Cancer Research Society

402 - 625 President-Kennedy Avenue
Montreal, QC H3A 3S5
Board Chair: Christian Paupe
President & CEO: Manon Pepin

Charitable Reg. #:11915 3229 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 3/5]



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) 51 cents are available for programs.

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About Cancer Research Society:

Cancer Research Society is a 3-star charity. It has an average results reporting score. The charity has high overhead spending and is financially transparent. 

Founded in 1945, Cancer Research Society (CRS) funds cancer research. According to the charity, 1 in 2 Canadians will develop cancer during their lifetime. To help fight cancer, CRS gave out $12.0m in research grants and scholarships during F2022. This is an increase from the $9.5m given in F2021. This money was distributed through 181 different grants. 

CRS funds cancer research in three fields: prevention, detection, and treatment. 

In F2022, research on cancer treatment received 65% of Cancer Research Society’s program spending. The charity states that cancer is hard to treat since the cancer cells are always evolving. In F2022, CRS gave two grants away through its UpCycle Drug Repurposing competition. This competition works to find new medications to fight cancer. These grants were worth $250,000 and $500,000 and will be given out over the 2024 to 2026 period. 

During F2022, research on cancer prevention accounted for 19% of program funds. The charity says that preventing cancer is the best way to address the disease. In F2022, Cancer Research Society gave grants to four prevention projects through the Primary Cancer Prevention competition. CRS worked with seven other organizations to give 28 grants worth $5.4 million to prevention research. 

In F2022, research on cancer detection received 16% of Cancer Research Society’s program spending. The charity hopes to create more accurate and less invasive detection methods. It is unclear how many cancer detection projects CRS funded in F2022.

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Results and Impact

From 2016 to 2020, Cancer Research Society funded projects that led to 249 publications and 11 patents. In F2022, CRS funded 80 operating grants which had a 30% success rate. This is higher than the 24% success rate in F2021 and the 17% success rate in F2020 from these grants. Cancer Research Society does not explain what counts as a success for research, but it clarifies that this rate does not include withdrawn applications. In F2022, CRS gave the success of operating grants for each of their programs. Grants for treatment research had a 63% success rate. Grants for prevention research had a 28% success rate. Grants for detection research had a 9% success rate. 

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

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Cancer Research Society is a Major 100 charity, meaning it is one of the country's largest in terms of Canadian donations. It received $30.5m in donations and special events fundraising revenue in F2022. Administrative costs are 4% of total revenue (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 45% of total donations. This results in a total overhead spending of 49%. For every dollar donated, 51 cents go to cancer research. This falls outside Ci's reasonable range for overhead spending.  

Cancer Research Society invested more in fundraising than it did in cancer grants in F2022. For the last three years, CRS has spent $39.0m on fundraising relative to $33.5m in cancer research grants. Administrative costs associated with managing research grants are presented as program costs. In F2022, it cost CRS 4 cents to manage each dollar of research grants made that year, which is a strong grant management ratio.  

CRS holds $52.1m in funding reserves, including $230k in endowed funds. The charity does not disclose whether these funds are board endowed or donor endowed. The charity's reserves can cover annual grants spending for 4 years and 2 months based on average program spending.  

CRS reports annual research grant and fellowship commitments in its audited financial statements. The charity has committed to distributing $27.0m (52% of funding reserves) over the next four years: $14.0m in F2023, $11.7m in F2024, $825k in F2025, $200k in F2026. 

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Cancer Research Society for review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.  

Updated on May 31, 2023 by Clive Stevens.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 4.4%3.6%5.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 44.9%43.7%46.9%
Total overhead spending 49.3%47.4%52.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 418.1%560.4%335.2%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 28,02427,54825,767
International donations 709060
Government funding 3401433
Special events 2,5021,7361,044
Investment income (6,013)6,5602,183
Other income 3401336
Total revenues 24,59036,73529,824
Program costs 450368417
Grants 12,0129,47011,970
Administrative costs 1,3551,0991,500
Fundraising costs 13,70012,79912,573
Total spending 27,51723,73726,461
Cash flow from operations (2,927)12,9993,363
Capital spending 102571
Funding reserves 52,10555,13741,519

Note: Ci obtained government funding and international donations figures from the charity's T3010 CRA filings and backed the amounts out of donations. Grants include gifts to qualified donees, research grants, and scholarships as reported in the T3010 CRA filings. To report CRS's deferred accounting on a consistent basis, Ci adjusted donations by changes in deferred revenue from non-government sources. These adjustments are immaterial. This affected revenues by $444k in F2022, $62k in F2021, and $410k in F2020.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 32

Avg. compensation: $76,577

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 F2022

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

The following comment was provided on August 4, 2023: 

Since 1945, the Cancer Research Society (CRS) is one of the only organizations exclusively dedicated to research into all types of cancer, throughout Canada. The CRS plays a pivotal role in the Canadian cancer research ecosystem by funding research initiatives, covering the entire spectrum of scientific research, from fundamental discoveries to translational breakthroughs and clinical advancements, all aimed at outsmarting cancer.

Through annual research grants and scholarships programs, the CRS provides essential support to thousands of scientists at various stages of their careers, ranging from promising graduate students to established researchers, all of whom are dedicated to making significant strides in the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer.

The CRS is a leader in leveraging strategic partnerships to fund essential cancer research aligned with its mission. By embracing collaboration, CRS significantly enhances the level of funded cancer research, ensuring that every contribution yields a maximum return.

The success of the CRS is made possible through the incredible generosity of its partners and donors, who share its vision that research is the key to outsmart cancer. It is through their continuous support that the CRS can fund devoted researchers, unlock the potential of groundbreaking ideas, and ultimately bring hope to countless individuals and families affected by cancer.


Charity Contact

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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001