Accessing OTF Reserves Policy

Type: Operational

Target audience: Employees

1.0 Rationale

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is accountable for the responsible disbursement of public funds.  The goal is to be as prudent as possible, while at the same time enabling the Foundation to operate effectively and efficiently.

2.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that adequate controls are in place for accessing OTF’s Reserves, including outlining circumstances when this may be appropriate, the level of Reserves which must be maintained, and the approval process for accessing reserve funds.

3.0 Policy

  1. The Reserves must be maintained at a certain level:  a minimum of six  months’ worth of fixed operating expenditures. The amount is set at six months to gain assurance that, in the event of a wind-down situation, there are adequate funds available for OTF to complete commitments made in the ordinary course of administering its granting program for Board approved grants,  staff compensation, premises costs, and other related contracts/costs)  
  2. Given the limited size of OTF’s Reserves and the difficulty of replenishing these funds, consideration should be given to all other sources of funding before requesting access to the Reserves.
  3. Circumstances under which consideration may be given to accessing Reserves include:
    a. Unexpected or extraordinary challenges to the Foundation’s operations
    b. Strategic opportunities to significantly further the OTF mission or objectives
    c. Wind down (sunsetting) of OTF.
  4. To enable a quick turnaround where required, the approval process for accessing the Foundation’s Reserves is as follows:
  • Up to and including $500,000 – can be approved by CEO and Executive Committee
  • Above $500,000 – must be approved by the Board of Directors 

4.0 Definitions

Reserves: Made up of Unrestricted Net Assets and the portion of Deferred Contributions that is unallocated.
Deferred Contributions: Funding received from a Ministry that has not yet been pledged as grants or spent on operations.