David Suzuki has dismissed the focus on U.S. funding as “twisted logic” and “a conspiracy theory.” Further, in an open letter sent last week, Mr. Suzuki, Canada’s foremost environmentalist, suggested that his foundation is being “bullied.” He also announced that he has stepped off the board of his foundation. “I want to speak freely without fear that my words will be deemed too political,” he wrote.
It stands to reason that David Suzuki would defend his funding. After all, he built his foundation with millions of U.S. dollars. Back in 2000, more than half of the Suzuki foundation’s budget was covered by U.S. foundations. The U.S. share has dropped dramatically since, from 52% in 2000 to 5% in 2010. Still, according to my calculations, over the past decade U.S. foundations accounted for at least 17% of the revenue of the David Suzuki Foundation. In correspondence for this article, the foundation did not dispute these numbers.
Of the $81-million that the Suzuki Foundation took in from 2000 to 2010, $44-million was from tax-receipted donations, $9-million was from other charities and $25-million (31%) was from unspecified gifts and other revenue. Tax returns also show that $3-million came from investment and rental income, sales of goods and services, and so on.
Between 2000 and 2010, total annual revenues doubled at the Suzuki foundation from $5-million to $10.6-million.
The foundation consistently generated a surplus such that total assets increased to $10.8-million as of 2010, up from $1.3-million in 2000.