Report: Melnyk's organ donation charity barely invested in awareness

Andre Ringuette / National Hockey League / Getty

Eugene Melnyk's charity previously directed a small fraction of the money it generated toward its intended cause.

The Ottawa Senators owner created The Organ Project - a private, Toronto-based not-for-profit foundation - in 2016, with the goal of ending the organ transplant waiting list and "changing the current environment so that, in the near future, nobody in Canada will die while waiting for an organ transplant."

However, while it gained $991,708 in revenues during 2018, it contributed barely $5,000 of that to organ donor awareness, according to Postmedia's Rick Gibbons, who cited filings from the Canada Revenue Agency.

Melnyk's charity is separate from the Senators Foundation - the team's charitable arm - which announced its intent to sever ties with the club last week.

The Senators Foundation budgeted $100,000 toward The Organ Project but eventually decided against donating it, Gibbons added.

Of the roughly $1 million taken in by Melnyk's charity, it spent $779,464 on fundraising costs and another $238,118 on management and administration, according to the filings obtained by Gibbons, who was informed that these types of figures are "almost certain" to be scrutinized by tax officials.

Unlike the Senators Foundation, the Organ Project doesn't require a board of directors to oversee operations, and according to Gibbons, the latter entity appeared to be directed solely by Melnyk. However, it shut down in 2019 and didn't fulfill a promise to reopen this spring.

The Senators and their foundation will formally part ways if they're unable to resolve their dispute by July 31.

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Report: Melnyk's organ donation charity barely invested in awareness
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