Creation of the Canadian Phi Delta Theta Foundation


The Canadian Phi Delta Theta Scholarship Foundation became a corporate body on April 2, 1973. It resulted from George Brigdon’s, Toronto ’52, discussion with Bob Miller about why the Phi Delta Theta Scholarship Foundation awarded no scholarships to worthy Canadian Brothers. “It seemed somewhat ludicrous that contributions by Canadian Brothers to the Scholarship Foundation could not in part go to supporting Phi Delt undergraduates in Canada in their scholastic endeavors.”

As in all things financial, the answer to the perplexing question was simple: taxes. The tax laws of the United States of America did not allow scholarship foundations to grant educational scholarships where the money would be used at educational institutions outside the US. The Canadian Income Tax Act had similar provisions.

To the Canadian mind, there was a simple solution. Create a separate foundation. After some discussion, this was done, and Canadian leaders set out on the interesting journey of collecting and honoring Canadian scholars.

Initially, and for many years, the funds were collected from Canadian brothers during the Annual Appeal to all Phis for support for Headquarters and Scholarship Funds. This was done by distributing the scholarship portion of Canadian alumni donations to the Canadian Foundation, with a proportion of the cost of the appeal being charged to the Canadian Foundation. No direct appeal was made to Canadian brothers (except at Founders Day Banquets) for such donations. The scheme worked well for many years, but the costs of the overall appeal rose over time so that the Canadian portion exceeded the percentage the Canadian Foundation was allowed by tax laws to charge to expenses. The Fraternity was thus eating into the small capital base, which was permitted, by law, to accumulate.

The big operational change came in 1989 when the General Council agreed that the Canadian Foundation could canvas all Phis in Canada at its own expense. Volunteers did work on the campaign, the directors being assisted in mailings, from time to time, by the members of Ontario Alpha. As a result, the Canadian Foundation was able to keep costs down.

Since 1974, the Canadian Foundation has awarded over $400,000 to more than four hundred undergraduates across Canada, all thanks to the generosity of Phi Delt alumni living in Canada.