Diabetes Canada

1300-522 University Ave
Toronto, ON M5G 2R5
President & CEO: Jan Hux
Board Chair: Catherine Potechin

Charitable Reg. #:11883 0744 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) 59 cents are available for programs.

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About Diabetes Canada:

Dr. Charles Best, co-discoverer of insulin, helped create the Diabetes Association of Ontario in the 1940s, which became the Canadian Diabetes Association in 1953. The charity helps those affected by diabetes live healthy lives, prevent the onset and consequences of diabetes, and discover a cure. In February 2017, Canadian Diabetes Association rebranded its name to Diabetes Canada.  

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body has difficulty regulating blood sugar levels. Elevated levels of blood glucose over time can lead to organ, blood vessel and nerve damage which can be life-threatening. The charity reports that the number of Canadians living with diabetes has doubled since 2000 and 11 million Canadians are now affected by diabetes. Canadians in their 20s now face a 50% chance of developing this disease. For First Nations Peoples in Canada, that risk is up to 80%. Diabetes contributes to 30% of strokes, 40% of heart attacks, 50% of kidney failures, and 70% of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations.

Diabetes Canada’s Improving Management and Prevention program (47% of program spending in F2018) advocates for policy changes that promote healthier lifestyles among Canadians. The charity reports to have advised the government on changes to the Canada Food Guide and the nutrition facts table on packaged foods. Diabetes Canada also offers online diabetes resources and information. In F2019, 2.7 million people visited the website. In July 2018, the charity published Diabetes 360, a 7-year strategic framework to tackle diabetes in Canada. The report includes recommendations for governments and goals to work towards using evidence-based strategies.  

Diabetes Canada’s D-Camps (19% of program spending) address the challenges of isolation and stigma by providing a place for young people with type 1 diabetes to connect. The summer camps offer outdoor activities and help participants learn how to live with the disease. Over 1,900 children and young people with type 1 diabetes attended D-Camp programs in F2019. 

Diabetes Canada funds research projects (20% of program spending) to develop new treatments and ultimately a cure for diabetes. In F2018, Diabetes Canada spent $3.5 million to fund 41 ongoing research grants. Research funded by Diabetes Canada has found that more walkable neighbourhoods have lower rates of type 2 diabetes and stable rates of obesity. These findings have informed Diabetes Canada’s shift in focus from the individual to the population level, with an emphasis on advocacy for health-related public policy. 

The Drive for Excellence in Diabetes Care program (14% of program spending) compiles evidence-based knowledge to healthcare providers and advocates for both policy and practice change. In F2018, Diabetes Canada launched its refreshed Clinical Practice Guidelines. The guidelines provide patients with tools to advocate for their healthcare and offer healthcare providers the resources to give patients the best diabetes care. Diabetes Canada hosts webinars and local educational events to build providers’ knowledge and confidence in applying the guidelines. In F2019, 370,000 unique visitors accessed the Clinical Practice Guidelines online.

In F2019, Diabetes Canada launched the Canadian Diabetes Prevention Program based on a successful U.S. centre for disease control initiative that showed moderate weight loss significantly reduces the risk of diabetes. The free 12-month program provides a personal health coach, online resources, and monthly workshops.

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Results and Impact

In F2019, the provincial governments of British Columbia, Manitoba, and Prince Edward Island committed to advancing a strategy based on Diabetes 360. The House of Commons of Canada’s Standing Committee of heal also published a study recommending funding and implementation of the plan.

In March 2020, Diabetes Canada’s advocacy work contributed to the Government of Yukon permanently funding continuous glucose monitors for those 18 years or younger who are living with type 1 diabetes. A new policy in Saskatchewan in May 2020 also makes schools accommodate the health and safety needs of students with type 1 diabetes.

Multiple grants Diabetes Canada is funding are contributing to scientific breakthroughs. Dr. Ahmad Haidar and his team developed an artificial pancreas to assist glucose management for people with type 1 diabetes. Dr. Sapieha and his team discovered that diabetic neurons in the retina enter a state of dormancy to protect themselves from diabetes-related stress and are researching ways to wake these neurons to restore vision.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Diabetes Canada’s results and impact.  




