Sunday, October 13, 2013

B.C. charities can thank public employees (and, ultimately, taxpayers)

Office philanthropy takes many forms. From the ad hoc passing of a hat to an all-out, team effort to raise funds around an event.

It turns out, the province's public employees have a formal conduit for their efforts. It's called the Provincial Employees Community Services Fund. The 1965-founded, registered charitable foundation is little-known outside government circles. It campaigns from September to December and is chaired by Lynda Tarras, who heads the Public Service Agency.

Through Freedom of Information, I received the financial statements for 2010 to 2012. 

In 2010, it raised $2.039 million for charities from authorized payroll deductions and cash contributions. A year later, $1.9 million. In 2012, it raised $1.839 million.

It’s a small sum compared to the province’s roughly $44 billion budget and is almost as much as the $1,582,126 pay packet of the highest-paid public employee, B.C. Investment Management Corporation CEO Doug Pearce.

There are large donations to some of the big, well-known charities, such as BC SPCA ($53,492.59), Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. and Yukon ($39,759.94), and Canadian Cancer Society ($22,832.59).

There is a veritable grab-bag of charities benefitting from public dollars, including: David Suzuki Foundation ($2,890.62), Vancouver College Ltd. ($75), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada ($469), Helping Homeless Cats Society ($1,420.10), Canadian Luge Association ($279.80), and Dominion of Canada Rifle Association ($156). 

I was encouraged to see $183.82 given to Transparency International Canada Inc. As they say, it’s the thought that counts. 

The annual financial report and full list of donations is below.

A Happy Thanksgiving to all. 

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