Cancer Research Society

402 - 625 President-Kennedy Avenue
Montreal, QC H3A 3S5
President & CEO: Max Fehlmann
Board Chair: Martin Thibodeau

Charitable Reg. #:11915 3229 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) 63 cents are available for programs.

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About Cancer Research Society:

Founded in 1945 in Montreal, Cancer Research Society (CRS) is a national charity whose mission is to fund research on the prevention, detection, and treatment of all types of cancer. CRS highlights that there are over 200 different types of cancer and this disease is the leading cause of death in Canada. In F2018, CRS received 452 applications for research grants and selected 69 new projects to fund. In F2018, CRS granted $16.5m to its four programs: operating grants, scholarships for next generation scientists, strategic initiatives, and UpCycle: drug repurposing grant. In F2018, CRS granted 65% of its $16.5m on causes and prevention research initiatives, 19% on detection research, and 65% on treatment research.  

In F2018, Cancer Research Society granted $8.3m to operating grants. Operating grants provide salary and research funding of $120k for two years. This is the charity’s primary granting. In addition to the 69 new projects funded, CRS continued to fund 59 previously funded projects in F2018. 

Cancer Research Society funds several high-impact projects across Canada including the CIHR initiative for studying the late effects of childhood cancer treatments and the Exactis Innovation “Personalize My Treatment” Initiative. In F2018, CRS worked with 28 strategic partners, including 13 new partners. Moreover, CRS funds the PROCURE/Cancer Research Society Prostate Cancer BiobankThe Cancer Research Society, in collaboration with PROCURE and generous donors, has provided $4.5m in funding for a biobank of over 2,000 patients to help identify genetic and biomolecular indicators of prostate cancer associated with tumour aggressiveness and recurrence 

Cancer Research Society funds future generations through a unique program developed in 2013 to support young scientists at the postdoctoral level and help them transition into a research position in a Canadian university or research centre. In F2018, four scholarships were awarded. Recipients of the $170k scholarships are funded for three years. In addition, Cancer Research Society has launched UpCycle, a new funding program focused on repositioning drugs. This is an approach which has proven its worth in numerous fields of therapy and aims for reorienting the use of existing drugs for new applications. In F2018, five researchers were granted the $100k grant over one year.  

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Results and Impact

Cancer Research Society highlights that as a result of the research it has funded, survival rates for chronic myelogenous leukemia have increased from 50% to over 90% within a few years. In general, over the past 25 years, CRS shows that cancer research has led to increases in 5-year survival rates for various cancer types, including lung (24% increase from 1994 to 2017), breast (7% increase from 1994 to 2017), and prostate (10% increase from 1994 to 2017).  

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Cancer Research Society is one of Canada's Major 100 charities. It received donations of $28.7m in F2018. Administrative costs are 5% of revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 33% of donations. This means for every dollar donated, 63 cents go to the cause. This is just below Ci’s reasonable range.  

CRS has total funding reserves of $34.9m, including $121k in donor-endowed funds. Excluding donor-endowed funds, funding reserves can cover program costs for just over 2 years. 

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

Updated on June 4, 2019 by Parker Thomlinson.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 4.7%7.6%7.1%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 32.6%37.3%32.0%
Total overhead spending 37.3%44.9%39.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 211.1%265.9%220.9%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 28,69519,40719,496
Investment income 2,4911,0581,813
Total revenues 31,18720,46521,308
Grants 16,50311,74414,121
Administrative costs 1,3471,4791,385
Fundraising costs 9,3507,2386,228
Total spending 27,20020,46121,734
Cash flow from operations 3,9875(425)
Capital spending 204432
Funding reserves 34,94731,32631,298

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 26

Avg. Compensation $75,720

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:

October 28, 2016: Cancer Research Society provided these comments to a previous report. New comments may be submitted.

"The mission of the Cancer Research Society is to fund research on all types of cancer throughout Canada. Through its operating grant program, the Society primarily supports fundamental or basic research. Fundamental research answers the why, what and how of cancer. It leads to essential knowledge that serves as the cornerstone for innovative discoveries. The Society also funds translational research, which takes discoveries from the laboratory and brings them to the patient in the form of better diagnostic tools and treatments. Last but not least, the Society, finances projects aimed at understanding the environmental causes of cancer, a field in which it is considered to have played a pioneering role in Canada.

With the goal of expanding its research portfolio and leveraging donor funds, the Cancer Research Society partners with individuals, families, groups, and other cancer organizations by creating scientific alliances and targeted Research Funds. These partnerships allow enhanced funding of research on:

  • various types of cancer (prostate, breast, pancreas, lung, ovary, myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, etc.);
  • late effects of childhood cancer treatments;
  • personalized medicine; and the
  • environmental causes of cancer.

In addition to operating grants, and through its Scholarships for the Next Generation of Scientists program, the Society provides young researchers with the opportunity to pursue their careers in Canada. This unique and innovative funding initiative serves to prevent an exodus of our best scientific minds.

During the past five years, the Society has invested $62.3 million in research and has funded 335 new research projects on cancer throughout Canada.

The Cancer Research Society has been funding research since 1945. Since its creation, there have been many advances in cancer detection, prevention and treatment. Guided by the highest standards and an uncompromising commitment, the Society aims to exceed expectations in research. 

For more information:"

May 25, 2018: For more information on how funding reserves, among others, is calculated:

Charity Contact

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Donors can contact Cancer Research Society at 1.888.766.2262 or at 514.861.9227