Our bold plan for a bright future
Trillium Waldorf School is raising $1 million in Community Bonds as part of our Trillium Rising Campaign to purchase our school and property. We call on school supporters, local businesses, foundations and other advocates to be key partners by investing in this project.
Trillium Waldorf School is in the northeast end of Guelph, ON. The property includes 3 acres of land and a K-8 school building of 14500 sq. ft.. The current property owners, Christine Golec and Mark Carragher – alumni parents and generous supporters of Waldorf education, have offered the Trillium Waldorf School (TrWS) the opportunity to purchase the building and property. The purchase price has been set at $3.97 million, an estimated $200,000 under market value. The purchase date will be in June of 2022. We have conducted an extensive planning process to show that we have both the need and capacity to purchase the school property. Our goal is to raise $1 million through philanthropy and an additional $1 million and potentially up to $2 million through a Community Bond investment program. The remaining amount will be financed using a mortgage.
TrWS is a vital support for hundreds of students and families, providing a distinctive education for children from our surrounding region. Especially during these extraordinary times, the unique Waldorf approaches—hands, heart and head—are more important than ever, to raise courageous, free-thinking, loving and giving citizens.
Current Number of Students – 150
School Size – 14500 sq. ft.
Purchase Date – June 2022
Trillium Waldorf School was started in 1996 with 21 students. Trillium provides students with a comprehensive Waldorf education that is artistically rich and academically rigorous. Respect for the natural world and the importance of human relationships are core values which permeate every aspect of our curriculum and programming. Trillium recognizes that young people are entering a world of increasing challenge and complexity, making the contributions of our school to Guelph and the surrounding area more compelling—more necessary!—than ever.
Long-term Viability – we have been renting with subsidy which isn’t sustainable and we will be less able to afford our space into the future as costs rise. Owning is more affordable and allows us to save on property tax expenses.
Expand Programming — we will be able to afford to expand programing to include unique offerings like woodworking and eurythmy, and increase much-needed administrative support. We can plan and grow in an effective way with the security of knowing we have our space.
Expand Space – we will have the option to add an auditorium, a dome, a staff room, and a temporary structure to use as additional learning and/or event space. The space can also be used/rented for after-hours activities and available to Waldorf faculty to program exceptional educational experiences.
Faculty – we will be able to properly compensate our biggest asset — Faculty! Our incredible teachers have the most impact on our students. We can pay proper salaries and attract talented educators that will inspire our children.
Community Bonds – allows us to set our own financing terms and keep money in the community as interest goes to those who support us rather than a financial institution.
Creating Leaders – Given what our world has just been through, we understand the need to educate children in a way that will prepare them for the world ahead and encourage them to be leaders that are dynamic thinkers who are independent, curious, bold, and compassionate.
Wellness amongst Young People – A recent study by Sick Kids noted that our kids are struggling with having been kept home for well over a year. Waldorf will bring them back to the classroom and rejuvenate them while preparing them to be incredible contributors to our world.
Promoting Core Values – Waldorf schools promote respect for the natural world and the importance of human relationships in every aspect of our curriculum and programming. Now, these values are more important than ever since the pandemic, as we know that a desire to respect and value nature has permeated our culture, and human connection has become ever more coveted after a year and a half with much less social interaction.
A community bond is a social finance tool. Trillium bonds will be used for the purchase of our school building, thus ensuring the availability and impact of Waldorf education on many more children from our community. Investors are paid their interest annually. At the end of the bond period the investor may choose to redeem the principal or re-invest if another offering is available.
Trillium bonds will go on sale on November 22, 2021. The deadline to invest will be June 17, 2022.
Events and Important Dates
June 17 – Final Day to Purchase Bonds
What are community bonds?
- A way for our organization to borrow money from the community, and pay it back with interest after a period of time;
- A community bond is similar to a Canada Savings Bond, issued in the name of an organization. Rather than the money you invest going to the government or an institution, the organization use the money for a project;
- Used successfully by not-for-profits, charities and co-operatives;
- Typically used in conjunction with other forms of financing like mortgages and lines of credit.
