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

Charitable Reg. #:86894 7797 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) 70 cents are available for programs.

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About Tides Canada:

Founded in 2000, Tides Canada’s mission is to provide uncommon solutions for the common good by helping Canadians secure a healthy environment in ways that promote social equity and economic prosperity. The charity looks to help steer more donations into solutions that address Canada’s current social and environmental challenges. Since founding, Tides Canada has supported over 2,500 initiatives with grants totalling $158.4m in support of environmental and social change.

Tides Canada focuses its grants on seven core issue areas: Resilient Communities (44% of F2017 grants), Healthy Oceans (20%), Healthy Watersheds (13%), Protected Land and Forests (8%), Sustainable Food Systems (6%), Sustainable Livelihoods (4%), and Clean Energy and Climate Solutions (1%). In F2017, the charity supported over 50 unique community-led projects across Canada that were in its core issue areas. Tides Canada reports that 7 of the 8 new shared platform projects started in F2017 were Indigenous-led or provide programs to support Indigenous communities.

The charity also manages about 200 donor advised funds (4% of F2017 grants), with the donations to each individual fund directed for specific purposes. Tides Canada notes that donor advised funds allow Canadians to easily give, view their fund’s activity and advise grants to charities at any time through the online portal. It claims to minimize the costs involved in giving so donors can have maximum impact on problems they care about.

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Tides Canada changed its fiscal year end from December to March in F2018. This financial review represents the three-month period ended March 31, 2018. Charity Intelligence’s financial analysis of Tides Canada comes from the consolidated financial statements of Tides Canada Foundation (TCF) and Tides Canada Initiatives Society (TCI). TCF is a national public foundation that primarily distributes its funds to other organizations through grants. TCI is an operating charity that achieves its mission by using its funds to run programs.

Tides Canada Foundation is a large charity, with total donations of $3.3m in F2018. Tides Canada does not report its administrative and fundraising costs separately in its audited financial statements. Fundraising and administrative costs combined are 30% of revenues. For every dollar donated, 70 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Funding reserves of $62.0m can cover 2.7 years of annual program costs. Given the change in fiscal year end, the program cost coverage ratio was calculated using annualized program costs.

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

Updated on July 14, 2018 by Derek Houlberg. Financial review updated on August 7, 2019 by Lauren Chin.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Fundraising & admin costs as % of revenues 30.0%21.0%16.0%
Total overhead spending 30.0%21.0%16.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 270.7%295.0%325.3%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 3,27519,17823,316
Investment income 1,2755,7473,912
Other income 1,0614,2344,246
Total revenues 5,61129,15931,474
Grants 5,72921,18918,808
Donor-designated donations 01,1561,737
Fundraising & administrative costs 1,2994,9134,411
Total spending 7,13627,25824,956
Cash flow from operations (1,417)1,9016,517
Capital spending 704511,007
Funding reserves 62,02862,51161,183

Note: Ci removed amortization of deferred capital contributions from donations, decreasing total revenues by $23k in F2018, $92k in F2017, and $92k in F2016. Ci removed amortization on property and equipment from fundraising and administrative costs combined, decreasing total expenses by $96k in F2018, $311k in F2017, and $240k in F2016. Ci removed amortization on intangible assets from fundraising and administrative costs combined, decreasing total expenses by $13k in F2018, $53k in F2017, and $55k in F2016. Ci obtained the donor-designated grant amounts from the charity's F2017 and F2016 annual reports.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 71

Avg. Compensation: $37,807

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 F2017

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

Transparency of information is a vital part of modern day charity. However, we believe that a one-size-fits-all model of evaluation based on financial results does not measure charities’ effectiveness or need for donations accurately. For example, Tides Canada Foundation receives funding to be allocated over the long term, designated for programmatic work to be conducted over multiple years. Charity Intelligence constructs a snapshot of a single fiscal year, resulting in a skewed view of revenues and programmatic expenditures that does not reflect the longer-term nature of our work. 

In addition, we have concerns over the oversight and accuracy of the financial information presented as we found significant errors in the financial calculations that Charity Intelligence originally posted. These have now been corrected in the current posting.

We do appreciate that Charity Intelligence includes comments from charities on their profiles, and that they seem committed to an increased focus on impact assessment.

Charity Contact

Website: www.tidescanada.org
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 1-866-843-3722