400-163 W Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC V6B 1H5
President & CEO: Joanna Kerr
Board Chair: Andrew Heintzman

Charitable Reg. #:86894 7797 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



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) 83 cents are available for programs.

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About MakeWay:

MakeWay is a 4-star charity with a slightly above average results reporting grade. It is one of Canada's largest charities in terms of donations and is financially transparent. 

Founded in 2000, MakeWay aims to support projects that help people and nature thrive together. MakeWay consists of two separately registered charities: MakeWay Charitable Society and MakeWay Foundation. Before June 2020, MakeWay was known as Tides Canada. Based on the model of Tides Foundations in the US, MakeWay sets up partnerships with local groups, leaders, foundations, and governments to protect nature. In F2021, MakeWay spent $30.6m on programs and grants to 265 partners.

MakeWay’s three largest spending areas are Shared Platform programs, Pacific programs, and Northern Canada programs. 

The charity’s Shared Platform projects made up 70% of programs and grants in F2021. MakeWay’s Shared Platform is a granting model where many local initiatives all receive shared governance, human resources support, financial management, and administrative services from MakeWay. The charity states that this shared model helps organizations focus mainly on providing their services, rather than on management and administration. In F2021, MakeWay added five new shared projects, bringing its total active projects to 67. One of these projects, Not Far From the Tree, collected 30,000 pounds of fruit from trees in downtown Toronto to share with local food banks and community kitchens.  

Pacific projects made up 15% of programs and grants in F2021. MakeWay’s Pacific projects aim to help people and nature on the coast of British Columbia. For the past 20 years, MakeWay has helped to fund the conservation of BC's Great Bear Rainforest, in collaboration with Coast Funds and Indigenous groups. In F2021, MakeWay deployed over $643k in emergency covid-19 response funds to more than 35 First Nations across the west coast. 

Northern Canada programs represented 9% of programs and grants in F2021. These programs support land stewardship efforts and Indigenous-led projects in the northern territories. The Northern program team has staff located in all three territories. In F2021, MakeWay released the Hunter/Harvester/Guardian Evaluation Toolkit with assistance and input from experts in the field. MakeWay also supported the NWT On the Land Collaborative to disburse $840k to 48 organizations and initiatives to facilitate land-based education programs, especially for youth.  

The remaining 6% of programs included Northern Manitoba Indigenous Food Sovereignty programs (4%) and National Programs and Advisory Services (2%). 

MakeWay also allows donors to set up donor advised funds for specific causes of their choice. MakeWay offers an online portal that helps contributors to donor advised funds easily donate, select causes, and track the use of funds. 

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Results and Impact

In F2021, MakeWay collaborated with Tahltan Nation to secure the creation of a new conservancy adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. This will protect 3,500 hectares of land in Northwest British Columbia which is of high cultural significance to the Tahltan people.  

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of MakeWay Foundation’s results.  

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MakeWay consolidates its financial statements, including both MakeWay Charitable Society and MakeWay Foundation. Ci has used the consolidated statements in the analysis below.

MakeWay received $31.7m in donations in F2021, an increase of 31% from the year before. MakeWay also received $2.7m in government funding (6% of revenues) and $4.8m in fees for service (10% of revenues). MakeWay does not report administrative and fundraising costs separately in its audited financial statements. Combined overhead costs are 17% of revenues (less investment income). This means that for every dollar donated, 83 cents go towards the charity’s programs. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.  

MakeWay has $57.7m in net funding reserves, which can cover just over 2 years of annual program and grant costs.  

According to its annual filing with the Charities Directorate, MakeWay used external fundraisers in F2021. It paid $2k to external fundraisers during the year, and does not report any money raised by fundraisers. 

This charity report is an update that was sent for review to MakeWay. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.  

Updated on June 17, 2022 by Emma Saganowich.  

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Fundraising & admin costs as % of revenues 16.8%18.3%22.8%
Total overhead spending 16.8%18.3%22.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 214.1%215.6%234.5%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 31,69924,13817,323
Government funding 2,7045,4284,757
Fees for service 4,7843,9983,320
Investment income 8,583(753)1,853
Other income 683535633
Total revenues 48,45333,34727,886
Program costs 18,03317,31716,750
Grants 8,9045,7346,371
Donor-designated donations 3,6937,4606,565
Fundraising & administrative costs 6,6846,2535,929
Total spending 37,31436,76535,615
Cash flow from operations 11,139(3,418)(7,730)
Capital spending 2,56548278
Funding reserves 57,67549,70854,221

Note: Ci included investment income, affecting total revenues by $8.6m in F2021, ($753k) in F2020, and $1.9m in F2019. Ci reported government funding from the charity’s financial notes and removed the amounts included in donations. Ci broke down program and grant costs using the charity's T3010 filing with the CRA. Ci removed amortization of tangible and intangible assets from combined administrative and fundraising costs.  

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 139

Avg. compensation: $72,331

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 F2021

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

The charity added the following comments to a previous profile. New comments may be forthcoming.

Evaluation based on one-size-fits-all financial analysis does not accurately measure modern charities’ effectiveness or need for donations.

MakeWay is committed to long-term and responsive solutions that support nature and communities thriving together. As an intermediary, MakeWay receives programmatic funding to be allocated over multiple years. The “funding reserves” include $28M in donor advised funds and the majority of the remainder is restricted for future programmatic activities, not for organizational operations.

Programs are rooted in deep partnerships with community-led initiatives, the majority are remote and Indigenous. Programming reduces barriers and provides expertise, strategic partnerships, and deep community connections. Program objectives include: resilient communities, healthy ecosystems, social justice, sustainable livelihoods, land and species conservation, Indigenous resurgence, food sovereignty, and clean waters. The complexity of this work, the number of partnerships, geographies, and issues addressed, means that measuring effectiveness in a snapshot of a single fiscal year, portrays a skewed view of revenues and programmatic expenditures.

Charity Contact

Website: www.makeway.org
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 604-647-6611


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001