Public Information and Regulatory Requirements
Max Bell Foundation is a registered charity. Like all registered charities in Canada, significant financial information about our organization is publicly available by searching Canada Revenue Agency’s List of Charities. The Foundation is exempt from taxes on income or capital gains generated by the invested endowment as long as it continues to meet a range of statutory and regulatory requirements. In addition to meeting those requirements, we provide the following documentation in the interest of public accountability.
Conflict of Interest Policy
Max Bell Foundation recognizes that members of the board of directors and others representing or affiliated with the Foundation will from time to time face possible conflicts of interest or situations in which the appearance of conflict of interest could be detrimental to the Foundation and the communities it serves. We have formally adopted a code of conduct
- in recognition of our responsibility to the public trust,
- in recognition of the importance of fairness and objectivity in our conduct of business,
- as a means of assuring that every decision of the Foundation is made in the interest of the Foundation and the communities it serves, and
- as a means of publicly codifying our expectations of board, staff and volunteers, and others serving the Foundation.
Our complete conflict of interest policy is available here.
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Max Bell Foundation recognizes the many identity-linked barriers faced by individuals and communities that can limit or prevent their full participation in the social, cultural, and economic fabric of Canada. We apply an equity lens in our grant making and our operations. Three times annually, we report to our Board of Directors on the extent to which our grants advance equity and inclusion. Part of the diligence we conduct on each granting opportunity is to assess whether a “nothing about us without us” approach is embedded where appropriate. Finally, we have adopted a long term and enduring objective of ensuring diversity among our staff and directors.
Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance Risk and Performance
Max Bell Foundation recognizes the critical roles played by publicly traded companies in the advancement of justice and sustainability. We also recognize that environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues impact the risk profile and performance of funds in which the Foundation’s endowment are invested. Consistent with its fiduciary responsibilities, the Foundation’s Board of Directors has an ethical obligation to require that the external investment managers hired meet a high standard of conduct and strive for sustainability in their operations. That obligation is met through regular reviews, with the aid of an independent consultant, of the ESG frameworks used by each of the investment managers hired by the foundation.
For all work-related air travel undertaken by staff and directors, Max Bell Foundation purchases carbon offsets from the airline’s recognized provider.
The disbursement quota is the minimum calculated amount that a registered charity is required to spend each year on its own charitable programs or on gifts to qualified donees, such as other registered charities. The disbursement quota is currently 5% of the value of a charity’s property. Max Bell Foundation expends 5.5% of its assets annually on charitable activity and gifts to qualified donees.
Our Decision-Making Process
Letters of Intent are reviewed by our team to assess whether there is likely to be a fit with our granting criteria. If there is, a full proposal is invited. Full proposals are:
- Reviewed by our team
- Reviewed by 3-5 external expert reviewers
- Summarized, along with external expert reviews, by our team for presentation to our Board of Directors
- Considered for support by our Board of Directors at a board meeting, which occurs three times annually
- Proponents are notified of decisions within 1-2 days of a board meeting