Special Olympics Canada

21 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 600
Toronto, ON M4T 1L9
CEO: Sharon Bollenbach
Board Chair: Stewart Johnston

Charitable Reg. #:11883 6337 RR0001


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

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Audited financial statements available only upon request.



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 Special Olympics Canada:

Founded in 1969, Special Olympics Canada (SOC) is the Canadian body for Special Olympics International. It aims to enrich the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through sport and use sports to open hearts and minds towards people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Canada oversees the 12 Canadian chapters - found in every province and territory except Nunavut - by managing programming as well as disbursing funds to the chapters. Special Olympics Canada’s activities include assorted sports programs, free health exams, long-term athlete development, and leadership development.

In F2019, Special Olympics Canada recorded 49,626 registered athletes, which is a 6% increase over F2018. SOC relied on 21,953 volunteers to help run its programs in F2019, 14,153 of whom were coaches. In F2019, over 1,000 of SOC’s athletes competed at the SOC Summer Games in Nova Scotia, generating $12.6m in economic activity nationwide. SOC also sent 109 athletes to the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi in 2019.

Special Olympics Canada runs multiple sports programs to encourage exercise at any age. SOC’s Active Start program offers a variety of sport options for children aged 2-6. FUNdamentals is a continuation of Active Start for athletes aged 7-12. SOC ran 611 Active Start programs and 1,976 FUNdamentals programs at locations across the country in F2019. SOC’s Unified Programs introduce athletes to numerous sports, with 3,053 of these programs run in F2019. SOC also ran 343 daily community sports programs in F2019.

Special Olympics Canada’s Healthy Athletes program provides free health exams for all athletes. The exams identify health areas which might need further attention, such as vision, podiatry, and dentistry. Through these exams, Special Olympics reports that it has become the largest global health organization dedicated to serving people with an intellectual disability. In F2019, SOC screened 5,160 athletes in up to eight types of tests (3,829 athletes in F2018).

Special Olympics Canada’s Athlete Leadership program aims to develop athletes outside of sporting competitions by equipping them with the tools to undertake positions of leadership within their communities. The Athlete Leadership program help athletes develop public speaking skills, become athlete health advocates, help other athletes as Peer Mentors, or serve as Board and Committee members. In F2019, SOC offered 714 Athlete Leadership programs nationwide.

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Results and Impact

Special Olympics Canada’s athletes earned 155 total medals at the Abu Dhabi Special Olympics World Games in 2019. This included 90 gold medals, which was the highest of any competing country.

In 2015, Special Olympics Canada had a social audit completed by SiMPACT Strategy Group. The study found that an investment of $752,103 in SOC’s Active Start and FUNdamentals programs generated a minimum present value of $2,750,263 after one year, creating an SROI ratio of $3.66 in value per dollar invested. The study found that athletes improved their physical literacy, became more engaged students at school, and enjoyed the structured and personal play in the programs.

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The following analysis consolidates the financial statements of Special Olympics Canada and Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

Special Olympics Canada is a Large charity with donations and special events revenue of $9.8m in F2019. Administrative costs are 4% of revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 18% of donations. This means overhead costs are 23%. For every dollar donated, 77 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

The charity and the foundation have funding reserves of $10.9m. Including grants to Special Olympic chapters across Canada, these reserves can cover annual program costs for roughly 10 months.

This report is an update that has been sent to Special Olympics Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated August 16, 2020 by Eric Jose.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending June
Administrative costs as % of revenues 4.4%4.9%4.8%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 18.5%28.1%22.0%
Total overhead spending 22.8%33.0%26.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 80.3%111.4%114.2%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 3,3912,7132,468
Goods in kind 5,3812,0191,866
Government funding 5,9975,7016,413
Special events 6,3994,3223,742
Investment income 513717748
Other income 84106361
Total revenues 21,76615,57815,598
Program costs 1,3623,1504,415
Grants 12,2436,9766,034
Donated goods exp 5,3812,0191,866
Administrative costs 928722712
Fundraising costs 1,8091,9791,365
Other costs 414038
Total spending 21,76514,88614,428
Cash flow from operations 16921,170
Capital spending 13031512
Funding reserves 10,91911,27811,929

Note: Ci has consolidated the audited financial statements of Special Olympics Canada with Special Olympics Canada Foundation. Ci has excluded inter-party transfers, reducing revenues and expenses by $849k in F2019, $500k in F2018, and $389k in F2017. Ci has excluded the change in the cash surrender value of Special Olympics Canada Foundation’s life insurance policies, affecting revenues by ($10k) in F2019, $1k in F2018, and $16k in F2017.  

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 29

Avg. Compensation: $92,579

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

Website: www.specialolympics.ca
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 416-927-9050