TVOntario (TVO)

TVO, 2180 Yonge Street 
Toronto, ON M4S 2B9
CEO: Lisa de Wilde
Board Chair: Peter O'Brian

Charitable Reg. #:85985 0232 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) 35 cents are available for programs.

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About TVOntario (TVO):

The Ontario Educational Communications Authority operates as TVO and is the Government of Ontario's partner in digital learning. Its mission is to be “Ontario’s public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires, and stimulates curiosity and thought.” TVO provides children and parents with educational resources both inside and outside of classrooms.  The charity’s head office is in Toronto.

In F2017, 10.5 million Ontarians watched TVO on television, down from “more than 11 million” viewers that was reported in the charity’s 2015 annual report. TVO connected 7,730 teachers through its TeachOntario program which is an online community for Ontario’s educators. This allows Ontario teachers to explore learning opportunities, share knowledge, and create projects to support teaching. TVO’s Homework Help program offers free online math tutoring services for students in grades 7 to 10. TVO reports to have helped students solve over 120k math questions in F2017. TVO’s content and programming made up 39% of program spending in F2017, and its technical and production support services made up 35% of program spending. was relaunched in 2017, which gives kids on-demand access to age-relevant TV shows and games. TVO launched its mPower program in schools across Ontario in F2017. This is a free creative online game that teaches fundamental math and critical thinking skills for students in kindergarten through grade six. TVO reports to have helped 35,608 students through this program in F2017. TVO also became the first media organization in Canada to stream a full broadcast nightly on Twitter beginning in 2017.

TVO’s Independent Learning Centre (making up 26% of total spending in F2017) is an Ontario-designated provider of distance education. It is funded by the Ministry of Education, offering flexible, affordable and accredited distance education. In F2017, 20,475 high school students were enrolled in TVO’s Independent Learning Centre (ILC).

Results and Impact: In TVO’s 2017 annual report, it states that the charity was awarded 8 Canadian Screen Awards, 4 Daytime Emmys and the Canadian Hillman Prize for Journalism for its content.

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TVO is a Large charity with donations of $5.9m in F2017. The charity also received $52.2m of government funding, representing 82% of its total revenue in F2017. Administrative costs are 11% of total revenues and fundraising costs are 54% of total donations. For every dollar donated to the charity, $0.35 goes towards its programs, which falls well outside Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. TVO has funding reserves of $27.9m which can cover 7 months of annual program costs, indicating a need for donations.

TVO uses external fundraisers as part of its fundraising activities. In F2017, TVO reported paying $344k to external fundraisers that raised $317k. For every dollar raised from external fundraisers, it paid $1.08 to the third party.

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

Updated on August 7, 2018 by Derek Houlberg.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 10.6%11.9%11.8%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 54.1%52.2%47.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 57.8%54.7%66.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 5,8505,4635,197
Government funding 52,20551,16050,583
Fees for service 3,0763,0722,974
Business activities (net) 1,0281,0181,012
Investment income 302337396
Other income 1,413372342
Total revenues 63,87461,42260,504
Program costs 48,24045,85644,507
Administrative costs 6,7407,2447,114
Fundraising costs 3,1652,8532,444
Cash flow from operations 5,7295,4696,439
Funding reserves 27,88625,09429,637

Note: Ci reports on a cash basis and thus adjusted for deferred donations, increasing total revenues by $693k in F2017, $192k in F2017 and $218k in F2015. Ci did not include amortization of deferred capital contributions, decreasing total revenues by $740k in F2017, $801k in F2016 and $1.7m in F2015. Ci did not include employee future benefit expenses, decreasing total expenses by $3.5m in F2017, $3.0m in F2016 and $2.8m in F2015.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 326

Avg. Compensation: $102,811

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:

TVO made the following comments in 2013. Ci has asked the charity to provide updated comments.

TVO exists to ignite the potential that lies within everyone through learning. We are a streamlined and innovation-focused media organization that delivers educational programming and resources –on TV, online, in mobile apps and through live events across the province.

We help kids and parents learn – with innovative resources like TVOKids, and that support the Ontario school curriculum and success in school. We build citizen engagement – through programs like The Agenda with Steve Paikin that provide in-depth discussion on the big issues of the day. And we help people understand the world – through documentary programming that tells Ontario’s stories and provides every citizen a window on the world.

TVO operates in what is a very competitive environment to raise funds. Acquiring new donors is essential to the organization’s strategy but requires costs that are realized on the front end but have significant long-term value (like our use of Face to Face fundraisers to acquire monthly donors).

In order to be fully transparent, TVO uses an “all in” method to calculate fundraising costs which includes all associated fundraising endeavours and project costs.

TVO does not carry funding reserves for future programming. The dollar amount listed as a funding reserve in the chart above refers to committed reserves, or activities that have occurred in the past, and therefore not available to cover programming costs.

Over a five-year period TVO reduced operating costs by 10 per cent. We will continue to work to bring down the cost of fundraising and reduce our overall operating costs as we look to provide even more value to the people of Ontario.

Donor support helps TVO reach more people in more ways than ever before with quality content that “makes you think.” We are grateful for every contribution entrusted to us, and thank each partner for their vital support.

Charity Contact

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