Autism Speaks Canada

2450 Victoria Park Avenue, Unit 400
Toronto, ON M2J 4A2
Executive Director: Jill Farber
Board Chair: James Kelsey

Charitable Reg. #:86942 0208 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 3/5]



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) 41 cents are available for programs.

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About Autism Speaks Canada:

Autism Speaks Canada is a 3-star rated charity. The charity is financially transparent and has an above-average results reporting grade. However, it has high overhead spending.  

Autism Speaks Canada supports research and awareness around autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This charity is the Canadian branch of Autism Speaks, an American charity. ASD is a disability that causes challenges with social skills, communication, and sensory input. ASD impacts one in 66 Canadian children and can lead to social, financial, and health issues. Many autistic people have associated conditions such as ADHD, OCD, and mood disorders.  

Autism Speaks Canada runs three main programs: Research Grants, Collaboration & Awareness, and Services & Support.  

In F2022, Research Grants received 64% of program spending ($1.9m - including $382k for grants promised in previous years). In the Autism Speaks Canada’s T3010 filing with the CRA, it states that it gave out six grants: $817k to SickKids Foundation, $185k to University of Alberta, $155k to Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, $76k to McGill University, $45k to University of Manitoba, and $24k to University of Ottawa. Autism Speaks Canada does not mention these grants in its Annual Report or in a prominent place on its website. The charity states that research helps run projects to educate health professionals, improve early diagnosis techniques, and understand genetic causes of ASD. In F2022, the charity also funded the Autism Care Network which has nine active studies working to improve autism care.  

In F2022, the Collaboration and Awareness program made up 22% of spending ($531k). For its Life on the Spectrum campaign, Autism Speaks Canada released two new documentaries in F2022. This campaign works to share the lived experiences of autistic people. The charity also put on events during the year specifically for autistic people. It worked with 35 theatres to run the Cineplex Sensory Friendly program. This program attracted over 10,000 people to the movies. In December, Autism Speaks Canada hosted Sensitive Santa events for over 1,500 families. This gave autistic children the chance to meet with Santa in a more comfortable environment.  

In F2022, the Services and Support program made up 15% of spending ($366k). Autism Speaks Canada provided eight community grants to help providers address current needs. These grants are meant to cover current gaps in autistic care. The charity hosted an online job fair to connect over 850 autistic people with 25 employers. The charity runs My Autism Guide, a platform to share reliable information. In F2022, the platform had 1,900 profiles. Autism Speaks Canada also leads an Autism Response Team, which responded to 404 questions from autistic people and their caregivers. 

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Results and Impact

Since its founding in April 2021, Autism Care Network has published three clinical trials. It receives funding from Autism Speaks Canada. No additional details were provided about what these trials were researching. 

Since 2010, the community grants given by Autism Speaks Canada have addressed many of the charity’s objectives. In total, 64% have increased access to reliable information, 42% have increased global acceptance of people with autism, 42% have helped youth with autism transition into adulthood, and 7% have increased early childhood detection. Grants can be double counted between these objectives. 

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Autism Speaks Canada’s results and impact. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

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Autism Speaks Canada is a medium-sized charity, with total donations and special events revenue of $3.1m in F2022. Administrative costs are 22% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 37% of donations and special events revenue (excluding related party transactions). This results in total total overhead spending of 59%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 41 cents are available to go to the cause. This falls outside Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.  

Autism Speaks Canada has total reserve funds of $3.5m. This results in a program cost coverage ratio of 122%, which means the charity can cover around one year and three months of program costs using its existing reserves. 

The charity has funding commitments to SickKids Foundation and the Wise Family Foundation to fund research in autism science. The charity has committed $640k in 2023, $424k in 2024, and $61k in 2025. 

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

Updated on July 4, 2023 by Clive Stevens. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 21.8%16.4%11.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 37.1%19.5%12.8%
Total overhead spending 58.9%35.9%24.4%
Program cost coverage (%) 122.4%188.3%218.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 1,764,2262,459,8964,233,290
Government funding 92,987352,021433,111
Special events 570,325528,789449,432
Investment income 09,03618,588
Other income 825,381737,996421,336
Total revenues 3,252,9194,087,7385,555,757
Program costs 897,1831,324,554866,237
Grants 1,944,4201,060,4311,093,422
Administrative costs 708,764668,574644,171
Fundraising costs 865,311581,746598,002
Total spending 4,415,6783,635,3053,201,832
Cash flow from operations (1,162,759)452,4332,353,925
Capital spending 19,523210,61312,833
Funding reserves 3,478,9744,491,5024,273,321

Note: The charity reports receiving revenue from Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP), and Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) Canada subsidy. Ci subtracted this amount from other income and reported it under government income. The charity also reports receiving investment income in its T3010 filing with the CRA. Ci removed this amount from other income and reported it as investment income. Ci adjusted grants to show the actual amounts given out during the year. This affected grants and total expenses by $382k in F2022, ($203k) in F2021, and $69k in F2020. Ci removed amortization from administrative costs in the amount of ($82k) in F2022, ($44k) in F2021, and ($15k) in F2020. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 21

Avg. compensation: $82,773

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 F2022

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 416-362-6227


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001