Finance, Audit and Risk Committee Notes

Governance and Financial Transparency

United Way Toronto & York Region has a strong, independent Finance, Audit and Risk Committee comprising of seven members. The committee meets annually, independent of management, with KPMG, United Way’s auditors.

The financial statements are consistent with Canadian accounting standards for not-for profit organizations and United Way Canada – Centraide Canada’s Transparency and Accountability Financial Standards, which were designed to ensure a consistent and high standard of financial reporting by all United Ways. They also meet the requirements of Imagine Canada’s Standards Program.

The Committee oversees the audit, budgets, investments, pension & benefits, and risk management on behalf of the Board of Trustees. Specifically, the Committee oversees the assets and financial operations for which the Board acts as Trustee and/or Administrator. The committee also oversees investing activities for The Tomorrow Fund™ (our endowment fund), unrestricted net assets and the assets for our employee pension plan.

In February 2006, United Way was named Trustee for the Province of Ontario’s Youth Challenge Fund (YCF). The YCF financial reports and activities are excluded from this report. A separate annual report and set of audited financial statements are produced for YCF for the March 31st year end. These statements are reviewed by the Committee for the United Way Toronto & York Region’s Board of Trustees, who oversees the terms and conditions of that Trustee responsibility. The statements are provided to the Province of Ontario.

Financial Highlights

United Way’s ability to invest in our community is strengthened by diversifying the source of funds. Individual, workplace, and corporate donors contribute to this financial health, as well as special events, grants, pro-bono support – from legal services to donated media advertising space. United Way’s financial strength and efficiency are due also to extraordinary support from our donors and supporters. Some highlights from the past year:

United Way’s Community Fund continues to be strong through generous donations and the recognition of United Way as the best place to invest in our communities. We raised $102 million in our 2016 campaign for our community – our biggest achievement for our community.

Thanks to the campaign success, the strengthening of the investment markets last year and prudent fiscal management, we were able to maintain our commitment to our community partners while keeping our operating spending to a minimum.

Our Cost Revenue Ratio continues to be low at 14.7%. We maintain a strong focus on operational efficiency and our diligence is reflected in the cost ratio.

We continue to manage pledge losses to ensure more dollars flow to the community. In spite of some economic pressures, pledge loss was contained at 0.82% of total fundraising revenue. This figure has improved over prior years.

Due to the success of our 2016 Campaign and prudent fiscal management, our Unrestricted Net Assets is healthy at $48 million. This amount will be distributed to our agencies over the course of the next year.

Our endowment fund, The Tomorrow Fund™, has a net balance of just over $80 million – thanks to the generosity and vision of donors who are investing in our region. The monies in The Tomorrow Fund™ are either externally or internally restricted for investment in the community. United Way Toronto & York Region continues to meet and exceed its CRA distribution quota.

2016-2017 results and recent trends:

Fiscal Year 2016-2017 2015-2016 2014-2015
Total gifts $134,034,000 $131,535,000 $123,157,000
Total distributions and community programs $120,230,000 $115,793,000 $109,669,000
Cost revenue ratio 14.7% 17.4% 14.8%
Pledge loss ratio 0.82% 1.46% 0.89%
Investment income/(losses) $9,469,000 $49,000 $10,957,000