Executive Summary

In March 2020, Canada was caught up in the COVID-19 pandemic then spanning the globe. As with all other elements of society, patient-focused charities that raise funds to support research, programs, and services aimed at helping patients and their families with specific diseases or conditions were hugely impacted, with the future of many such organizations […]

Read Executive Summary


If you have seen a television commercial or billboard advertisement exhorting people to help “find a cure” for a certain disease you have been exposed to a patient-focused charity. Similarly, if you have sought health information or care at a small regional centre you may be benefitting from the same type of charity. A new […]

Read Introduction


Where Does It Come From? A prominent area of due diligence for many donors is the relationship a charity has with its sources of funding. For donors it helps measure the diversity of income sources, any dependency on single sources and how that leaves the organization vulnerable if key sources withdraw or reduce their funding. […]

Read Revenue


Clearly, charities rely on fundraising in order to fund their activities and the CRA acknowledges this dependency as necessary for the sustainability of the charitable sector. At the same time CRA expects charities to be transparent and operate within specific legal parameters. While the CRA does provide guidance on what is appropriate fundraising, it also […]

Read Fundraising


Where does it all go? Total operating expenses of patient-focused charities Expense categories parallel those of revenue as most charities spend most or all of their income in pursuit of their mission. Actual spending on charitable purposes, a specific category that CRA will be looking at, is a measure whose value is debated by sector […]

Read Expenses

Human Resources

What are they getting paid? Total number of permanent compensated positions  The subject of employees and compensation is often top of mind for the public and many donors. This perspective is often shaped by our concept of volunteerism. Despite the fact that the charitable sector delivers important social services and vital support to vulnerable people, […]

Read Human Resources

Public Policy Activity

Our data set represents the last complete reporting period under which charities were required to fully disclose public policy activities, including descriptions of the activities, resource deployment and amounts spent. The data clearly describe the degree of engagement and resource commitment charities gave to these activities. As such it serves as a vital benchmark as […]

Read Public Policy Activity

Post-COVID Implications

Post-COVID Implications for the Health Charity Sector The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 on Canada’s charitable sector including patient-focused charities was almost immediate and devastating. Organizations suddenly found themselves severely constrained in their revenue-generating activities while at the same time trying to maintain daily activities while direct person-to-person contact was […]

Read Post-COVID Implications

How Patient-Focused Charities Describe Themselves

Organizations are asked to choose up to three program areas that describe their charitable activities and to estimate the percentage of total time and resources (human and financial) allocated to each area. These program areas are pre-defined by CRA and readers can see the full list in Appendix E. Limitations of this data are that […]

Read How Patient-Focused Charities Describe Themselves

Appendix A: Organizations reporting public policy dialogue and development activities

Alberta Lung Association To engage lung disease patients, care givers and medical representatives to inform and educate government about the issues facing Albertans with lung disease and their families. By developing relationships and informing key political representatives who have oversight for research funding, supporting early detection efforts and providing additional support and treatment options for […]

Read Appendix A: Organizations reporting public policy dialogue and development activities