525 University Avenue, Suite 835
Toronto, ON M5G 2L3
CEO: Ted Garrard
Board Chair: Sonia A. Baxendale

Charitable Reg. #:10808 4419 RR0001


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

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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) 72 cents are available for programs.

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About SickKids Foundation:

Founded in 1972, SickKids Foundation raises money for SickKids Hospital in Toronto. Its formal name is The Hospital for Sick Kids Foundation. SickKids Hospital reports that it is Canada’s most research-intensive hospital and Canada’s largest centre focused on children’s health. In F2020, the hospital received 315,546 ambulatory and 77,212 emergency visits, admitted 16,249 patients, and performed 11,871 surgeries.

SickKids Foundation reported grants of $144.9 million in F2020. $134.8 million (93%) went to SickKids Hospital. $1.1 million in grants to SickKids Hospital was added to deferred grants to be paid in future years.  Of total grants, 64% was allocated to research, 24% to patient care, 4% to education, and 8% to other programs across Canada and internationally.

SickKids Research Institute had 1,752 research staff and 2,827 research trainees who worked on research projects in F2020. SickKids Foundation helps fund the New Investigator Research grant program, which provides $350,000 in funding over three years to early-career health researchers. Six new grantees are funded annually. Since 2001, the program has funded 166 researchers from 45 health institutions in Canada. SickKids Foundation also funds the SickKids Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis program, working to find a cure for food allergy, as well as the SickKids program for Individualized Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Therapy. In partnership with Cystic Fibrosis Canada, this program is developing effective treatments for CF using stem cells.  

SickKids Foundation funds Community Conference Grants for events that facilitate information sharing between health professionals, community organizations, and families. Grants are $5,000 and nine conferences were funded in F2020.

After the completion of the Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning in 2015, SickKids Foundation started a campaign to build a new SickKids Hospital and Patient Support Centre (two new towers in downtown Toronto). The campaign officially launched in October 2017 with a $1.3 billion fundraising goal: $600 million for the new buildings, $600 million for research, and $100 million for establishing healthcare partnerships to improve patient care. In June 2019, the Foundation received a $100 million gift, the single largest gift in SickKids history, from the Peter Gilgan Foundation to finance the new Peter Gilgan Family Patient Tower. The Foundation reached the $1 billion mark in F2019.  Construction on the Patient Support Centre began in October 2019, which will house the SickKids Learning Institute. The new hospital will house critical care and inpatient units, including a neonatal intensive care unit and bone marrow transplant unit. The building will add 437,415 square feet to SickKids' campus. 

Recent news: May 2019, the Hospital for Sick Children announces Dr. Ronald Cohn as new President and CEO. Dr. Cohn has been with SickKids Hospital since 2012, most recently as Paediatrician-in-Chief. Dr. Cohn is recognized for excellence in clinical care and genetics research. Dr. Cohn replaces Dr. Mike Apkon (2014-2018) who lead SickKids' safety and operational improvements to reduce preventable deaths, among other initiatives. 

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Results and Impact

In April 2019, SickKids researchers successfully reverse-engineered brain cancer stem cells and uncovered multiple potential targets for glioblastoma treatment. This includes the DOT1L gene, which may be needed for tumour persistence. Glioblastoma stem cells are resistant to treatment, making the cancer hard to cure. The research study is a collaboration between SickKids, University of Toronto and University of Calgary. The findings have been published in Cell Reports.

In October 2019, SickKids researchers were part of the team that discovered a new cancer-causing mutation in the ‘dark matter’ of cancer genomes (non-coding regions). The mutation is a potential therapeutic target for multiple types of cancer, including brain, liver, and blood cancer. The discovery could lead to an entirely new way to target cancers that are difficult to treat and have high mortality rates. The study is led by Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and major findings were published in Nature.

In February 2020, an international study that involves researchers from SickKids and Osaka University in Japan published major findings in Nature Genetics. The team identified a compound that may be able to slow onset and progression of Huntington’s disease. In the study, the compound was used to reverse the length of the repeat Huntington mutation in mice models. Huntington’s disease is caused by a unique DNA repeat sequence – the longer the repeat sequence, the earlier the disease onset and the more severe the disease progresses over time.

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SickKids Foundation is a Major 100 – one of Canada’s largest charities in terms of donations. It collected $190.9m in donations and special events fundraising in F2020. Total revenue of $35.6m is down 79% from $169.4m in F2019, largely due to net investment income of ($160.6m). Unrealized losses are not disclosed in the audited financial statements but the evolving economic impact of COVID-19 has been noted, particularly its effect on the fair value of the Foundation’s investments.

Administrative costs are 4% of total revenue (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 24% of donations and special events fundraising. Per dollar donated to SickKids Foundation, 72 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

SickKids Foundation has $1.0 billion in funding reserves, which includes $521.5m in donor endowments. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the foundation’s reserves can cover annual grants spending at the F2020 level for 4.3 years. For additional information, please read SickKids Foundation’s comment below.

From these funding reserves, SickKids Foundation has committed to grant to the Hospital for Sick Children $71.7m ($26.7m in F2021, $22.5m in F2022, and $22.5m in F2023). 

The charity reports using external fundraisers as part of its fundraising activities in its most recent F2019 T3010 filing with the CRA. SickKids Foundation paid $7.6m to external fundraisers that collected $20.8m in donations, producing an external fundraising ratio of 37%.

SickKids Foundation’s most recent F2019 T3010 filing also provides a detailed breakdown of grant recipients for the year. The five largest grants went to SickKids Hospital ($115.7m), Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation ($967k), Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation ($497k), Air Canada Foundation ($368k), and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health ($341k).

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

Updated on August 13, 2020 by Katie Khodawandi.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 3.6%4.4%4.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 24.1%26.8%27.6%
Total overhead spending 27.7%31.2%32.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 429.1%617.9%523.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 167,910136,595125,620
Lotteries (net) 3,7562,1140
Business activities (net) 1,1601,2401,369
Special events 22,98821,96120,826
Investment income (160,600)7,26860,154
Other income 483199144
Total revenues 35,697169,377208,113
Grants 143,823122,447139,232
Administrative costs 7,0257,1056,791
Fundraising costs 45,98742,47340,350
Total spending 196,835172,025186,373
Cash flow from operations (161,138)(2,648)21,740
Capital spending 1,2188521,957
Funding reserves 1,026,7731,186,1221,201,887

Note: Ci adjusted grants for changes in accounts payable to SickKids Hospital, affecting expenses by ($1.1m) in F2020, ($1.0m) in F2019 and ($2.2m) in F2018. SickKids Foundation reports fundraising net of costs. Ci reallocated these costs into fundraising expenses. This increased revenues and expenses by $47.1m in F2020, $43.6m in F2019, and $41.5m in F2018. Ci removed amortization of capital assets from administrative and fundraising costs on a prorated basis.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 193

Avg. Compensation: $121,019

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:

The following comments were provided in response to a previous profile version. Updated comments may be forthcoming. 

SickKids Foundation is committed to optimizing available donor dollars intended for investment in The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). The majority of reserve funds held by the Foundation are endowed by donors, and the Foundation is not permitted to encroach on the capital. In addition, certain funds have been endowed by the Foundation’s Board of Directors, to meet long-term commitments to the Hospital. This leaves unrestricted reserve funds of $164.3m at March 31, 2017, resulting in true “program cost coverage” of 110%.

Charity Contact

Website: www.sickkidsfoundation.com
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 416-813-6166