The Ontario 4-H Foundation recently held its annual meeting and congratulates Kim Turnbull of Canfield for being elected chair for the next two year period. Rounding out the executive is Vice-Chair Naomi Lutes (Toronto), Secretary Stuart Budd (Paris) and Treasurer John Mayes (Ottawa). Turnbull replaces John den Haan (Loretto) who remains on the Board as past chair.
Two new Trustees were voted in. Congratulations go to Tayler Black of Fergus and Ingrid Larmer of Blackstock, who replace the retiring Brian Little and Barry Fraser. Tayler brings strong digital communications skills to the Board, whereas Ingrid will provide strength with her business and financial experience. Many thanks go to Little and Fraser for their many years of dedication to 4-H in Ontario.
The Foundation wrapped up a relatively successful year in 2020, despite having to cancel their two golf tournaments, the major annual fundraising events. Despite the effects of COVID-19, the Foundation was able to return 8.3% on investments in 2020. This return applies to all funds managed by the Foundation including the County Endowment Funds, the Local Association Investment Accounts and the Foundation Endowment Funds.
The investing goal of the Foundation is for stable, long term growth of 4.5% to 5% annually and monies are in a mix of conservative stocks and bonds. The return in the most recent five year period is 5.6%.
In 2008, The Foundation started an Endowment Fund for each of the 50 local associations in the province by depositing an initial $5000 (a $250000 investment) to which the counties can add to build for the future. Each year the counties can withdraw a percentage to support their local activities. The funds also act as a vehicle for further charitable donations at the local level. In 2020, local associations withdrew nearly $9,000 to assist in the delivery of 4-H programs locally.
Last year, additional funds from the Foundation were freed up and sent to local 4-H associations and clubs to pay fees for video conferencing, something which allowed many clubs to pivot their programming successfully. In 2020, the Foundation also disbursed $3,400 in scholarships, including the Bertram and Hazel Stewart 4-H Dairy Education Award presented at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair each year.
Since its start in 1995, the Foundation has raised close to $3 million for 4-H in Ontario. In just the last five years, (2015-2019), the Foundation has distributed $635,600 with $433,000 going to support provincial programs and $202,600 going to support community programs and scholarships.
Over the next two years, Chair Turnbull and the Trustees will continue to tackle the challenge of fundraising during this COVID-19 era, beginning to raise the next $3 million.
The goal of the Foundation has always been simple – to acquire and invest funds through endowments and donations for the long-term benefit of 4-H in Ontario.
About 4-H Ontario:
4-H Ontario is a non-profit organization that supports young people in becoming leaders within their communities and assets to the world. With roots in rural Ontario, today 4-H is available across the province. 4-H youth ages 6-21 and volunteer leaders come together to learn about selected topics through fun, hands-on activities and mentorship. There are also provincial camps, conferences, competitions and national and international travel opportunities available to further develop skills in leadership, professional development, resilience and more. 4-H is passionate about preparing young people for the future and showing them that with the right skills and attitude, anything is possible.
About the Ontario 4-H Foundation:
The Ontario 4-H Foundation raises funds to ensure the long-term financial health of 4-H in Ontario. As a federally incorporated non-profit charity, our mission is to attract, manage, and grow endowment funds that support the future of 4-H in Ontario. Through sound fiscal management, the Foundation Trustees manage approximately $2.8 million on behalf of the organization with the objective of an annual return of 5%. For the past ten years, the Foundation has met or exceeded that goal.