Engineers Without Borders
Toronto, ON M6J 1A8
CEO: Boris Martin
Board Chair: Shayne Smith
Charitable Reg. #: 88980 1815 RR0001
Grade: A-The grade is based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.
Need for Funding
Cents to the Cause
Full-time staff #34
Avg. Compensation $45,661
Top 10 Staff Salary Range
|$300k - $350k||0|
|$250k - $300k||0|
|$200k - $250k||0|
|$160k - $200k||0|
|$120k - $160k||0|
|$80k - $120k||6|
|$40k - $80k||4|
About Engineers Without Borders:
Founded in 1999, Engineers Without Borders (EWB) fights poverty by investing in people and ventures. Sub-Saharan Africa has 250 million people working in 17.7 million small and growing businesses, but it is difficult for these entrepreneurs to access capital, talent, and business networks. EWB believes that strategic support of small businesses can increase a community’s education, housing infrastructure, employment opportunities, food supply, and access to basic financing.
In F2017, Engineers Without Borders supported 9 early-stage businesses with access to business professionals and investments of up to $100,000. EWB reports that these ventures created 203 jobs directly and impacted the lives of over 8 million people. One of the ventures, Rent to Own, is a for-profit business but the services it provides help other businesses grow. Rent to Own lets other small business owners access generators, refrigerators, or irrigation systems by paying for the technology over time.
Engineers Without Borders runs fellowship programs where university students and business professionals spend up to a year in Africa. Fellows support local businesses by providing expertise on hiring staff, appealing to investors, and managing finances. Fellows come from 40 chapters across Canada, with many of the chapters being associated with a university. People pay a fee of $40 (or $20 for students) to become a chapter member. Membership fees partially offset the cost of running leadership and career development workshops in Canada. Chapter members also participate in EWB advocacy efforts, calling for the Canadian government to administer foreign aid more effectively. This year, EWB members had over 100 meetings with Canadian MPs.
Results and Impact: Engineers Without Borders deliberately chooses to support business ventures that will have economic impact beyond the individual business. Businesses that acquired assets with help from Rent to Own have seen a collective income increase of $1.4m. Another sponsored venture, LishaBora, has increased Kenyan dairy farmers’ profits by 25% by selling high-quality cattle feed. Investment and support from Engineers Without Borders makes ventures more attractive for other investors. For every $1 invested by EWB, ventures receive an average of $10.50 in additional investments.
The success of EWB advocacy efforts is reflected in $300m of new funding in support for social enterprises in Canada’s 2017 federal budget. The Standing Committee on Finance’s report to the House of Commons included EWB’s recommendations on Canada’s Official Development Assistance (aid funding).
Engineers Without Borders is a medium-sized charity, with donations of $2.5m in F2017. Administrative costs are 7% of revenues and fundraising costs are 26% of donations. For every $1 donated, 67 cents go to the cause, falling within Charity Intelligence’s reasonable range. EWB has funding reserves of $223k. Reserves can cover programming for less than a month, indicating a need for funding.
This charity report is an update that has been sent to Engineers Without Borders for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.
Updated on June 6, 2018 by Madison Kerr.
Financial RatiosFiscal year ending October
|Administrative costs as % of revenues||7.3%||7.4%||6.8%|
|Fundraising costs as % of donations||25.9%||15.9%||27.0%|
|Program cost coverage (%)||5.0%||54.8%||55.1%|
Summary Financial StatementsAll figures in $s
|Fees for service||655,316||684,468||673,377|
|Business activities (net)||301,812||395,079||516,320|
|Program costs - International||2,832,487||2,873,402||1,857,201|
|Program costs - Canada||1,598,620||1,211,646||1,200,906|
|Cash flow from operations||(472,255)||693,969||781,391|