Q1. Who is the Canadian Rugby Foundation?
The Foundation was established in 2003 as a non-share capital corporation incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act and is a registered charity under the Income Tax Act (Canada) designated as a public foundation (registration number 869159186).
Q2. What is the role of the Canadian Rugby Foundation?
The Canadian Rugby Foundation has as its mandate the building of a permanent endowment fund the income from which will be used to develop rugby in Canada, administered by an independent Board of Directors elected by major donors or appointed by Rugby Canada
Its objectives are to:
- Create funds across Canada to aid specific projects and areas such as clubs, schools, universities, regions, and student awards
- Grow and promote the game from the grass-roots across Canada to the Senior Men’s and Women’s level
- Build capabilities of and deepen the talent pool of Canadian players, coaches, officials, and managers
The CRF manages endowed funds, helps create new funds, and disburses funds used for rugby-specific purposes, awards, and capital projects.
In addition, the CRF has dedicated funds such as the Captains’ Fund which has provided extensive support to the Rugby Canada U20 program, and the Monty Heald National Women’s Fund which supports the National Senior Women’s Program.
The CRF also supports Canadian rugby initiatives and championships from its general funds (e.g., Canadian Men’s and Women’s Club Championships, Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship, and Thunder Indigenous Rugby).
Q3. What is an endowment within the Foundation?
Endowments are a donation of money or property to a non-profit organization, which uses the resulting investment income for a specific purpose.
- Most endowments are designed to keep the principal amount intact while using the investment income for charitable efforts.
- The funds are established by donors or sponsors (e.g., local rugby clubs, estates, and individual donors).
- The endowment funds in the CRF are Restricted endowments. These have their principal held in perpetuity, while the earnings from the invested assets are expended per the donor’s wishes as specified in the CRF Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
- A minimum 50-year commitment is required for any endowed funds. Earlier capital withdrawals trigger a return of accumulated interest and any matched funds to the Canadian Rugby Foundation.
Q4. How are funds disbursed?
Returns/interest on endowed funds are calculated and published once a year.
- Individual Year-end Fund reports are published in January/February.
- Payouts from returns/interest can be made after the annual financial statements are published, up to the maximum payout rate (Currently 3.5 percent).
- Disbursements must be used for purposes consistent with the Memorandum of Agreement.
- Fund disbursements are processed through Rugby Canada or other qualified donees approved by CRA
Q5. Who manages the funds?
All funds are managed in a pooled investment account by Leith Wheeler a leading Canadian institutional investment manager and overseen by the Foundation’s Investment Committee in accordance with the Foundation’s investment policy. Optionally, the funds with over $1 million in assets may on approval have their own investment policy and have their assets invested separately.
Q6. What is the matching fund program?
The Foundation assists new funds with a matching contribution that enables a fund to reach a sustainable endowment level more quickly. Once a fund has reached $20K it receives an initial matching grant of $5K and then 25 percent of any future donations to a maximum of $20K. This means when the fund reaches $80K it will have accrued a total matching grant of $20K.
Q7. What does a fund earn on its capital?
All funds within the Foundation receive a return of 3.5 percent and though not guaranteed, this target has been met since the CRF’s inception.
- Funds receive a return on donated funds as well as matching funds provided by the Fund. This grosses up the return on the first $100K in the fund to approximately 4.4 percent.
- This may be distributed at the request of the fund representative once the year-end calculations are completed in March or April. Interest is calculated annually on the average monthly balance.
- The interest may be disbursed or retained to build the fund within the Foundation. The representatives of the fund, appointed in the MOA and updated from time to time, determine how the annual distribution is spent in accordance with the requirements of the MOA and consistent with the Mission of the Foundation.
- From time to time, on an annual basis, the Board may authorize an increase to the annual payout based on anticipated investment returns. For example in 2021 – 2022 the payout was increased to 4.0 percent.
Q8. How are monies withdrawn from the capital of a Fund?
To withdraw funds for a capital project, up to 50 percent of the funds donated may be withdrawn, or in special circumstances and with the agreement of the Canadian Rugby Foundation not to be unreasonably withheld, the full amount may be withdrawn. In this event, any matching grants and interest earned on matching must be returned to the Canadian Rugby Foundation. If the capital is withdrawn after 10 years, only the matching funds are returned to Canadian Rugby Foundation.
Q9. Who runs the Foundation?
The Foundation is overseen by the Board of Directors elected by the Members, with up to 2 Directors appointed by Rugby Canada. Members are those corporate and individual donors who have donated $25K or more over their lifetime.
Q10: How do I contact the Foundation?
- The Board Chair is Mike Holmes at email@example.com.
- The Treasurer is Jason Thomson at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Executive Director is Jeff Chan at email@example.com
- The Financial Administrator can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.