University of Waterloo

200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
President: Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur
Board Chair: Cindy Forbes

Charitable Reg. #:11926 0685 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) 44 cents are available for programs.

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About University of Waterloo:

Founded in 1957, University of Waterloo (Waterloo) is a public research university in Waterloo, Ontario. Originally founded on a curriculum of science and engineering, it now boasts six faculties and four affiliated institutions. Waterloo offers undergraduate and graduate programs, research facilities, cooperative education (co-op), and entrepreneurship programs. It strives to be one of the most innovative universities in the world.

In F2019, University of Waterloo reported an enrollment of 31,624 undergraduate and 4,909 graduate students. Of its student body, 22% of undergraduate and 40% of graduate students are international students. Waterloo received $258.3m in research funding from external sources during the year. Its co-op program, the largest in Canada, had 23,017 students registered in fall 2019. The average student earnings for a typical four-month co-op term was $14,791.

Waterloo places a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship. It hosts Velocity, the largest free startup incubator in the world. Since founding in 2008, Velocity states that it has helped over 300 startups and more than 2,300 people. As of F2019, Waterloo reports that Velocity startups have secured $1.26 billion in investment. In F2019, Pitchbook ranked University of Waterloo first in Canada and 21st in the world for producing venture capital-backed entrepreneurs. It produced 433 backed entrepreneurs in F2019.

Waterloo measures the long-term employment outcomes of its students. Among its graduates in 2016, Waterloo reports a 90% employment rate within six months and a 96% employment rate within two years. This compares to an average employment rate of 89% in six months and 95% in two years among all Ontario university graduates.

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Results and Impact

In November 2019, Waterloo published an economic impact assessment by Deloitte. The report assessed direct spending on university activities, indirect spending through payments to suppliers and distributors, and induced contributions through jobs created as a result. Deloitte estimated that Waterloo’s operations contributed $1.5m to Canada’s GDP in 2018, including $1.0m in labour income.

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

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University of Waterloo is a Large charity with donations of $16.2m in F2019. Administrative costs are 1% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 55% of donations. This results in total overhead spending of 56%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 44 cents go to the cause. This falls outside of Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending, which has been the case for the past three years.

University of Waterloo has $1.2 billion in total funding reserves, of which $276m is donor-endowed. Excluding donor-endowed funds, the charity could cover 88% or between 10 and 11 months of program costs with its existing reserves.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to University of Waterloo. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 23, 2020 by Eric Zhao.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending April
Administrative costs as % of revenues 1.2%1.4%0.8%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 55.1%56.2%66.9%
Total overhead spending 56.3%57.6%67.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 87.6%82.7%81.6%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 16,16413,92912,998
Government funding 431,235414,916400,951
Fees for service 515,510474,957431,764
Business activities (net) 124,589117,437104,816
Investment income 52,75619,50538,686
Total revenues 1,140,2541,040,744989,215
Program costs 1,013,364946,938887,327
Grants 0034
Administrative costs 13,05414,2907,796
Fundraising costs 8,9007,8228,700
Total spending 1,035,318969,050903,857
Cash flow from operations 104,93671,69485,358
Capital spending 47,29658,26883,429
Funding reserves 1,152,3001,042,203981,847

Note: Ci reported government funding from the charity’s T3010 filings with the CRA and removed the amounts from donations. Ci gathered program, grants, administrative, and fundraising costs from T3010 filings. Ci reported net business activities, adjusting sales and services by the cost of goods sold. This affected total revenues and program expenses by ($18.3m) in F2019, ($18.8m) in F2018, and ($18.4m) in F2017. Ci excluded amortization of deferred capital contributions, affecting total revenues by ($29.6m) in F2019, ($28.8m) in F2018, and ($37.5m) in F2017. Ci removed amortization of capital assets from program costs. In F2019, the charity’s total spending from its financial statements reconciled with total spending on its T3010 filing. However, a typing error showed an additional $3.0m that Ci has removed from program costs.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 4,154

Avg. Compensation: $142,317

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

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Charity Contact

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