Ever wonder what percentage of money raised by the charitable arms of Canada’s NHL teams actually finds it’s way to the charity itself?  The answer is – not much.  According to today’s Toronto Star, expenses charged off to the charities can run to 80 percent of money raised, leaving as little as 20 percent for the designated charities.   

The Star reports that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment spent more than 50 percent of funds raised in the name of charity on fundraising and administration last year.  Only 35% of charitable money raised by the Edmonton Oilers actually found it’s way to the designated charities; 65 percent was charged off to expense.

The only group to come off well in today’s Star story was the Canadiens foundation.  They charge off a mere 17 percent to expenses, the lowest figure among Canada’s six NHL teams.  The other team foundations report internal costs of between 42 and 65 percent. 

From the Toronto Star report.

Compare that to the Montreal Canadiens’ foundation, whose game-night lotteries (50/50 draws are not permitted in Quebec) hands back less than 20 per cent of total revenues to winners while keeping 80 per cent as charitable income.

The Star points out that one of the biggest expense drains is the cost of holding fundraising celebrity events.

The Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation raised $3.4 million last year – more than doubling Team Up’s revenues — without holding a gala fundraising event.

“I have seen gala dinners with costs of hosting up to 40 to 50 per cent of gross take,” said Pierre Boivin, chair of the foundation and president of the Montreal Canadiens. “We don’t have that as a recurring event.”