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) 82 cents are available for programs.

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About MakeWay:

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 Foundation in the US, MakeWay sets up partnerships with local groups, leaders, foundations, and governments to protect nature. In F2020, MakeWay spent $30.5m on programs and grants to more than 250 partners.

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

Shared Platform projects were 76% of programs and grants in F2020. 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 F2020, MakeWay added nine new shared projects, bringing its total active projects to 65. One of these projects, Not Far From the Tree, collected 10,000 pounds of fruit from trees in downtown Toronto to support local food banks.

Pacific projects made up 14% of programs and grants in F2020. 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. Since the project began, MakeWay and its funding partners have invested a total of $81.6m into 187 economic development projects and 166 land conservation projects. The charity reports that these initiatives have helped to create 1,033 jobs.

Northern Canada programs represented 8% of programs and grants. These programs support land stewardship efforts and Indigenous-led projects in the northern territories. In collaboration with other funding partners, MakeWay supported the second year of the EntrepreNorth project in F2020. Part of MakeWay's shared platform, EntrepreNorth brings together future entrepreneurs for a six-month training program. The training program encourages members to create sustainable ventures that support Northern communities and celebrate Indigenous culture. EntrepreNorth participants have created products ranging from handcrafted whale oil soaps to jewelry made from natural materials. The Ayalik Project, another initiative supported by MakeWay, provided a canoe expedition for 12 Inuit youth to build self-esteem in F2020.

The remaining 3% of programs included Northern Manitoba Indigenous Food Sovereignty programs (2%) and National Programs and Advisory Services (1%).

MakeWay allows donors to set up donor advised funds for specific causes of their choice. The charity managed 113 donor advised grants in F2020, representing $7.5m or 24% of its total grants during the year. 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

MakeWay states that the Great Bear Rainforest encompasses 6.4 million hectares of land along the coast of BC. It also contains a range of wildlife and the unceded territory of 26 First Nations. In the past decade, MakeWay states that it has contributed to the protection of 2.1 million hectares of the Great Bear Rainforest. In F2020, MakeWay supported the Binners’ Project, a shared platform project that helps people earn money by recovering and selling reusable items from landfills. It helped 168 binners earn $285,502 during the year, averaging around $1,700 per person.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of MakeWay Foundation’s results and impact. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

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MakeWay consolidates its financial statements, including both MakeWay Charitable Society and MakeWay Foundation. Ci has therefore consolidated the two in the analysis below. In F2018, MakeWay changed its fiscal year end from December to March. The available data for F2018 represents only a three-month period ending on March 31, 2018. As a result, F2018 figures are not comparable.

MakeWay is a Major 100 charity, one of Canada's largest charities in terms of donations. It received $24.1m in donations in F2020, up 39% from the year before. MakeWay also received $5.4m in government funding (16% of revenues) and $4.0m in fees for service (12% of revenues). MakeWay does not report administrative and fundraising costs separately in its audited financial statements. Combined overhead costs are 18% of revenues (less investment income). For every dollar donated to the charity, 82 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

MakeWay has $49.7m in net funding reserves, which can cover around 2.2 years of annual program and grant costs.

According to its annual filing with the Charities Directorate, MakeWay used external fundraisers in F2020. It paid less than $1k to external fundraisers during the year, and does not report any money raised by fundraisers.

Charity Intelligence has sent this update to MakeWay for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 9, 2021 by Eric Zhao.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Fundraising & admin costs as % of revenues 18.3%22.8%29.8%
Total overhead spending 18.3%22.8%29.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 215.6%234.5%270.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 24,13817,3234,359
Government funding 5,4284,7570
Fees for service 3,9983,3200
Investment income (753)1,8531,275
Other income 5356330
Total revenues 33,34727,8865,634
Grants 23,05123,1215,729
Donor-designated donations 7,4606,5650
Fundraising & administrative costs 6,2535,9291,299
Total spending 36,76535,6157,028
Cash flow from operations (3,418)(7,730)(1,394)
Capital spending 4827870
Funding reserves 49,70854,22162,028

Note: MakeWay’s financial statements began excluding investment income from revenues after F2018. Ci included investment income in all three years, affecting total revenues by ($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 classified all program and grant expenses as grants since the charity does not provide a breakdown. Ci removed amortization of tangible and intangible assets from combined administrative and fundraising costs.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 151

Avg. compensation: $60,168

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 F2020

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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