Fund Calls on Canadian Government to Move Money From Foundations Currently Holding More Than $85 Billion
TORONTO, ON–Public and Private foundations in Canada are hoarding over $85 billion in charitable assets at a time when communities need the money most, according to an organization called Justice Fund.
In early November, Justice Fund, a Toronto-based non-profit, sought to bring awareness to this issue by parking an 18-wheeler big-rig truck in front of Toronto City Hall bearing the message “”Charitable” Institutions in Canada are Hoarding $85,000,000,000″.
This move was part of a broader campaign by Justice Fund called #MoveTheMoney, designed to educate the public and call on the federal government to distribute the funds to communities that need it most.
Over the past decade, the exploitation of Canadian tax law has allowed charitable foundations, majority white-led, to stockpile over $85 billion for future cases. Due to a federally mandated “disbursement quota”, registered charities are only required to spend at minimum 3.5 percent annually on its own charitable programs or on gifts to qualified donees, such as other registered charities. To ensure that this money is distributed and serving communities in need, Justice Fund is calling on the Canadian government to reform the philanthropic sector to become more equitable and accessible for all. As part of Justice Funds Six Pillars of Philanthropic Reform, they demand an increase of the disbursement quota from 3.5 percent to 10 percent.
Reform is needed now more than ever. A recent study revealed the top 20 private foundations in Canada – who represent about 75 percent of total private foundation giving – gave only $1.63 billion in grants over five years.
Justice Fund’s #MoveTheMoney campaign launch in November ignited public interest on the issue, resulting in over 600 emails sent from the public to Canadian representatives. But most of the public still remains largely in the dark on the issue, and ongoing education and action is needed to push the government to introduce new legislation.
About Justice Fund
Justice Fund Toronto is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting communities in conflict with the law through three strategic priorities: supporting community-led initiatives, reforming philanthropy and creating community infrastructure across Toronto.