Terry Fox Foundation

150-8960 University High Street
Burnaby, BC V5A 4Y6
Acting Executive Director: Ara Sahakian
Board Chair: Bill Pristanski

Charitable Reg. #:10809 9979 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 5/5]



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) 73 cents are available for programs.

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About Terry Fox Foundation:

Founded in 1980, Terry Fox Foundation (TFF) was formed after Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope. Terry Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer in 1977 and ran 5,373 km across Canada to raise awareness and money for cancer research. He died in 1981 after cancer spread to his lungs. TFF’s mission is to realize Terry’s vision of a world without cancer by funding cancer research.

Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) is the research arm of Terry Fox Foundation. It was created in 2007 and is TFF’s primary funding recipient. The Institute funds translational research, which focuses on speeding up the development of new treatments and technologies (based on clinical discoveries) for cancer patients. Translational research is commonly called “lab bench to bedside” research. TFRI also funds basic biomedical research focused on discovering potential cures for different cancers, provides funding to new research investigators, and trains new researchers who are starting their cancer research careers.

Terry Fox Foundation distributed $29.7 million in cash grants for cancer research in F2019 (96% of mission spending). This includes $28.4 million in recognized and deferred grants to TFRI. TFF and TFRI’s joint F2019 annual report states that 47 research projects and 435 researchers received funding. In F2018, 52 projects and 361 researchers received funding. The Institute reported spending $26.8 million on research in F2019: 67% on discovery program grants, 24% on translational cancer research programs, 7% on cancer centres, and 3% on training and program development.

The remaining $1.3 million of grants went to international cancer research projects (4% of mission spending), which funded 31 programs in 28 countries during the year (17 programs in 33 countries in F2018).

Terry Fox Research Institute launched the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centre Network designation program in F2019. The Network is a Canada-wide precision medicine project that connects research institutes with hospitals to improve platforms, harmonize research methods and strengthen infrastructure for precision medicine in the country. TFRI ran two Marathon of Hope pilots in F2018. By 2023, the Institute intends to establish at least 5 Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres across Canada.

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Results and Impact

Researchers at Dalhousie University, partially funded by TFRI, discovered that deletion of Interleukin-17 receptor (IL-17R), which regulates inflammation, may help doctors predict the aggressiveness of colorectal cancer in patients. The findings, which were published in the International Journal of Cancer in February 2019, showed that IL-17R deletion was present in over 50% of advanced colorectal cancer patients and these patients had worse survival rates than people without the deletion.

With the support of TFRI, researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre used a new technology called BioID to discover 350 proteins that represent potential targets for anti-cancer drugs. There was very little understanding of how MYC proteins worked before this discovery, which was published in November 2018 in the Cancer Cell Journal.

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Terry Fox Foundation is a Major 100 charity, meaning it is one of Canada’s largest charities in terms of donations. The charity received $23.1m in Canadian donations in F2019. TFF also received $1.5m in international donations.

Administrative costs are 7% of revenues and fundraising costs are 20% of donations. For every dollar donated, 73 cents go the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. TFF has total funding reserves of $73.4m, which can cover 2.5 years of annual program costs.

The charity’s audited financial statements report grant commitments of $48.9m over the next five years (F2020 to F2024), of which $1.3m is for international cancer research organizations and $47.6m is for Terry Fox Research Institute. A further breakdown of TFRI commitments is as follows: $20.1m in F2020, $14.5m in F2021, $8.1m in F2022, $4.3m in F2023, and $536k in F2024.

TFF holds $65.1m in investments, of which 64% is in bonds, 35% is in Canadian and foreign equities, and 1% is in term deposits and GICs. With total investment income of $3.7m, TFF earned a 5.7% return in F2019 (3.5% in F2018). Including cash and cash equivalents, the Foundation’s ROI comes to 5.4% in F2018 (3.2% in F2018).

The charity spent $181m on capital expenditures in F2019, $273m in F2018, and $12m in F2017. The majority of capital expenditures in F2019 and F2018 relate to software customization.

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

Updated on June 26, 2020 by Tenzin Shomar.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 7.4%8.2%8.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 20.0%19.6%15.7%
Total overhead spending 27.4%27.8%24.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 246.8%334.0%375.3%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 23,06522,53021,921
International donations 1,4631,1431,243
Government funding 447137
Business activities (net) 128187202
Investment income 3,7342,4905,665
Total revenues 28,43426,42229,069
Grants 29,72124,48623,032
Administrative costs 1,8351,9621,964
Fundraising costs 4,6064,4173,436
Total spending 36,16230,86428,432
Cash flow from operations (7,729)(4,443)637
Capital spending 18127312
Funding reserves 73,36381,78786,432

Note: Sale of merchandise is reported net of cost of merchandise sold in business activities, reducing revenues and expenses by $613k in F2019, $660k in F2018 and $505k in F2017. Ci adjusted grants for changes in amounts due to Terry Fox Research Institute, affecting expenses by $64k in F2019, $506k in F2018, and ($548k) in F2017. Amortization of capital assets is backed out of administrative and fundraising costs.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 48

Avg. Compensation: $73,803

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

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Charity Contact

Website: www.terryfox.org
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 1-604-200-0541