Where every dollar goes

How Heart & Stroke invests donor dollars

Support from donors is the fuel that drives Heart & Stroke’s mission. Your gifts fund critical advances that prevent heart disease and stroke, save lives and enhance recovery.

But how do we transform your support into impact? Here are answers to the questions we hear most frequently from donors, and people considering a donation to Heart & Stroke

All figures are from our 2023 fiscal year, Sept. 1, 2022 to Aug. 31, 2023.

How does Heart & Stroke spend my money?

Bar graph showing percentage of total spend in F23: 3.4% on administration, 34.8% on fundraising and 61.8% on mission.

Of every dollar spent in fiscal 2023, 61.8% went to mission (which includes research, advocacy and health promotion). Here’s how that breaks down:

  • Research: Heart & Stroke invested a total of $22 million in research supporting 753 best-in-class researchers from across the country. Their work will advance science that ultimately saves lives, prevents disability, supports diagnosis and recovery, and improves the health of people in Canada.
  • Advocacy and health promotion: We invested $32.5 million in health promotion programs and advocacy. These programs ranged from our school education and fundraising program Jump Rope for Heart to our advocacy campaigns, which call for legislative changes including protecting youth against the harm caused by vaping and restricting the advertising of unhealthy food targeting kids. 

In 2023, 34.8% was spent on fundraising, allowing us to manage a range of programs, many of which deliver valuable health information. See more details below.

Finally, 3.4% went to administration, including accounting and information technology for our operations across Canada. 

No donor dollars are spent on Heart & Stroke lottery operations.

How do these numbers compare to the previous year?

F23 figures of total spend being compared with F22

We remain focused on increasing available funds to support our mission initiatives, while reaching as many people in Canada as possible. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and our commitment to collaboration, innovation, and careful management of our spending, we achieved that goal.

Since 2020, our total spend on mission activities has increased by nearly 25%. These investments funded life-saving heart and brain health research, which will help improve health outcomes for people living with heart disease and stroke.

Your generous donations also enabled us to advocate for healthy public policies, deliver critical health promotion programs and support people with lived experience of heart disease and stroke, as well as those at risk.

Why should I donate to Heart & Stroke?

Heart & Stroke’s critical priority is to invest in world-class, life-saving heart and brain research that leads to medical breakthroughs.
We have seen great progress in awareness, prevention, treatment, and recovery. However, as the population ages and more younger people are being diagnosed, the urgency to beat heart disease and stroke grows. Heart disease, stroke or vascular cognitive impairment take one life every five minutes in Canada. 

As one of Canada’s largest and most effective health charities, we measure our overall effectiveness by our ability to drive change in priority areas related to new knowledge and innovation, health policies, health systems and support programs for people at risk of or living with heart disease and stroke.

Since 1952, Heart & Stroke has invested almost $1.7 billion in heart disease and stroke research, making us one of the largest contributors in Canada after the federal government. Over that time, the death rate from heart disease and stroke has declined by more than 75%.

Together, heart disease and stroke are the second leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in Canada. Along with vascular cognitive impairment, these conditions cost the Canadian economy more than $24.8 billion every year. We are working hard to change these statistics and we need your help.

Why do you spend donations on fundraising?

Heart & Stroke’s investment in fundraising is monitored closely by our management and board of directors and we strive to drive mission impact through everything we do.

Our fundraising is interconnected with our mission. For example, programs including Ride for Heart, Jump Rope for Heart or the Heart & Stroke Canvass are not just asking the public to support our cause. They also provide trusted, evidence-based health information to people in Canada such as the signs of stroke or heart attack and teaching healthy habits for life to children and equity-deserving communities.

Can you give me detailed examples of how my money was used to support research in 2023?

Find our latest results here.

Where can I find more in-depth financial information?

Find our detailed financial statements here.

If you still have questions, please click here to request information