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Diabetes Canada is one of Canada’s largest charities, a Major 100, with donations and special events revenue of $30.2m in F2019. Administrative costs are 7% of revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 35% of donations. This means overhead costs are 41%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 53 cents go to its programs and grants, which is outside of Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. The F2018 fundraising ratio may be understated as the charity's F2019 T3010 filing was not available at the time of the update, so government funding could not be broken out. 

The charity has funding reserves of $16.4m. This includes $1.3m in donor-endowed funds, which means Diabetes Canada can cover nine months of annual program and granting costs. 

Diabetes Canada's Declutter operation, which picks up used clothing and donated household goods, is held in a separate trust that transfers the net profit to Diabetes Canada. The operation has an exclusive agreement with Value Village stores. It reports to sell the donated clothing and items to help fund research and the charity’s D-Camps. In F2019 it received $6.3m, compared to $5.0m in F2018 and $8.7m in F2017. 

Starting in 2017, Canadian Diabetes accounting have policies changed significantly. Its auditor, Grant Thornton, noted, “The presentation of Diabetes Canada statement of revenue and expenses changed in the current year to provide more informative information on the sources of revenue and expenses.” Diabetes Canada's new management team writes "Simpler disclosure enhances communications with stakeholders." Charity Intelligence found less information presented on the 2017, 2018, and 2019 audited financial statements. Most notably, government grants are not listed separately. Government funding of $2.7m in F2018 and $2.8m in F2017 was disclosed separately on Diabetes Canada's annual T3010 charity filing. Diabetes Canada’s F2019 T3010 filing was not available at the time of the most recent profile update.  

Diabetes Canada uses external fundraisers as part of its fundraising activities. In F2018, the charity paid external fundraisers $220k to raise $91k, at a cost of $2.42 per dollar raised. 

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

Updated June 26, 2020 by Eric Jose. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.5%6.9%5.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 34.8%44.2%39.6%
Total overhead spending 41.3%51.1%44.9%
Program cost coverage (%) 75.7%20.0%29.9%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 28,15123,13424,220
Government funding 02,7362,836
Fees for service 2,3572,5772,550
Business activities (net) 6,3065,0358,708
Special events 2,0872,7363,551
Investment income 130(93)264
Other income 121123168
Total revenues 39,15236,24842,297
Program costs - Canada 16,58219,44124,442
Grants 3,5255,0776,188
Administrative costs 2,5392,5182,226
Fundraising costs 10,53011,43510,991
Total spending 33,17538,47143,847
Cash flow from operations 5,977(2,223)(1,550)
Funding reserves 16,4224,9069,165

Note: Income from other Charitable Activities in the audited financial statements has been included in special events fundraising. Government funding was reported on the charity’s T3010 filing with the CRA for F2017 and F2018. The F2019 T3010 data was not available at the time of this update. Amortization has been removed from program, administrative and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis.  

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 234

Avg. Compensation: $67,107

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 F2018

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

The following comments were added to a previous profile:

Founded in 1953, the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) is a registered charity that works toward a world free from diabetes. They lead the fight against diabetes by helping those affected by diabetes to live healthy lives, preventing the onset and consequences of diabetes, and discovering a cure. Dr. Charles Best, co-discoverer of insulin, helped create the Diabetes Association of Ontario in the 1940s—which became the CDA in 1953. Diabetes is a chronic, often debilitating and sometimes fatal disease, in which the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Diabetes leads to high blood sugar levels, which can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves. The body needs insulin to use sugar as an energy source.

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in Canada. Currently, 11 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes, including those who are undiagnosed. By 2025, 13.6 million Canadians will have diabetes or prediabetes.

In the ongoing fight against diabetes, here’s how the CDA helps:

  • The CDA’s programs, education and services support people living with diabetes in their daily fight to live as well as possible with diabetes;
  • The CDA’s world-leading Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada represent the best evidence-based direction for health-care professionals;
  • The CDA’s funding ensures Canadian researchers remain at the forefront of diabetes breakthroughs. Since 1975, the CDA has invested more than $130 million in leading-edge diabetes research; and,
  • Advocacy efforts have led governments to develop policies that respect the rights of people living with diabetes and access treatments they need to live healthy lives.

Charity Contact

Website: www.diabetes.ca
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel:  416.363.3373