Children's Wish

350-1101 Kingston Rd
Pickering, ON L1V 1B5
CEO: Chris  Kotsopoulos 
Board Chair: Brenda Abrams 

Charitable Reg. #: 12403 8878 RR0001
Sector: Social Services - Youth
Operating Charity

Results Reporting

Grade: B+

The grade is based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.

Financial Transparency

Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity's website [Audited financial statement for most recent year]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Cents to the Cause

2015 2016 2017
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Impact Rating: Low

Full-time staff #97

Avg. Compensation $69,939

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 1
$120k - $160k 3
$80k - $120k 6
$40k - $80k 0
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2017

About Children's Wish:

Founded in 1984, Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada (Children’s Wish) allows children with life-threatening illnesses to meet one of their idols, take a family trip, or have another unique wish come true. By fulfilling wishes, the charity aims to improve the quality of life for children and families. Since it began, Children’s Wish has granted wishes to more than 25,000 children from across Canada.

Children are referred to the charity, most often by healthcare professionals. Children’s Wish reports that wish referrals increase every year. All applicants approved by the Children’s Wish Medical Advisory Committee have their wishes granted and there is no waiting list.

Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada has not published the exact number of wishes granted in F2017, but the number is estimated to be 1,100 based on past reporting. Based on the estimated wishes, operating cost per wish granted is $21,204.

Children’s Wish is the largest wish-granting charity in Canada. It is roughly 4 times the size of Make-a-Wish Canada in terms of donations and serves more than 2 times the number of children per year.

Results and Impact: Due to the very high cost cost per wish, Charity Intelligence has rated Children's Wish as low impact per dollar donated (see diagram in lower right). 

Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada reports that every wish impacts up to 100 people in addition to the child. This includes family, friends, classmates, volunteers, doctors, nurses, and social workers.

In March 2017, Impakt Corp. produced a report for Children’s Wish on the effects of wishes. Impakt collected survey results from 52 parents of children who received wishes. Of those surveyed, 93% (48) agreed the wish was crucial in the child’s healing or treatment and 96% (50) said that the trip served as a distraction from their child's illnesses. Before the trip, 33% (17) rated their child’s happiness level as “low” or “very low”, while 94% (49) rated happiness as “very high” after the trip. All parents agreed that the wish provided long-lasting and positive changes for the family.

Financial Review:

Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada is a Major 100 charity with $17.9m of revenue from donations and fundraising events. Materials and services donated directly to the charity totaled $2.5m in F2017.  Its administrative costs are 16% of revenues and fundraising costs are 34% of donations. For every $1 donated, 51 cents go to Children’s Wish programming, falling below Ci’s reasonable range. Funding reserves are $34.8m including $864k donor-endowed funds. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity could operate programs on funding reserves for 2.4 years.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on May 25, 2018 by Madison Kerr.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 15.5%14.7%15.8%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 33.6%34.7%32.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 245.2%200.0%282.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 6,5717,2086,348
Goods in kind 2,4982,4641,873
Government funding 252725
Lotteries (net) 350361315
Special events 11,28810,79811,811
Investment income 711733,754
Total revenues 20,80321,03124,126
Program costs 14,19817,05113,858
Administrative costs 3,2063,0693,219
Fundraising costs 5,9986,2395,871
Cash flow from operations (2,599)(5,328)1,179
Funding reserves 34,80934,10739,086
Note: Ci has adjusted amortization of deferred capital contributions, unrealized gains and losses, and lottery expenses affecting revenues by ($1.9m) in F2017. Revenue was adjusted according to these values as well as realized gain on investments for total adjustments of ($3.4m) in F2016, and $143k in F2015. Ci has adjusted expenses removing lottery expenses and amortization, with an effect of ($409k) in F2017, ($2.5m) in F2016, and ($2.5m) in F2015.

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