What are the benefits?
- The organization is able to set the bond terms based on their financial structure and capacity to pay investors back;
- Creates a strong sense of community ownership and engagement in the project;
- Keeps wealth within the community;
- Investors can see exactly how their investment benefits the community;
- Allows an organization to accept investments from both individuals and institutions (our supporters, board members, institutions, private and family foundations).
Frequently Asked Questions
How will the bonds be repaid?
The organization has gone through extensive financial planning to make sure the bonds can be repaid to investors within the allotted time. The Offering Statement, which includes the Business Plan with all of these details, will be available for download on the organization’s website.
How risky are community bonds?
Community Bonds are intended to be a medium-risk investment; however, investors are subject to a number of risks that are common to non-profit ventures in general as well as specific risks associated with operating an independent school in Ontario. All risks will be documented in the offering statement. The bonds will be secured against the school and property.
Are the bonds secured?
The Bonds will be secured by charges registered on all of the real and personal property held by the organization and will be second in priority to the mortgage security held by the mortgage lender. So, in case of default, the bank/lender gets paid back first, the bondholders are secondary.
What security do bondholders have in the case of default?
A trustee will be assigned to represent the bondholders in the case that the organization enters default. The trustee will act on behalf of the best interests of the investors. A trust agreement will be available to all investors, which details the responsibilities of the trustee.
Who else has used community bonds?
Many other social enterprises and charities across Canada have used community financing and community bonds successfully. Tapestry Community Capital have supported other organizations as they raised over $80 million dollars in 16 campaigns. Other not-for-profit or co-operative organizations such as the Centre for Social Innovation, SolarShare, ArtScape, SKETCH Working Arts, YWCA Toronto, and Innovation Works have used community bonds.
Will I receive financial statements if I invest?
Yes. On an annual basis upon written request.
What if I have an emergency and I need my money back before the term is up?
Bondholders may request a repayment of bond principal in times of hardship, subject to the availability of replacement capital and/or funds within the organization and at the discretion of the organization’s Board of Directors.
How are community bonds taxed?
Interest earned from a community bond is taxed as regular Investment Income from Canadian Sources. Consult with a tax accountant for your individual case. Tapestry Community Capital will support the organization in preparing, filing and issuing T5 Statements of Investment Income and will send them annually to investors via a secure electronic PDF or by mail according to the investors’ consent on behalf of the organization.
How do I invest?
Once the campaign is launched, investors can visit the organization’s website to learn more about the project (when available), complete the form to be emailed the full investor package to review. Investors will have the option to invest via a secure online platform administered by Tapestry Community Capital.
Will I be able to purchase a bond on behalf of or in someone else’s name as a gift?
Bonds may be purchased on behalf of a minor by filling out a subscription agreement and paying for the bond. The organization can provide assistance via phone or email. If you are purchasing a bond on behalf of another adult, they must agree to the terms of the investment as their name is on the bond certificate.
How do I know my information is safe after it has been collected?
Tapestry’s subscription agreement and Investment Management system is a closed, encrypted system. All traffic between the client and server is SSL-encrypted with a signed certificate issued by a third-party certificate authority (COMODO RSA Domain Validation Secure Server CA). All database files on the server are encrypted at rest. The server is hosted in a secure data centre in Canada. All data changes are logged in an audit trail and only key Tapestry staff have access to this data. For more information on Tapestry’s Privacy Code please visit: http://tapestrycapital.ca.
Are Trillium Bonds RRSP/TFSA eligible?
No, Trillium’s bonds will be held directly with Trillium and managed by our partners, Tapestry Community Capital.
Tapestry Community Capital supports non-profits in raising and managing community bonds. Since 1998, the Tapestry team has supported projects from renewable energy to co-working, in successful community financing campaigns, raising and managing $80 million from over 3,900 investors