Brain Canada

1200 McGill College Avenue, Suite 1600
Montreal, QC H3B 4G7
President & CEO: Viviane Poupon
Board Chair: Naomi Azrieli

Charitable Reg. #:89105 2094 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 4/5]



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) 87 cents are available for programs.

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About Brain Canada:

Brain Canada Foundation is a 4-star charity with an above average results reporting grade and reasonable overhead spending. The charity is financially transparent and has small funding reserves which can cover annual program costs for less than a year.

Founded in 1997, Brain Canada Foundation (BRCF) is a charity that funds medical research related to various brain disorders. Its mission is to increase the scale and scope of funding to accelerate the pace of Canadian brain research. BRCF reports that brain disorders are the leading cause of disability in Canada with one in three Canadians being directly impacted by them. It reports that brain disorders put a $60 billion burden on the Canadian economy each year, which is more than the cost of Cancer and Cardiovascular disease combined. The charity has three main categories of research grants: Platform Support grants, Capacity Building grants, and Team grants. In F2021, it granted $21.2m in funding to researchers and partners, including $8.2m (39% of grant spending) to Platform Support Grants.

Platform Support grants fund the creation and improvement of shared research resources to increase access to equipment, knowledge, and data for researchers across Canada. This grant category includes funding for the Douglas-Bell Canada Brain Bank (Douglas Brain Bank). This is a 40 year old brain bank at McGill University that currently houses over 3,600 brains for research. The Douglas Brain Bank collects brains from people who have suffered from a variety of neurological diseases and mental health disorders, including schizophrenia, alzheimer's, parkinson's, and depression. It is one of two brain banks in Canada. In F2021, BRCF gave out 10 Platform Support grants.

Capacity Building grants fund the salaries, training, and mentorship of young researchers. In F2021, the charity gave out 50 Capacity Building grants. Team grants fund the creation of collaborative research teams with scientists from different disciplines. In F2021, BRCF gave out 28 Team grants. This includes nine Discovery grants worth a total of $1.1m. Overall, the charity funded 195 researchers and had 147 active research projects during the year.

On March 28th, 2022, BRCF amended an agreement with the Minister of Health to allow for up to $40m more in funding through the Canadian Brain Research Fund. The Canadian Brain Research Fund matches private donations to Brain Canada Foundation on a one-to-one basis up to a certain amount. The money will be disbursed over four years, starting April 1st, 2022.

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Results and Impact

In F2021, Brain Canada Foundation reports that its researchers were cited 62,198 times. In 2014, BRCF granted $278k to Dr. Vila-Rodriguez. This grant funded the creation of a machine that combined TMS and fMRI capabilities. A study on its efficacy in treating depression was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in May 2022.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Brain Canada Foundation's results and impact.

This charity is not yet rated on impact (n/r).

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In F2021, Brain Canada Foundation received $11.3m in Canadian donations, representing a 66% increase from the previous year. It also received $14.6m in government funding (56% of total revenue), representing a 76% increase from the previous year. Fundraising and administrative costs are 13% of total revenue excluding investment income. This results in total overhead spending of 13%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 87 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

Brain Canada Foundation has $10.6m in net funding reserves which can cover annual program costs for around six months. BRCF and its partners have funding commitments of $38.3m to be given out in the future. It plans to disburse $20.5m in F2022, $13.8m in F2023, $3.1m in F2024, and $853k in F2025.

This charity report update has been sent to Brain Canada Foundation for review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 29, 2022 by Arjun Kapur.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending December
Fundraising & admin costs as % of revenues 12.7%22.5%8.0%
Total overhead spending 12.7%22.5%8.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 49.8%86.3%26.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 11,2636,79624,790
Government funding 14,5568,2838,497
Special events 0361,194
Investment income 3467301
Total revenues 25,85215,18334,783
Program costs 125130131
Grants 21,16710,49729,597
Fundraising & administrative costs 3,2663,4032,768
Total spending 24,55814,03032,495
Cash flow from operations 1,2941,1532,288
Capital spending 222122
Funding reserves 10,6119,1697,765

Note: Ci includes deferred funding in revenue, affecting revenues by $1.8m in F2021 and $620k in F2020. Ci reported fundraising revenue gross of direct fundraising costs, affecting both revenues and expenses by $14k in F2020 and $420k in F2019. Investment income on contributions is included in revenue, affecting revenues by $301k in F2019. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 14

Avg. compensation: $150,221

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 F2020

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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. Tel: (514) 989-2989


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001