Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

610 University Ave.
Toronto, ON M5G 2M9
President & CEO: Michael Burns
Board Chair: Janice Fukakusa

Charitable Reg. #:88900 7597 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



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) 79 cents are available for programs.

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About Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation:

Founded in 1982, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (PMCF) raises money to fund research, patient care, building upgrades, and equipment purchases at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PMCC). It is estimated that 50% of Canadians will develop cancer and 25% will die from it. PMCC and PMCF have a shared vision to “conquer cancer in our lifetime.”

Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation granted $105.8 million to Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in F2020. $93 million was for research, education and patient care, $8.5 million for building upgrades, and $4.1 million for equipment. PMCF also disbursed $40.9 million in grants that were deferred in prior years.

In 2019, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre had 254,013 clinic visits and treated 82,571 patients, including 17,433 new patients. 72% of new patients required treatment for malignant cancers. The centre performed 6,387 surgeries, had 88,555 radiation therapy visits, and performed 485 stem cell transplants. PMCC employed 1,304 researchers and research staff who opened 193 new clinical research studies and produced 1,062 peer-reviewed publications. PMCF states that the cancer centre runs Canada’s largest clinical trial program, with 700 active clinical trials. 22% of the patients who received care at the centre were treated in clinical trials.

Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation’s Space Transformation campaign is raising $50 million to renovate the cancer centre’s main clinical area, including a new outpatient pharmacy, blood lab, patient library and lounge, and outpatient palliative care clinic. Construction began in 2018. Major milestones in F2019 included the opening of the Gynecologic Oncology clinic, the Warren-Connelly Palliative Care clinic, and the outpatient pharmacy and patient lounge.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, PMCF launched a Conquer COVID for Cancer fund to support vulnerable cancer patients, frontline healthcare workers, and clinical trials research for treatments and vaccines. The pandemic sped up development of the Smart Cancer Care (SCC) program at PMCC, which uses technology to streamline cancer care and integrate research into the clinic. The SCC team implemented virtual visits, which can reduce in-person visits by 500 to 700 appointments a day. PMCF also states that, in keeping with running the largest early phase clinical trials program in Canada, the centre received fast-tracked permission to launch COVID-19 clinical trials in two to four days. The process normally takes four to six months.

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Results and Impact

Princess Margaret self-identifies as one of the top five cancer research centres in the world. Between 2015 and 2017 it ranked itself 2nd in the percentage of research papers published in high-impact oncology journals (15%). It also ranks itself 5th in the percentage of research papers placing in the top 10% of papers published in the same field and year (34%).

In January 2020, researchers at PMCC identified six ‘drivers’ of a critical gene involved in prostate cancer development, offering new possible targets for drug design. The FOXA1 gene plays an important role in prostate cancer malignancy and has historically been a challenging target for drug development. It is often termed ‘undruggable.’ PMCC researchers studied 200 prostate cancer tumours and identified six mutated regulatory elements that control FOXA1 expression. The study demonstrated that removing these elements reduces FOXA1 expression and impairs growth of prostate cancer cells. The findings were published in Nature Communications journal.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation's results and impact.

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Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation is a Major 100 charity, one of Canada’s largest in terms of donations. It received $122.9m in donations and special events fundraising in F2020, a 34% increase from $91.8m in F2019. PMCF collected $41.6m in net revenue from lotteries, representing 26% of total revenue. Net investment income of ($5.2m) includes $80.1m in unrealized losses. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the fair value of PMCF’s investments as noted in the audited financial statements.

F2020 administrative and fundraising costs of $34.2m are 21% of total revenue (excluding investment income). Per dollar donated to PMCF, 79 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

PMCF’s funding reserves of $639.3m include $152.0m in donor endowments. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the foundation’s reserves can cover annual grants spending at the F2020 level for 3.5 years. PMCF’s funding reserves do not include a $14.0m graduate student endowment fund held by the University of Toronto for the benefit of graduate and PhD students conducting research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

PMCF has outstanding commitments to invest $17.9m in private capital over the next three to five years.

PMCF’s audited financial statements disclose multiple related party transactions. UHN, which is PMCF’s primary grant recipient, transferred $29.8m ($4.3m in F2019) to PMCF in F2020, including royalty payments of $760k ($4.2m in F2019). These amounts are included in donations. One of the PMCF’s board members is affiliated with a professional services firm that was retained by PMCF (through an RFP process) to provide administrative services for lotteries. The firm was paid $1.9m ($1.6m in F2019) for these services, which are included in lottery expenses.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation for review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 21, 2020 by Katie Khodawandi. Revised October 7, 2020. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Fundraising & admin costs as % of revenues 20.8%25.2%22.4%
Total overhead spending 20.8%25.2%22.4%
Program cost coverage (%) 350.3%566.9%471.3%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 104,71471,75277,968
Lotteries (net) 41,58233,61229,727
Special events 18,14720,07020,622
Investment income (5,153)36,96431,561
Total revenues 159,290162,398159,878
Grants 146,70696,158108,539
Fundraising & administrative costs 34,17731,60128,704
Total spending 180,883127,759137,243
Cash flow from operations (21,593)34,63922,635
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 639,310661,032630,977

Note: Ci adjusted grants for changes in amounts due to UHN, affecting total expenses by $40.9m in F2020, ($8.5m) in F2019 and $2.0 in F2018. The audited financial statements do not report capital expenditures.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 78

Avg. Compensation: $170,315

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 F2019

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

Comment added in 2018. Updated comments may be forthcoming.

