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Where every dollar goes

How Heart & Stroke invests donor dollars

The support of donors makes it possible for Heart & Stroke to achieve our mission of preventing disease, saving lives and promoting recovery. Together we are funding medical breakthroughs that tangibly improve the health of Canadians.

How do we use your money to reach these goals? Here are answers to the questions we hear most frequently from donors and people considering making a donation. All figures are from fiscal year 2018

How does Heart & Stroke spend my money?

Percentage of total expenditures

Of every dollar spent 57 cents goes to our mission.

Here’s how that breaks down:

  • 25 cents goes to research, to fund more than 750 researchers across Canada, whose work saves lives, prevents disability and improves health. In 2018 this amounted to $33.2 million to research.
    • Projects are diverse, from groundbreaking research on heart failure that identified a key molecule that accounts for 20% of all cases, pointing to the possibility of personalized treatment; to pioneering discoveries through a sex and gender lens, for example,  research on how the elasticity of the aorta reveals differences in how a potentially deadly aneurysm progresses in women and men and how it could be treated;  to research on how stroke survivors and their partners who tackle health behaviour changes together can have improved recovery outcomes and reduce risk of another stroke.
  • 32 cents goes to support advocacy and health promotion programs. In 2018 this amounted to $42.8 million.
    • Getting kids active: Last year, Heart & Stroke Jump Rope for Heart engaged children in more than 3,360 schools across Canada to get active and learn about healthy living.

    • As co-chair of the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition (M2K) Heart & Stroke led advocacy efforts to ensure the successful passing of Bill S-228 to restrict unhealthy food and beverage marketing to children.  The bill was awaiting the final vote in the Senate in early 2019. 

    • Heart & Stroke has been constant and vigilant in support of Health Canada’s proposal to insert mandatory front-of-package labelling to alert Canadians about foods and beverages high in saturated fat, sugar and sodium.

    • Heart & Stroke continued critical work as an influencer on tobacco policies, which led to Bill S-5, An Act to Amend the Tobacco Act becoming law in spring 2018.  This bill authorized plain and standardized tobacco packages, stripping away the appeal of tobacco products.

    • Connecting to communities: In 2018,  two online groups, Community of Survivors and Care Supporters’ Community (introduced the previous year) continued to grow and be active. These peer-led support groups are a place where people with lived experience, or their care supporters can find social and emotional support, share experiences and tips for life after a diagnosis of stroke or a cardiac event.

    • Last year, Heart & Stroke instructors trained more than 345,000 healthcare professionals across Canada to respond to cardiac emergencies, and in collaboration with partners, we trained 229,000 everyday Canadians in basic CPR and first aid.   

As for the rest of that dollar:

  • 40 cents is invested in fundraising, allowing us to manage a wide range of programs, many of which deliver critical health information or include healthy activities for participants such as Jump Rope for Heart, Big Bike, and Ride for Heart.
  • 3 cents goes to administration, including accounting and information technology for our operations across Canada.
  • No donor dollars are spent on Heart & Stroke lottery operations.
Where can I find your annual report?

Download our latest Report to Donors.

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.

How do your numbers compare to the previous year?

Percentage of total spend:

These numbers show the result of careful management of our spending. Our goal is a steady increase in the funds available to support our mission while continuing to reach out to as many Canadians as possible and increase both awareness and donations.

Why do you spend so much on fundraising?

Heart & Stroke’s spend on fundraising is watched closely by our management and board of directors and we strive to be efficient.

What numbers don’t show is that many of our fundraising programs are intrinsically linked with providing health information and activities that can improve and extend the lives of Canadians.

Heart & Stroke Big Bike and Jump Rope for Heart, for example, are more costly to operate, but they are programs that enable us to engage participants in healthy activities and share health information and resources. As a grassroots organization, we are committed to these community-based fundraising and education activities.

Why should I donate to Heart & Stroke?

Heart & Stroke’s critical priority is to invest in life-saving research that leads to medical breakthroughs. Heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death, taking the lives of more than 66,000 Canadians every year, one every seven minutes. 

We are one of Canada’s largest and most effective health charities, and we measure our overall effectiveness by our ability to make a distinctive health impact over a long period. Since inception, Heart & Stroke has invested more than $1.55 billion in heart and stroke research, making us the largest contributor in Canada after the federal government. The death rate from heart disease and stroke has declined by more than 75%. Our programs across the country are saving lives every day.

Heart disease and stroke are leading causes of hospitalization and the second and third leading causes of death in Canada. They are the biggest driver of prescription drug use and a leading cause of disability. Together with vascular cognitive impairment, they cost the Canadian economy more than $24.8 billion every year. We are working hard to change these statistics and we need help from Canadians. 

Can you give me detailed examples of how my money was used in 2018?

Click here to see our latest results.

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