5
President: Deborah MacLatchy
Board Chair: Lynda Kitamura

Charitable Reg. #:10820 8786 RR0002


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) 87 cents are available for programs.

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About Wilfrid Laurier University:

Wilfrid Laurier University is a 5-star charity. WLU has an above-average results reporting grade and it is financially transparent. It has low funding reserves which result in a negative cost coverage ratio when donor-endowed funds are removed. 

Founded in 1911, Wilfrid Laurier University’s (WLU) mission is to be “devoted to excellence in learning, research, scholarship and creativity.” The University provides undergraduate, graduate and professional education, with an emphasis on co-curricular development of the student. WLU’s main campus is in Waterloo, Ontario, with additional locations in Kitchener, Brantford, Milton, Toronto, Yellowknife, and Chongqing, China. 

A Charity Intelligence 2023 Top 100 Rated Charity

During the Fall 2021 term, 22,454 students were registered. 20,094 students were undergraduate students and 2,360 were graduate students. WLU gave out 5,211 degrees in the Fall of 2021. The University has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1 and offers more than 100 programs. Laurier has the largest business degree co-op program in Canada.  

Wilfrid Laurier received $17.8m in external funding in F2021 (18% increase from F2020). Its research program has 24 centers and institutes and 10 donor sponsored chairs, professors, and fellows. WLU also has 9 Canada Research Chairs.  

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Results and Impact

Wilfrid Laurier states that 97.5% of 2019 graduates secured employment or undertook postgraduate studies after graduation. The University’s Business and Economics co-op in 2019/20 had a 99.5% employment rate.  

A 2018 Ontario University Graduate Survey of Wilfrid Laurier states that after six months, 92.61% of graduates were employed. After two years, 92.38% of graduates were employed.  

While Charity Intelligence highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Wilfrid Laurier University’s results. 

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Wilfrid Laurier University received $32.8m in donations (9% of revenues) and $197.7m in student fees (52% of revenues). The charity also received $120.2m in government grants (32% of revenues). Administrative costs are 3% of revenues and fundraising costs are 10% of donations. The charity spends 13% on overhead. This means for every dollar donated, 87 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.  

WLU has net funding reserves of $54.8m with total donor-endowed reserves of $105.7m, meaning non-donor-endowed reserves are negative, creating a negative cost coverage ratio. Excluding debt of $211.0m, the charity can cover annual program costs for nine months.

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

Updated on July 7, 2022 by Emma Saganowich.  

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending April
Administrative costs as % of revenues 3.3%3.8%3.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 10.0%32.5%11.0%
Total overhead spending 13.3%36.3%14.3%
Program cost coverage (%) (14.6%)(16.9%)(11.1%)

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 32,7839,43326,667
Government funding 120,215123,372122,839
Fees for service 197,687208,752207,709
Business activities (net) 7,22112,63814,842
Investment income 12,2937,54410,241
Other income 10,06712,98116,864
Total revenues 380,266374,720399,162
Program costs 352,449358,763359,600
Grants 080
Administrative costs 11,99813,87312,693
Fundraising costs 3,2763,0652,932
Total spending 367,723375,709375,225
Cash flow from operations 12,543(989)23,937
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 54,83535,71151,454

Note: Ci included donations to the charity’s endowment fund and amortization of deferred capital contributions. WLU does not report administrative and fundraising costs on its audited financial statements. Ci took administrative and fundraising costs from the charity’s T3010 filings. Ci has adjusted for deferred capital and operations contributions, affecting revenues by $4.7m in F2021, ($7.4m) in F2020, and $10.6m in F2019. Ci reported business activities net of expenses, reducing both revenues and expenses by $8.3m in F2021, $10.5m in F2020, and by $10.9m in F2019. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 1,765

Avg. compensation: $108,197

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 F2021

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

Wilfrid Laurier University is a comprehensive university with campuses in Waterloo, Brantford and Milton. As a multi-campus, multi-community university, Laurier is known for offering unique programs that make each of our campuses their own, while retaining the essence of the strong community culture that binds us together. At Laurier, community is at the heart of who we are. A deep sense of connection and belonging is felt across our campuses and resonates into the communities we call home. Laurier students aren’t content with simply earning a university degree. To them, education is a springboard to something greater: it’s the key to shaping a life, building a community and making a difference.

Our programs provide a broad spectrum of traditional and innovative learning across arts and social sciences, business and economics, music, science, social work and education. Ultimately, they reflect a common purpose: Laurier’s determination to address global social, health and environmental problems and advance creative pursuits. Our world faces complex challenges; Laurier graduates are ready to tackle them. 

In-class learning is only part of the educational equation. Putting knowledge to work in the world is a hallmark of the Laurier experience. Experiential learning opportunities such as co-op work terms and community service are purposefully designed to help students relate what they learn in the classroom to what they experience outside of it. As a result, Laurier students graduate with both the theory and skills needed to succeed in the world that awaits them after university. It’s about forming a foundation of service that our students continue long after graduation.

At Laurier, we measure our success by the impact we make. Purposeful teaching, learning, research, and community experiences enable our students, alumni, staff and faculty to make a meaningful difference in their communities and the wider world. Together, we build knowledge that serves society.

It starts with you. None of this is possible without philanthropic support. Your investment in Laurier gives our students an edge. Donors support students through awards, the faculty who teach them, the facilities in which they learn and the many experiences that make their Laurier experience memorable. Donor impact is a critical ingredient of our university’s continued success. Thank you for your support.

Charity Contact

Website: www.wlu.ca
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: (519) 884-1970 ext. 3180

Email: alumni@wlu.ca 

Tel: 519-884-1970


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001