Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a community foundation?

Q. How many community foundation's are there in Canada?

Q. Are there community foundation's in other countries?

Q. How do community foundation's work with other non-profit and philanthropic organizations in my community?

Q. What attracts donors to community foundation's?

Q. How are community foundation's regulated?

Q. How do you ensure the safety of the permanent endowments?

Q. How can I get involved in the community foundation movement?



What is a community foundation?

Community foundation's are volunteer-driven, non-profit organizations that aim to strengthen communities by pooling the charitable gifts of various donors to create permanent, income-earning endowment funds. Grants from the earnings of these funds are made annually to support a wide range of local initiatives from health, education and social services to arts, culture and the environment. [back to top]

How many community foundation's are there in Canada?

Community foundation's are one of the fastest growing networks dedicated to building and strengthening Canadian communities. Their numbers have grown dramatically over past years - from 32 foundation's in 1990 to over 180 foundation's in 2012. Community foundation's exist in every province and one territory, and are linked and supported at the national level through Community Foundation's of Canada. [back to top]

Are there community foundation's in other countries?

Community foundation's are spreading around the globe and exist in countries such as Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovakia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Canada is a respected leader in the international community foundation movement. Community Foundation's of Canada (CFC) was instrumental in setting up a global network of organizations to support community foundation's and build philanthropy around the world (WINGS-CF). [back to top]

How do community foundation's work with other non-profit and philanthropic organizations in my community?

Community foundation's work collaboratively with other funders and grantmakers to help serve the needs of the whole community. Community foundation's develop their assets in co-operation with all charitable causes. The community foundation movement openly shares its extensive experience and expertise with others in the volunteer sector from developing value-based tools, to practical tips on human resources, governance and administrative procedures. [back to top]

What attracts donors to community foundation's?

Community foundation's are increasingly popular with Canadians who want to have an impact on their communities now and in the future. Flexibility is one of the primary reasons that community foundation's are so popular among donors. Donors can give to any number of charities through their community foundation. They can choose various types of funds and different ways in which their gifts can be made. Community foundation's also have a deep understanding of local issues. This insight helps donors have an even greater impact on the priorities that are close to their hearts without the aggravation of handling the administrative details involved. [back to top]

How are community foundation's regulated?

Activities are monitored and subject to regulations established by the Canada Revenue Agency. Community Foundation's of Canada (CFC) is the national membership organization for Canada's community foundation's. It was founded in 1992 to provide a forum for members to support and learn from one another and work together to promote the movement and demonstrate philanthropic leadership. [back to top]

How do you ensure the safety of the permanent endowments?

The Board of Directors establishes our investment strategy through consultation with an appointed finance committee made up of qualified professionals. Funds are pooled to take advantage of scale and are managed by professional institutional portfolio management firm(s) with proven long-term records. [back to top]

How can I get involved in the community foundation movement?

There are many different ways to support the community foundation movement. You can become a donor, volunteer your skills and services or support an ongoing project. To find out about opportunities in your community contact your local community foundation. [back to top]

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