Make A Wish Canada

4211 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M2P 2A9
President & CEO: Jennifer Klotz-Ritter
Board Chair: Barb Hambly

Charitable Reg. #:89526 9173 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) 72 cents are available for programs.

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About Make A Wish Canada:

Founded in 1983, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada (Make-A-Wish Canada) is a granting charity that helps kids with life-threatening diseases live out their biggest wishes. The charity pays for all of the costs associated with a qualified child’s wish and hopes that after their wish experience, the child will feel happier, healthier and stronger than before. Make-A-Wish Canada is an affiliate of Make-A-Wish International, the largest wish-granting organization in the world, making dreams come true for more than 450,000 children since 1980. The charity operates a head office in Toronto and oversees eight regional chapters across Canada. 

Make-A-Wish Canada separates itself from other wish-granting charities by operating on an international level, meaning that it can both send its Canadian wish children to other countries and host children visiting from other countries. The charity pairs each wish child with a team of local wish-granting volunteers who work with the child and their family to identify and make the child’s one wish come true. 

Make-A-Wish Canada granted 655 wishes to Canadian children with life-threatening illnesses in F2018, up from 615 in F2017. Based on total operating costs, the charity spent an average of $11,527 per wish granted in F2018 (compared to $13,268 per wish in F2017). Wishes fall into one of four categories: to have, to go, to be, and to meet. Since 1983, Make-A-Wish Canada has granted 8,314 wishes. 

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Results and Impact

In 2015, Make-A-Wish Israel conducted a study to measure how wish-granting experiences influence medical outcomes of children with critical illnesses. The results revealed wishes increased hope and improved the children's physical and emotional health. Another study was released in 2013 that surveyed wish kids and their families, Make-A-Wish volunteers, and doctors and nurses of previous wish kids. 97% of adult former wish kids reported that their wish experience improved their mental and emotional health and 83% reported that their physical health improved. Overall, 71% of former wish kids believed that their wish experience contributed to saving their life. The charity does not report the proportion of past wish kids that this survey reached, or the proportion of wish kids who go on to live a healthy life after their wish experience. 

Due to the very high cost per wish, Charity Intelligence rates Make-A-Wish Canada as Low Low in demonstrated impact per dollar. 

Impact Rating: Low

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Make-A-Wish Canada is a medium-sized charity with total cash donations of $5.5m in F2018. Including donated gifts, total public support increases to $9.6m. Administrative costs are 3% of revenues and fundraising costs are 25% of donations. For every dollar donated to the charity, 72 cents go toward its wish-granting, which falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. The charity’s funding reserves of $3.7m can cover 6 months of annual wish-granting activities.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Make-A-Wish Canada for review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 15, 2019 by Caroline McKenna.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 2.9%3.6%3.7%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 25.3%23.7%25.1%
Total overhead spending 28.1%27.3%28.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 49.3%40.5%44.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 5,4494,8854,591
Goods in kind 4,1193,5333,125
Investment income 56654
Total revenues 9,5738,4837,770
Program costs 7,5506,7416,073
Administrative costs 275299282
Fundraising costs 1,2721,0571,046
Total spending 9,0978,0977,401
Cash flow from operations 475386370
Capital spending 21300
Funding reserves 3,7232,7332,719

Note: Ci did not include amounts received from provincial chapters ($411k in F2018, $431k in F2017, and $428k in F2016) when calculating the charity's fundraising cost ratio. Ci excluded amortization from program, administrative and fundraising costs according to the charity's audited financial statements.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 25

Avg. Compensation $71,644

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 following comments were added to a previous version of this profile:

Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We are on a quest to bring every eligible child's wish to life, because a wish is an integral part of a child's treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in Canada, and in 50 countries worldwide. Together, generous donors, supporters, staff and more than 1,100 volunteers across the country grant more than one wish per day on average. Since 1983, Make-A-Wish Canada has granted close to 7,500 wishes across the country; more than 600 last year alone. For more information about Make-A-Wish Canada, visit

Updated Feb. 5, 2018


Charity Contact

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