The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (The PMCF) raises funds to support one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world.  The Princess Margaret raised $112.1 million in net fundraising and lottery revenue in the year ending March 31, 2018 (a record year) and had $31.6 million in investment income.

Our audited financial statements can be found at

 We are proud of our top 5 global position. The funds raised by the Foundation through our community of supporters helps us maintain this position and advance fundamental cancer discoveries and translation of these findings into the clinics. We also have Canada’s largest clinical trials program funded primarily through foundation grants.

Read more about our top 5 position at:

The Princess Margaret is a comprehensive cancer research centre committed to research that leads to innovative therapies across the spectrum of cancer care from detection, diagnosis, targeted therapies and supportive programs for the patients and their families.  We are also a very large training organization for other cancer centres across Canada and around the world and are affiliated with the University of Toronto.

In addition, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre staff play a very large role in shaping cancer care policy and new standards of cancer care both at the provincial level and across Canada and beyond.

The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre prides itself on delivering future care now and sharing those advances across the province, across Canada and around the globe.  In the words of Medical Director Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, “Through our interdisciplinary and well integrated basic science and clinical programs, The Princess Margaret raises the bar in cancer care. We are designing and testing future care now, uncovering new targets in our laboratories, and moving this learning into the clinic through our world leading evidence based clinical trials program.”  We are also an innovator in the use technology in cancer care to enhance diagnosis and treatment. You can read all about this at The Princess Margaret embraces the whole person approach to patient care and providing the right treatment, for the right patient, at the right time.

The PMCF is making a sizable impact and stewards the funds carefully through oversight of grants to the cancer centre by our distinguished board (listed in our annual report at and granting committee work.  The PMCF was graded B+ in Donor Accountability which is a strong rating and we are proud of our top rating of 20 out of 20 for Financial Transparency. Patient outcome measures are difficult to obtain as many of our patients once treated through our clinics -  go back into the community and may only come back to us if their cancer re-occurs.

Our administrative and fundraising costs (as calculated by Charity Intelligence) )were 22 % of revenues so for every dollar donated 78 cents went to the cause which falls within the reasonable range. Of note, this includes our general fundraising and administrative costs, as well as costs for of our strategic events, and annual giving programs.

Overall, The PMCF received a 3-star rating out of a possible 4 stars. While this is an improvement over last year’s 2 star rating, we did not get a 4 star rating mainly due to our fund balance which Is at 4.4 years.  This is disappointing in one way, but it is actually very good news in another.

According to Charity Intelligence criteria only Charities with a reserve balances under 3 times coverage receive full points. It is important to point out that, Charity Intelligence does not take into account the future long-term commitments made by The PMCF to the Cancer Centre.

Importantly, The PMCF is holding funds for three primary reasons:

  • Funds are reserved to finance initiatives in Personalized Cancer Medicine that are being developed. The fund balance is crucial for multiple-year research commitments. This extends beyond the salaries of newly-hired scientists, fellows and students as they continue to work on multi-year projects, many of which are already in progress, but also to the infrastructure: space and equipment required to deliver Personalized Cancer Medicine.
  • Long-term support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre research and clinical programs that require multi-year commitments for research initiatives. The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is the largest cancer research organization in Canada, and one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. The cancer centre employs over a thousand people doing research. The Foundation is the primary funder of the research enterprise through philanthropy and our social enterprise programs. In order to ensure sustainability of our leading scientists and innovative programs, we must maintain a fund balance to support these individuals and their research initiatives over their multi-year timeframes. This differs from many other foundations who are primarily granting organizations that have the flexibility to turn up or down their grants depending on the funds available in any given year.
  • Transformation of the Cancer Centre. Currently in progress. Over the next many years we will be advancing our ambitious multi-phased project to transform cancer care. The first phase of this was announced in the late spring of 2017. We are in the midst of the total transformation of the main floor including a revamped  therapeutically designed  outpatient pharmacy and blood collection centre,  and our first-ever Outpatient Palliative Care Clinic and a new Gynecologic Oncology Clinic on our 5th       
  • Princess Margaret Cancer Centre has the most comprehensive Immunotherapy program in Canada and this area is very exciting and will need continued funding to ensure we continue to lead in this most promising area of cancer care.
  • The Foundation through the generous support of our community also funds innovative programs that require sustainable funding such as: Survivorship, Biobank, Cancer Informatics, Precision Genomics, Cancer Stem Cells, just to name a few.

We urge you read our FY 2018 annual report and audited financial statements in full at If you have questions, we encourage you to contact one of our staff at 416-946-6560, toll-free at 1-866-224-6560 or at In doing so, we hope you will understand what efficiency and effectiveness in the social enterprise sector truly is and we hope you will continue to support the outstanding work of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. If you are interested in having a tour of our cancer centre or how you can support our Research and/or Transformation campaign please call our office.






Financial transparency score updated on October 5, 2020. Financial ratios (F2019, F2018) updated October 7, 2020.


Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 416-946-6560