According to the information provided by Calgary Health Trust, nationally, since its inception in 1996, Tim Horton's Smile Cookie campaign has raised $3.6 million. That's $189,473 raised annually (though no doubt it's been a growing campaign).
Take that number and divide by the 345 charities supported by the event and you get an average of $519 per charity per year.
Now that said, bigger cities like Calgary are able to generate more money for their local charities because there are both more people and more Tim Horton's locations, and an email sent out by Alberta Health Services' South Health Campus hospital encouraging its health care professionals to buy and promote the sale of cookies, reports that since 2010 in Calgary the Smile Cookie campaign has raised $813,000.
That's $135,500 per year. Sure sounds like a lot, but with South Health Campus' annual operating budget of $345,000,000, the cookie fundraiser covers less than 4 hours a year of the hospital's annual costs. And there are 9 other hospitals in Calgary.
So is that worth it? For Tim Horton's it sure is. It buys them incredible PR, a cause beyond reproach, brand loyalty, a ridiculous and invaluable amount of social media advertising, and a hefty tax deduction that undoubtedly more than covers the cost of the cookies' flour and sugar. It also supports the concept of junk food fundraising - a concept integral to Tim Horton's outright purchase of kid sport in this country.