CharityIntelligence Canada
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Social Services
Toronto, ON

Make A Wish Canada

4211 Yonge Street, Suite 520
Toronto, ON M2P 2A9
President & CEO: Jennifer Klotz-Ritter
Board Chair: Barb Hambly

Charitable Reg. #: 89526 9173 RR0001
Sector: Social Services
Operating Charity

Results Reporting

Grade: B+

The grade is based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.

Financial Transparency

Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity's website [Audited financial statement for most recent year]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Cents to the Cause

2015 2016 2017
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Impact Rating: Low

Full-time staff #24

Avg. Compensation $70,762

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 1
$120k - $160k 1
$80k - $120k 4
$40k - $80k 4
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2016

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 615 wishes to Canadian children with life-threatening illnesses in F2017 and states that this is a 10% increase from F2016. Based on total operating costs, the charity spent an average of $13,268 per wish granted in F2017 (comparable to $13,312 per wish in F2016). Wishes fall into one of four categories: to have, to go, to be, and to meet.

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 in proven impact per dollar (see grid bottom right).

Financial Review:

Make-A-Wish Canada is a medium-sized charity with total cash donations of $4.9m in F2017. When including donated gifts, total public support increases to $8.4m. Administrative costs are 4% of revenues and fundraising costs are 24% of donations. Per dollar donated to the charity, $0.73 goes toward its wish-granting, which falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. The charity’s funding reserves of $2.7m can cover less than 5 months of annual wish-granting activities, indicating a need for donations.

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 July 21, 2018 by Derek Houlberg.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 3.6%3.7%3.8%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 23.7%25.1%25.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 40.5%44.8%54.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 4,8854,5914,295
Goods in kind 3,5333,1252,803
Investment income 6654(4)
Total revenues 8,4837,7707,094
Program costs 6,7416,0735,253
Administrative costs 299282268
Fundraising costs 1,0571,046963
Cash flow from operations 386370610
Funding reserves 2,7332,7192,881
Note: Ci did not include amounts received from provincial chapters ($431k in F2017, $428k in F2016 and $481k in F2015) 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.