WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO
WHO WE ARE
Founded in 2003, the Canadian Rugby Foundation is a public foundation and registered charity that creates and manages endowed funds to promote and support amateur rugby activities in all parts of Canada. Over $19 million are now (March 2023) invested in 68 funds sponsored by local rugby clubs and other organizations and individuals including the Foundation’s Unrestricted Fund.
WHAT WE DO: OUR PURPOSE, MISSION, VISION AND STRATEGY
The following framework describes our Purpose, Mission, Vision and Strategy, and how each is interrelated to the other. Our Purpose is our raison d’être – the reason we exist – and our Mission is how we bring this purpose to life. Our Vision is what we aspire to achieve in support of the Mission, and our Strategy sets out how we will achieve the Vision each year.
The Foundation creates and manages endowed funds or awards funds to grow, develop, promote and support amateur rugby activities by making grants to qualified donees.
Among its purposes are the following:
- to foster, encourage and promote the game of rugby among both genders within Canada through grants to qualified donees (as defined by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (the “CRA”)) including Rugby Canada and through its own initiatives or sponsorship of rugby initiatives in Canada;
- to educate and train individuals in all aspects of the game of rugby including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, playing, coaching, officiating, and administering through grants to qualified donees (as defined by the CRA) including Rugby Canada; and
- to advance the public’s awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the sport of rugby by such means as from time to time seem expedient to the directors including the staging of tournaments, conferences, educational seminars, workshops, lectures, and lessons and the printed or online dissemination of content as the Board or the Members in general meetings may think desirable for the promotion of the objects and purposes of the Corporation through grants to qualified donees (as defined by the CRA) including Rugby Canada.
The mission of the Canadian Rugby Foundation is to contribute to the growth and development of rugby in Canada by “Investing in the Future of Canadian Rugby”. While many organizations and individuals contribute to rugby’s growth and development, the Foundation’s unique contribution is made in three ways:
1. Working with grassroots rugby clubs across Canada to: establish endowment funds that generate annual investment returns to support their activities; fund awards for rugby players, coaches, officials, and volunteers pursuing postsecondary education; and raise funds for rugby-related capital projects;
2. Through its Unrestricted Fund, initiating, supporting, and sponsoring important rugby initiatives, many of national scope, such as the Men’s and Women’s Canadian Rugby Club Championships, the University Men’s Rugby Championship, and Thunder Indigenous Rugby; and
3. Working with Rugby Canada to provide financial support to Canada’s national rugby union senior and age-grade teams and programs.
Our vision is to be viewed as a leading contributor to rugby in Canada as directly measured by:
- The number of funds established within the Foundation;
- The number of donors and annual donations to Foundation Funds;
- The investment returns on Foundation assets under management;
- The overall growth in Foundation assets and resulting disbursements to Fund sponsors; and
- The growth and success of the Foundation’s initiatives.
Each of these metrics is designed to deepen and broaden the rugby talent pool in Canada, and ultimately improve the performance and calibre of Canada’s teams on the world stage by improvements at the grassroots level. These improvements will be achieved if:
- Clubs increase in numbers in every part of Canada, and in the number (new and continuing members) of their players of either gender available for playing rugby at all ages and levels;
- Players improve their skill level through better instruction, competition, coaching, officiating, and resource materials;
- Coaches improve their skill level through better instruction, competition, officiating, resource materials and greater demands from more skilled and knowledgeable players, and coach networking;
- Officials improve their skill level through better instruction, assessment, competition, and resource materials;
- Administrators improving their skill level through more competitions and resource materials, networking across Canada, and where applicable, partnering in the management of their Funds.
- The Community sees an elevated awareness of the sport of rugby in Canada and the role which our national teams play on the world stage, and higher levels of interest, viewership and attendance, and support of rugby at all levels.
How we achieve our Vision is a function of several parties, including the Foundation’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, committee members, staff, Fund Sponsors, rugby club leaders, and Rugby Canada, all of whom have a role in the five goals of our strategy:
1. Increase the number of Funds in the Foundation
2. Increase donors and donations to the Foundation and individual Funds.
3. Increase the returns on the foundation’s assets
4. Grow the Foundation’s overall assets
5. Ensure and promote the success of the Foundation’s initiatives
1. Increase the number of Funds in the Foundation by:
- Increasing the awareness of the Foundation within the rugby community, especially with grassroots rugby clubs, but also university rugby programs, senior alumni of local clubs, public and private foundations, and charities and government agencies that provide grants to various sports endeavours including rugby;
- Providing information on the benefits of Foundation endowment funds, the value proposition of the Foundation for potential Fund Sponsors, and the security of assets contributed to the Foundation’s Funds;
- Reaching agreements with Fund Sponsors to create new Funds; and
- Implementing new Funds on a timely and hassle-free basis.
2. Increase donors and donations to the Foundation and individual Funds through:
- Fund sponsors’ (e.g., grassroots rugby clubs, award funds sponsors) success in generating increased donations from current and new donors, especially senior-age members and club alumni;
- Fund Sponsors including club executives and members fund-raising campaigns that add to annual Fund contributions or limit Fund disbursements, allowing faster growth in Fund assets;
- Building the Foundation’s credibility and reputation as good stewards of the Foundation’s and each Fund’s assets;
- Building awareness among potential donors, sponsors, and grantors of the individual Funds and their Sponsors, and the Foundation’s value proposition that includes tax receipts on donations;
- Fund Representatives identifying and influencing potential major gifts and wills and trust bequests from high-wealth/high-income members and alumni; and
- Foundation fund-raising and sponsorship solicitation towards its own initiatives.
3. Increase the returns on the foundation’s assets
- Managing the performance of our Investment Managers (Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel), through the Investment Policy set by and the oversight provided by the Investment Committee and Board of Directors.
4. Grow the Foundation’s overall assets which is the simple equation of:
- Increasing donations, fundraising proceeds, and other contributions to the Foundation and Funds, net of annual disbursements;
- Managing the risk and returns from the Foundation’s investment portfolio; and
- Controlling the expenses of the Foundation, especially the General and Administrative costs, and Fundraising expenses.
5. Ensure the success of the Foundation’s initiatives, which requires:
- Selecting initiatives that have the potential to make the biggest impact on the growth and development of rugby in Canada, meaning at various age groups, education levels, geographic areas, and across other demographic groups;
- Ensuring the initiatives are led and supported by the right talent and mix of complementary skills and capabilities;
- Providing oversight and guidance on the planning, budgeting, and operational implementation of the initiatives; and
- Promoting the initiatives and their successes across the rugby community, and broader sports-related community.