Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

610 University Ave.
Toronto, ON M5G 2M9
President & CEO: Paul Alofs
Board Chair: Glenn Ives

Charitable Reg. #: 88900 7597 RR0001
Sector: Health - Hospital Foundation
Public Foundation

Donor Accountability

Grade: A-

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.

Full-time staff #75

Avg. Compensation $127,063

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 2
$300k - $350k 2
$250k - $300k 3
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 3
$120k - $160k 0
$80k - $120k 0
$40k - $80k 0
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2016

About Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation:

Founded in 1982, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, formerly known as Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, is the fundraising arm of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Its focus is to conquer cancer in our lifetime.  Princess Margaret claims it is a top 5 cancer research center in terms of the percentage of papers published in high-impact oncology journals and the percentage of highly cited papers.  

In 2012, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation launched the Billion Dollar Challenge, the largest fundraising campaign in the history of Canadian healthcare. The campaign targeted four areas of Personalized Cancer Medicine: detecting cancers earlier, diagnosing cancers more precisely, targeting treatment more specifically, and providing comprehensive physical and emotional support. In January 2017, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation exceeded its goal and reported $1.05B in funds raised; $532m of which were raised via philanthropy and $520m as research grants.

In F2016, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation granted $96.5m to Princess Margaret Cancer Centre ($2.3m of which are still payable, resulting in a cash transfer of $94.1m). Of the $96.5m granted, 88% was allocated to research, education and patient care. The foundation allocated the remaining grants to equipment (8%) and building (3%). In 2015, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre published 1,185 research papers, gave 34,851 chemotherapy treatments, and cared for 18,033 new cancer patients.

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is the only research and comprehensive treatment centre devoted exclusively to cancer in Canada. It is also the only major cancer research centre not participating in the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance (CCRA). The CCRA operates under the belief that through effective collaboration, Canadian cancer research funding organizations can maximize their collective impact on cancer control and accelerate discovery for the ultimate benefit of Canadians affected by cancer.

Financial Review:

Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation is a Major 100 charity, receiving $95.2m in donations and special events fundraising in F2017. Lotteries accounted for an additional $25.6m in net revenue. Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation reports administrative and fundraising costs together in its audited financials. In F2016, administrative and fundraising costs were 21% of revenues. For every $1 donated, 79 cents went the cause. This falls within Charity Intelligence’s reasonable range of overhead spending.

The foundation had funding reserves of $606m in F2017, including $136m of donor-endowed funds. Total funding reserves can cover annual grants for 5.3 years excluding donor-endowed funds. 

This charity report is an update that is currently being reviewed by Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 18, 2017 by Juliana Badovinac.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Fundraising & admin costs as % of revenues 21.4%22.8%22.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 633.6%594.4%659.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 69,60268,70466,952
Lotteries (net) 27,69424,79423,754
Special events 25,60027,11127,388
Investment income 45,648(973)48,740
Total revenues 168,544119,636166,834
Grants 95,70494,06985,413
Fundraising & administrative costs 26,27727,51726,345
Other costs 642687711
Cash flow from operations 45,921(2,637)54,365
Funding reserves 606,375559,186563,593
Note: Ci removed grants payable from total grants reported, decreasing grants by $6.8m in F2017, $2.4m in F2016, and $10.1m in F2015. Investment management fees were removed from investment income (loss) and are reported as other costs.

Comments added by the Charity:

The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (The PMCF) raises funds to support one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. In April 2012, we embarked on a challenge to secure $1 billion in funding to create the new gold standard in cancer care: Personalized Cancer Medicine. This is our goal.

The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre prides itself on finding tomorrow’s treatments today. In the words of Medical Director Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, “We integrate research with clinical practice to provide the best care for our patients. There are tomorrow’s cures in our laboratories, and today’s care in our cancer centre.”

The PMCF is making a sizable impact, as was exhibited in Charity Intelligence’s reporting on Social Results. The PMCF was graded A-, putting us in the top 15% for all charities. The PMCF received a perfect 20/20 on Financial Transparency and 18/20 in Fundraising and Administration costs.

Overall, The PMCF received a 2-star rating out of a possible 4 stars. While this is disappointing in one way, it is actually very good news in another.

The manner in which Charity Intelligence tabulates its ratings makes it impossible for The PMCF to attain anything better than a 2-star rating. In order to qualify for a 4-star rating, charities must have less than three years’ reserves in fund balances. To receive a 3-star rating, charities must have no more than 5 years in fund balances.

The key reason that The PMCF received a 2-star rating was the level of grant giving compared to fund balances. The PMCF has 6.7 years of reserves in fund balances. Charity Intelligence does not take into account the future commitments made by The PMCF; only current expenditures.

The PMCF is holding funds for two primary reasons:

  • Funds are reserved to finance initiatives in Personalized Cancer Medicine that are being developed. Included is a major research recruitment drive for The Princess Margaret. 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. As the recruitment of scientists is achieved over the next several years, there will be an acceleration of spending so the fund balances will dwindle. the way in creating the new gold standard in cancer care, please go to
  • 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 in 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 fund these individuals and their research initiatives over the years. 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.


On October 15, 2014, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation made major announcements that provided clarity on how we are expending funds to advance our world-leading cancer program. They included an unprecedented expansion in research facilities, an unparalleled recruitment drive and a large-scale transformation of clinical space at The Princess Margaret, all to further strengthen our position in such areas as immune therapy, epigenetics, clinical genomes, biobanking, computational biology and pathology in order to better deliver on the promise of Personalized Cancer Medicine.

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We urge you read our 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.

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