1429 Main St. East - Suite 111
Hamilton, ON L8K 1C2
Executive Director: Charles Roberts
Board Chair: Kerry Brandt

Charitable Reg. #:86123 2890 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) 84 cents are available for programs.

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About Live Different:

Founded in 2000, Live Different wants young people to care more about other people than possessions. The charity organizes trips for teens to experience life in developing areas and hosts presentations at Canadian schools.

In F2017, Live Different allocated 58% of program spending to Live Different Builds. Volunteers spend eight to ten days building homes or schools in Dominican Republic, Mexico, Haiti, or Thailand. Since 2000, the charity has worked with 4,500 young volunteers to build over 500 homes and schools. Participants are required to pay for their own travel and donate $1,400 to $2,895 to the charity, depending on the build location.

Live Different Presentations received 25% of program spending in F2017. Canadian schools schedule hour-long presentations that include a speaker, live band, and audience participation segments. Live Different reports that it has presented to 1.5 million students at 3,500 schools since 2000. The charity has recently started offering Indigenous programming which involves two days of presentations, workshops, and a concert.

In F2017, 15% of program spending was allocated to Live Different Projects which are infrastructure improvements in the communities where Live Different Builds are undertaken. Past Projects include building schools, playgrounds, water lines, bridges, and medical clinics.

The remaining 2% of program spending was allocated to Live Different Academy. Teens spend 13 weeks in Mexico learning about social justice and the Mexican culture. Participants pay $6,495, including fees and a required donation, to Live Different.


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Results and Impact

Live Different collected feedback from 307 students who attended its presentations. Of the respondents, 92% (281) reported having a better understanding of empathy, 81% (249) were more aware of how their actions could hurt others, and 83% (256) would be more inclined to listen to a friend who needs help.

Charity Intelligence has given Live Different a Low impact rating based on demonstrated impact per dollar spent.

Impact Rating: Low

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Live Different is a medium-sized charity with donations and special events revenue of $2.1m in F2017. The charity received $510k in fees from Builds, Presentations, and Academy, accounting for 20% of total revenues. Administrative costs are 17% of revenues and the charity reports total fundraising costs of $206 (0% of donations), meaning that for every $1 donated, 83 cents go to the cause. This falls well within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Live Different has $43k in funding reserves which could cover program costs for less than one month. This indicates a need for funding.  

This charity report has been sent to Live Different for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Created on August 10, 2018 by Madison Kerr.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 16.4%16.0%11.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 0.0%0.3%0.3%
Program cost coverage (%) 2.1%(4.5%)-0.5%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 2,030,9232,112,1021,775,020
Fees for service 510,319421,535359,832
Special events 19,36836,21435,326
Total revenues 2,560,6102,569,8512,170,178
Program costs - International 1,552,0161,713,8341,535,072
Program costs - Canada 514,279447,066404,952
Administrative costs 419,419411,572244,840
Fundraising costs 2066,4524,551
Cash flow from operations 74,690(9,074)(19,237)
Funding reserves 43,308(96,850)(9,865)

Note: Amortization has been removed from Canadian programming, international programming, administrative, and fundraising costs pro-rata.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 19

Avg. Compensation $43,585

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 F2017

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:





Teenagers and young adults volunteering abroad is a $2 billion travel industry. Voluntourism is also coming under greater scrutiny, see CBC 2015 documentary Volunteers Unleashed

Live Differently sees itself as a social service charity helping Canadian youth. It may be miscategorized as an international aid charity. Yet the vast majority of its program spend is reported as being spent internationally in developing countries. Charity Intelligence is reviewing which category best fits with Live Differently's mission and program spending.

Charity Contact

Website: www.livedifferent.com
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