National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada

7200 Leslie Street
Thornhille, ON L3T 6L8
Board Chair: Deloria Bighorn
Treasurer: Mehran Anvari

Charitable Reg. #:11905 1944 RR0001


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

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Audited financial statements available only through official request for information from Charities Directorate.



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) 91 cents are available for programs.

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About National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada:

Founded in 1948, National Spiritual Assembly of Baha’is of Canada (National Spiritual Assembly, NSA) is the country’s governing body of the Baha’i faith. There are over 35,000 people of the Baha’i faith in Canada. National Spiritual Assembly “guides the spiritual and administrative affairs of the community” and is headquartered in Markham, Ontario. NSA collaborates with other agencies to run programs to advance the teachings of the Baha’i faith in and outside of Canada. It also does humanitarian work.

National Spiritual Assembly’s international spending includes $2.3 million to help build the Santiago House of Worship in Chile, and ongoing maintenance for the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois. NSA made a one-time grant of $4.0 million in F2018 to its associated Foundation, which is a separate registered charity. The two charities share a common Board of Directors.

National Spiritual Assembly works with the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education to prepare and deliver curriculum to people who are otherwise unable to receive post-secondary education in Canada. NSA also runs a deputization program where Canadian Baha’i volunteers relocate (within Canada or another country) to teach the Baha’i faith and help develop the Baha’i community within the area. The charity has a Continental Fund that supports activities associated with protecting and spreading the Baha’i faith, including protection measures, teaching and deepening programs, and consultation with Assemblies.

National Spiritual Assembly plans to build a House of Worship for Canada in the future. As of F2018, it has $1.8 million in reserves for the project.

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Results and Impact

Charity Intelligence has rated National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is as Low impact based on demonstrated impact per dollar.

Charity Intelligence did not find any reported outcomes on the charity’s website.

Impact Rating: Low

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National Spiritual Assembly of Baha’is of Canada is a large charity that received $13.5m in donations in F2018. Ci used NSA's filings with the CRA Charities Directorate for administrative costs, as the audited financial statements do not present expenses using activity-based costing. NSA reports no fundraising costs in its annual filings with the CRA. 

Administrative costs are 9% of total revenue (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are less than 1% of donations. Per dollar donated to the charity, 91 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

National Spiritual Assembly holds $42.7m in funding reserves, which can cover annual program costs and grants at the F2018 level for just over four years.

Baha'i Foundation Canada is a related party by virtue of having the same Board of Directors as NSA. $4.0m in grants in F2018 ($0 in F2017) were transferred from NSA to the Foundation. The Foundation provides scholarships, bursaries and other financial assistance for post-secondary education and training and supports programs that promote the Baha'i faith. Ci did not consolidate the two charities in its analysis because it did not have the Foundation's audited financial statements at the time this profile was created. 

The Association for Baha’is Studies is also a related party by virtue of having the same Board of Directors as NSA. The Association promotes study of Baha’is Faith through books, conferences, and education events. NSA earned $14k in rental income from the Association, reported in business activities.

Canadian Baha’i International Development Agency is reported as a related party and relies on NSA to fund its operations. It is an international social and economic development agency for Canada’s Baha’i community and supports local social and development activities delivered by local agencies.

This is a new charity report that has been sent to National Spiritual Assembly of Baha’is of Canada for review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Profile created on August 28, 2020 by Katie Khodawandi.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending April
Administrative costs as % of revenues 8.9%8.0%8.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 0.1%0.1%0.2%
Total overhead spending 9.0%8.1%8.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 405.6%306.3%206.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 13,48814,19013,660
Business activities (net) 26170285
Investment income 2,2812,77568
Total revenues 15,79417,13614,014
Program costs - International 3,10312,34013,956
Program costs - Canada 3,4673,5373,904
Grants 3,96100
Administrative costs 1,1991,1531,112
Fundraising costs 191624
Other costs 36000
Total spending 12,10917,04518,996
Cash flow from operations 3,68590(4,982)
Capital spending 1,262(1,986)782
Funding reserves 42,71848,63236,914

Note: Baha’s Distribution Service book sales are reported net of expenses (excluding amortization) in business activities, reducing total revenue and expenses by $157k in F2018, $132k in F2017, and $88k in F2016. Grants of $4.5m in F2018 to the charity’s associated foundation have been adjusted to report on a cash basis, reflecting changes in amounts payable of $539k. Ci used the charity’s T3010 filings with the CRA Charities Directorate for administrative costs. One-time other costs of $360k in F2018 represent settlement costs. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 24

Avg. Compensation: $44,602

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 F2018

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Comments & Contact

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Charity Contact

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