Children's Wish Foundation Of Canada

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

Charitable Reg. #:12403 8878 RR0001


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

Unlock Charity Ratings



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) 58 cents are available for programs.

My anchor


About Children's Wish Foundation Of Canada:

Children's Wish Foundation of Canada and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada merged in October 2019 to form Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada. Charity Intelligence has stopped updating this profile. Please view the profile for Make-A-Wish Canada.

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 27,000 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 granted 957 wishes in F2019. Based on this figure, operating cost per wish granted is $22,453. In F2019, the charity launched its More Wishes, More Wonders program which expands its reach to include children with serious genetic and neurological conditions. The charity reports that it expects a 20% increase in wishes by 2021. 

Children’s Wish is the largest wish-granting charity in Canada. It is roughly twice the size of Make-a-Wish Canada in terms of donations and serves about 50% more children per year. 

My anchor

Results and Impact

Due to the very high cost per wish, Charity Intelligence has rated Children's Wish as Low impact per dollar donated.  

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. The charity reports that since its founding, it has impacted 2.7 million people through 27,000 wishes.  

In 2017, Children’s Wish commissioned an independent study to assess the effects of wishes. Of those surveyed, 93% agreed the wish was crucial in the child’s healing or treatment and 96% said that the trip served as a distraction from their child's illnesses. Before the trip, 33% rated their child’s happiness level as “low” or “very low”, while 94% rated happiness as “very high” after the trip. All parents agreed that the wish provided long-lasting and positive changes for the family. 

Impact Rating: Low

My anchor


Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada is a Major 100 charity, receiving $20.7m of revenue from donations and fundraising events in F2019. Materials and services donated directly to the charity totaled $2.0m in F2019.  Administrative costs are 14% of revenues (excluding investment income), and fundraising costs are 28% of donations. For every dollar donated, 58 cents go to Children’s Wish’s programs, which is outside of Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Funding reserves are $34.0m including $1.0m in donor-endowed funds. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity could operate programs on funding reserves for 2.5 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 July 17, 2019 by Caroline McKenna. 

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending March
Administrative costs as % of revenues 13.9%16.1%15.5%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 27.8%32.9%33.6%
Total overhead spending 41.8%48.9%49.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 255.4%230.2%239.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 8,2256,5466,571
Goods in kind 1,9892,4912,498
Government funding 624025
Lotteries (net) 296369350
Special events 12,42611,56111,288
Investment income 1,7101,48071
Total revenues 24,70822,48720,803
Program costs 12,96914,18614,198
Administrative costs 3,2013,3763,206
Fundraising costs 5,7475,9605,998
Total spending 21,91723,52223,402
Cash flow from operations 2,792(1,035)(2,599)
Capital spending 54,19474,73572,383
Funding reserves 34,00633,48534,809

Note: Ci has adjusted amortization of deferred capital contributions, unrealized gains and losses, and lottery expenses, affecting revenues by $25k in F2019, ($445k) in F2018, and ($1.9m) in F2017. Ci has adjusted expenses removing lottery expenses and amortization, affecting expenses by ($158k) in F2019, ($200k) in F2018, and ($409k) in F2017.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 97

Avg. compensation: $72,907

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

My anchor

Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Our website posts free reports on more than 800 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 500,000 Canadians use our website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.6 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.


Be Informed. Give Intelligently. Have Impact


Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001