321 Chapel Street
Ottawa, ON K1N 7Z2
Executive Director: Scott Walter
Board Chair: Jacques Bérubé

Charitable Reg. #: 11883 4878 RR0001
Sector: International Aid
Operating Charity

Charity Rating

[Charity Rating: 4/4]

Results Reporting

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 #18

Avg. Compensation $73,180

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 0
$120k - $160k 1
$80k - $120k 3
$40k - $80k 6
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2017

About CODE:

Founded in 1959, CODE (Canadian Organization for Development through Education) promotes reading and learning in poor communities, particularly in Africa. The United Nations reports that 171 million people could escape poverty if schools taught basic reading skills to all kids. CODE aims to improve students’ education, improving their future income, health, and community engagement.

In F2017, the Reading CODE program received 83% of program spending. CODE works with local organizations to increase students’ access to culturally-relevant books and improve the skills of teachers. Last year, CODE supported 971 teachers, librarians, authors, illustrators, and publishers to distribute 107,306 books to 838,976 children. Reading CODE operates in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania.

CODE’s Burt Literary Awards received 17% of program spending in F2017. This program helps kids to access books that they can relate to, with characters, settings, or plot lines that reflect local culture. The awards are given to authors in Africa, the Caribbean, and Canadian First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. Authors of winning books receive a cash award, and CODE agrees to buy 2,500 to 12,000 copies of the book. Last year, CODE bought 46,609 copies of winning books and distributed these to local schools, libraries, and community centres.

Results and Impact: The Reading CODE program is evaluated and modified to suit the cultural needs of the specific countries and communities.

Before starting CODE programming in Tanzania, students in grades 1-3 could identify less than 20% of letters. After implementing CODE, 95% of teachers reported improved literacy skills of their students and 87% estimated that most of their students were reading library books. When formally evaluated, grade 2 students from schools with CODE had twice the reading comprehension and three times the language fluency of students without CODE.

Grade 1 students in CODE’s Reading Kenya outperformed non-CODE students by 80% in English, Kiswahili, and Maa literacy testing.

In Liberia, CODE recently began an initiative to support girls who are behind in school. Of the 173 girls worked with last year, 145 were promoted to the next grade level, 6 moved two grade levels, and 7 stayed at the same level.

Financial Review:

Ci has consolidated the audited financial statements of CODE with the statements of CODE Foundation.

CODE is a medium-sized charity with donations of $2.5m in F2017. The charity received $2.5m in government funding, representing 36% of total income. Administrative costs are 10% of revenues and fundraising costs are 21% of donations. For every $1 donated, 69 cents go to the cause, falling within Ci’s reasonable range. CODE has funding reserves of $20.6m, of which $8.3m is donor-endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity’s reserves could cover program costs for almost 3 years.

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

Updated on June 27, 2018 by Madison Kerr.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 10.3%9.2%21.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 20.9%24.5%36.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 422.7%447.5%714.2%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 2,5121,8151,652
Government funding 2,5102,9651,516
Investment income 1,9872331,561
Other income 251522
Total revenues 7,0345,0294,750
Program costs 4,8654,4752,843
Administrative costs 518442681
Fundraising costs 526445595
Cash flow from operations 1,126(333)632
Funding reserves 20,56420,02320,307
Note: Ci has consolidated the audited financial statements of CODE and CODE Foundation. Ci has adjusted for donations paid to CODE by the foundation, affecting revenues by ($775k) in F2017, ($630k) in F2016, and ($8k) in F2015. Ci adjusted for the amount paid to CODE by the foundation for administration, affecting revenues and expenses by ($20k) in F2017, ($20k) in F2016, and ($18k) in F2016. Investment income is reported as income less portfolio management fees, affecting revenue and expenses by ($82k) in F2017, ($80k) in F2016, and ($71k) in F2015.

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