Frequently Asked Questions - General

What percentage of the total donations has reached schools?

Of the total raised (Indigo, customers, employees, suppliers, etc.) 80% is donated to schools and 20% is used to operate the Foundation.This is well under the Canada Revenue Agency guidelines.

What percentage of customer donations has reached schools?

As shown in the audited financials below,100% of the customer donations have been granted to more than 1800 schools during the life of the Foundation.

How much does Indigo contribute to the Love of Reading Foundation?

Indigo has contributed over 30% of the total donations in cash to the Foundation. In addition, Indigo provides all services at no cost including: legal, finance, marketing, human resources, office space, advertising within Indigo stores, the support of 6,000 employees to drive the program in stores, digital advertising and creative design.

These contributions are made at zero cost to the Foundation.

Does the Foundation keep proper accounting records?

Yes. The Foundation has full accounting records, which are managed by Indigo’s finance team and are audited by an external auditor.

Furthermore, the Foundation makes annual filings, which are published on the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Why do the schools have to buy books from Indigo?

The funding is split across a 90% credit to spend at Indigo and 10% cash to be spent anywhere as long as it advances literacy.

As the biggest book retailer in Canada, Indigo offers schools access to a catalogue of over 5 million titles, stores across the country and employees that bring their industry expertise to help transform the libraries.

Additionally, the value of the grants requires significant fiscal management over its three years. Indigo provides ongoing account statements, ensuring the schools have insight to their balance.

Why not donate books instead of money?

Each school has unique educational needs.The principals, teachers and librarians are the literacy experts who know what books are needed to address their literacy goals. Thus we provide them with the funding to choose the books that are most meaningful to their students.

How much has Indigo donated?

In the past 8 years, Indigo has donated $5.9 million which represents over 31% of the total ($18 million) funds raised by the Foundation. This far exceeds the “Caring Company” guidelines set by Imagine Canada.

Does Indigo profit from the charity?

No. The Love of Reading financial statements confirm that Indigo does not profit from the Foundation. The statements are available at:

Why do schools have to buy books at retail price?

When Indigo first started the Foundation it funded the grants fully. As customer donations increased, Indigo donated the margin back to the Foundation.We now appreciate that there needs to be increased clarity on this practice and we are working to simplify the process.

Does Indigo receive a taxable benefit from running the Foundation?

No.Customer donations are collected and passed through directly to the Foundation.Indigo does not receive a tax receipt for these donations.

When Indigo makes a charitable donation to the Foundation, they do receive a tax receipt, as they would if we donated to any other charity.

Furthermore, when Indigo sells products and makes a profit, they pay corporation tax, like any other Canadian business.

Does Indigo earn interest income on holding customer donations?

No. Indigo transfers the donations directly to Love of Reading, which then earns interest investment income.

Does Indigo match customer contributions?

Indigo has matched fundraising campaigns in the past; however, it does not have a matching policy. Instead it commits support in the form of cash (since 2007, $5.9M) and by covering 100% of all Foundation overhead costs including legal, finance, marketing, human resources, office space, advertising within Indigo stores, the support of 6,000 employees to drive the program in stores, digital advertisingand creative design.

In response to CBC’s Marketplace Report on Indigo Love of Reading Foundation

In the ten year history of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Indigo has donated more in cash to the Foundation than it has earned from books sold to the Love of Reading schools.

We are proud of what both Indigo and the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation have done, and proud to work together with our customers, because with your support we can do so much more.

Together we have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and provided much needed support to teachers.

Together we have given more to support literacy in high needs schools than any other organization in our country’s history.

We are proud and stand tall as should all of us who have worked tirelessly to help put books in the hands of Canadian children.

Thank you for 10 years of success. Together with our customers Love of Reading has given 1.5 Million books to 1,800 high needs schools benefiting over 500,000 Canadian children.

Why was the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Established?

The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation was established to address the underfunding of Canadian school libraries and the literacy crisis. Love of Reading provides grants for the purchase of new books and education resources to high-needs elementary schools.

How does the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation raise money?

The Foundation raises money in three ways:

  1. Online or in-store donations
  2. Proceeds from Love of Reading fundraising items at any Indigo, Chapters or Coles book store
  3. Private donations

Fundraising items are the products that generate donations for the Foundation. Examples are:

  • Gift card holders (sleeves)

Is my donation eligible for Canadian tax credits with an official Business Charitable Registration number?

Yes. For any online donation over $20.00 or over, you will receive a tax-deductible receipt. The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation is a registered charitable organization with the federal government under Business Charitable Registration number 81738 6373 RR0001.

What is the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation’s charitable number?

81738 6873 RR0001

How does the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation work?

The $1.5 million Literacy Fund grant is distributed across the recipient schools. The school's grant is determined by the student population which is why the grant is different for each school. This also ensures each child has the same amount of money invested in them. Each year the grant is broken into two portions:

  • 90% is set up as a corporate account for Love of Reading schools to purchase required books through Indigo, Chapters and Coles
  • 10% is cash and can be used to support creative literacy activities and events

Can my donation go directly to one child or school?

All donations are added to a collective fund which is distributed among selected Love of Reading schools. If there is a particular school that you believe deserves a Love of Reading grant, please encourage one of the teachers or the school principal to download the online application form (pdf file, 136KB).

What products are available in Indigo, Chapters, & Coles stores to support the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation?

Fundraising items are the products that generate donations for the Foundation. Examples are:

  • Gift card holders (sleeves)

How are schools selected for the grants?

Applications are evaluated based on the criteria outlined in the grant application. Each year we receive hundreds of applications from schools across the country. The applicants have to fulfill a strict set of criteria and must demonstrate:

  • The school is high-needs
  • The Principal’s role in mandating a literacy focus
  • There is currently dedication to literacy even with limited resources
  • The infrastructure is in place (Literacy Committee, volunteers, physical space, etc) to absorb the books if selected as a grant recipient

The assessment includes pre-screening and evaluations administered by current Love of Reading school principals and input from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation employees and Heather Reisman, President of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

I am a teacher or school principal. How can I learn more about applying for a Love of Reading grant on behalf of my school?

You can learn more about the grant here and download the application form (pdf file, 136KB).

Which schools have benefited from a Love of Reading grant to date?

Since 2004, 170 schools from across Canada have been selected as Love of Reading schools, receiving the grant over a three year period. Click here to listen to life-changing calls when we announced the recipients.

You can view a complete list of the schools selected for 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005.

The Indigo Love of Reading Foundation is a registered charitable organization established in 2004
to help provide new books and learning materials to Canadian elementary schools in need.