659 King Street East
Kitchener, ON N2G 2M4
Board Chair: Melanie Reist
CEO: Brian Carney

Charitable Reg. #:8198 82655 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 2/5]



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) 77 cents are available for programs.

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About Blue Sea Foundation:

Founded in 2012, Blue Sea Foundation (Blue Sea) helps charities raise money. The charity's formal name is Blue Sea Philanthropy Inc. Blue Sea’s goal is to create a world where charities thrive. Blue Sea operates like an external fundraisers. It plans, operates and pays for fundraising events for partner charities. The partner charities are responsible for recruiting teams and participants to fundraise for the events. Blue Sea grants a percent of the funds raised at the event back to the partner charities. Payout rates range between 65% and 80% of funds and are determined by the scale of the event. If the event raises a lot of money, the charity receives a higher percentage. Blue Sea reports that on average, a partner charity receives 73%. This means it costs charities $0.26 cents to raise $1 using Blue Sea. This aligns with Blue Sea's $8.8m in donations allowing for $6.5m in grants in F2020. 

Although an uncommon charity model, Blue Sea Foundation aims to save charities money by providing large-scale fundraising events at lower costs. This allows small charities to participate in big, active events without needing the money or expertise to do so. Blue Sea’s fundraising costs are 22% of donations. When taking into account 1% administrative costs, it costs Blue Sea $0.23 cents to raise $1. This is a reasonable overhead cost. Other large-scale fundraiser events such as Princess Margaret’s Ride to Conquer Cancer, cost $0.42 for every $1 raised (based on F2020). 

In F2020, Blue Sea granted $6.5m to over 300 partner charities. Partner charities can choose from one of three fundraising events in locations across Canada: Ride for Refuge, Coldest Night of the Year, and The Grand Parade. Ride for Refuge is a biking and walking fundraiser that supports charities that help people who have been displaced or who are vulnerable and exploited. Coldest Night of the Year is a fundraiser dedicated to raising money for hungry and homeless people. Lastly, The Grand Parade is a fundraiser that supports ageing Canadians and their families.

In 2019, Blue Sea launched Essentials Fundraising, a six-month program for charities. The course teaches charities about fundraising fundamentals and best practices.

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Results and Impact

Charity Intelligence did not find any quantified outcomes reported on Blue Sea Foundation’s website. This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).  

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Blue Sea Foundation has donations of $8.7m in F2020. The charity received $347k in government funding, representing 4% of total revenues. Administrative costs are 1% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 22% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 23%. For every dollar donated, 77 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. 

Blue Sea has $823k in funding reserves. The charity could cover 13% or around one month of annual program costs with current reserves.

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

Updated on August 6, 2021 by Brenleigh Jebb.  


Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Administrative costs as % of revenues 1.2%3.0%3.2%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 21.7%23.3%24.1%
Total overhead spending 23.0%26.3%27.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 12.7%2.8%4.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 8,7508,5097,379
Government funding 34700
Investment income 093
Total revenues 9,0978,5187,382
Grants 6,4756,3055,363
Administrative costs 113259235
Fundraising costs 1,9011,9811,780
Total spending 8,4898,5447,378
Cash flow from operations 608(26)4
Capital spending 11107
Funding reserves 823176219

Note: Ci reported investment income from the charity’s T3010 filing with the CRA and backed out the amounts from donations in F2019 and F2018. The charity’s T3010 filling for F2020 was not available at the time of this update. Ci reported emergency wage subsidy as government funding increasing total revenues by $347k in F2020.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 10

Avg. compensation: $84,885

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 F2019

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

No comments have been added by the charity.

Charity Contact

Website: www.blueseafoundation.org
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 519.603.2250


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001