The 30th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run proved to be a financial boon for the foundation named for the Port Coquitlam hero.
According to its annual audited report, released to The Tri-City News yesterday, the Terry Fox Foundation collected $28.7 million in the fiscal year ending March, 31, 2011.
The 2011 revenue - from domestic and international donations as well as investment income, merchandise sales, bequests, government grants and royalties - was up more than $3.3 million over the previous year.
But the expenses for the 23-year-old family-run foundation also rose last year - $683,147 more than in 2010, with most of that going towards fundraising efforts to collect cash for the organization's sole cause: cancer research.
The financial statements show fundraising cost $2.8 million in the last fiscal year versus $2.3 million the year before. Of the $2.8 million, $1.6 million was paid to employees whose main job was to bring in money.
For every dollar donated, 15% goes to administrating and fundraising for the Chilliwack-based foundation, a 2% increase over the last three years.
Last month, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) was criticized for spending more on fundraising campaigns and administrative costs than on actual cancer research, advocacy programs and support. A CBC report showed CCS spent 40% of its funds on research in 2000 but, this year, that number dropped to 22%.
The Terry Fox Foundation's financial statements indicate $32 million was distributed over the past year:
$21 million to Canadian Cancer Society;
$6 million to the Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI);
$1.1 million to international cancer research groups;
and $4.1 million to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
All of that giving left a $9.2-million deficit.
"It doesn't concern us that we show a deficit at the end of the year. We just want to get the money out to the groups," said national director Brett Kohli, noting the foundation's assets stand at around $93 million. He also said distributions are up more than $11 million over the previous year.
Set up in 2007, the TFRI focuses on cancer research projects; the foundation has committed $50 million for its programs and operations and, to date, it has provided $15 million to TFRI.
In past years, the foundation's cash was directed to the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC) but, two years ago, the NCIC amalgamated with CCS. Since then, the Terry Fox Foundation has agreed to let CCS administer the multi-year grants to NCIC until 2015. As well, CIHR now administers certain research programs for the foundation.
To date, more than $500 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Fox's name through the annual Terry Fox Run.