Discover opportunities through Canadian Community Foundations for funding nonprofits in this quick guide by ABCD (A Better Community Database).

Find Canadian Community Foundations for Funding Nonprofits

Our last post covered Private Foundations, and today we will follow up with some Canadian community foundations for funding nonprofits. Community foundations exist as public charities which typically focus on supporting a specific geographic area. 

Instruments of civil society, community foundations are designed to pool donations into coordinated investment and grantmaking. This is primarily for the social improvement of a given place and the communities there the foundation aims to serve.

At ABCD, beyond our database solutions for nonprofits, we simply want to see those in the sector succeed. No matter if it’s tools and resources, opportunities through private and public foundations, or valuable networks to help nonprofits grow their impact.

In this post, we’ll zoom in on Canadian community foundations for funding nonprofits, and introduce 5 foundations to research further.

5 Canadian Community Foundations for Funding Nonprofits

What are Canadian Community Foundations?

The purpose of Canadian community foundations for funding nonprofits is to build endowments for the benefit of a specific geographic community. Donors have the ability to set up individual funds in the foundation.

Donors then have as little or as much control as they wish in choosing which charities will benefit from their fund. Also, they can choose to contribute to the community foundation’s general endowment fund. In this way, the community foundation’s board of directors allocates funds to address needs and opportunities in the community. 

Canadian community foundations offer a wide range of services to their donors, ensuring they make the most of their charitable gifts. For more information, or to locate a community foundation not in the following list, visit Community Foundations of Canada.

1 – Calgary Foundation

First on our list of Canadian community foundations for funding nonprofits is Calgary Foundation. Serving the Calgary, Alberta region since 1995, Calgary Foundation is a group founded by a collection of community-minded citizens. 

Their work focuses on meeting a wide range of community needs in Calgary and the surrounding area. These include needs in education, society, culture, health, the environment, and community charities.

Facilitating collaborative philanthropy, Calgary Foundation aims to create a powerful network of donors and community organizations. In 2019-20, the Foundation saw $35.4 million in new contributions, with an asset base of $1.0 billion, and granted $54.9 million to 996 charitable organizations.

2 – Vancouver Foundation

Since 1943, Vancouver Foundation has been giving to communities across British Columbia. Their mission aims to build healthy, vibrant, and livable communities across the area. They consult with donors, and help them find the most impactful ways for them to contribute.

Vancouver Foundation supports charities and other organizations across BC through grantmaking programs. They focus on priority issues identified through community dialogue, research, youth engagement, and relationships with donors, charities, and other agencies.

The foundation is a member of Community Foundations of Canada, and also a sector champion member of Imagine Canada. Imagine Canada promotes public and corporate giving, volunteer programs, and community support.

3 – Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF)

Next among Canadian community foundations for funding nonprofits is Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF). Among the most highly regarded philanthropies in Ottawa, OCF works with donors and the community to develop positive, systematic and sustainable change.

OCF now has a solid reputation for financial management, top quality donor services, strategic grantmaking, and innovative partnerships. In their mission, OCF collaborates with stakeholders as a trusted partner to bring about the change they want to see in Ottawa and beyond.

One among 191 community foundations, OCF is a member of the National Movement through Community Foundations of Canada. Together, these foundations serve 86% of Canadian municipalities, and manage $5.2 billion in assets.

4 – Toronto Foundation

A registered charity home to 500+ community-minded philanthropists, Toronto Foundation focuses their work in two areas. They provide grant & impact investing, and secondly donor learning journeys.

In their funding models, fundholders from individuals to groups and organizations can set up donor-advised funds and make grants. This allows for direct contribution to the charities the donors care about most.

Along with this, they make grants and impact investments that address needs and opportunities, and support communities to reduce inequality.

In Toronto Foundation’s donor learning journeys, they provide funders with information through various events and tools. These include resources on equitable granting, research and insights, and the opportunity to network with community leaders and peers.

5 – La Fondation du Grand Montréal (FGM)

In the Greater Montréal Community, La Fondation du Grand Montréal (FGM) facilitates links between fund creators and organizations. FGM manages close to 650 funds and $350 million in assets, which in 2019 had a 14,2% return.

In the same year, FGM provided grants of near $13 million to 491 organizations. They support all causes connected to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and publish studies and research such as Hunger Zero and the Vital Signs. 

The history of this foundation dates back to the 1980s. A group of philanthropists came together to establish a community foundation in Montréal, the first of its kind to exclusively benefit the Greater Montréal area. 

In 2000, FGM obtained the financial support of well-known organizations after demonstrating the legitimacy of their project. Now, 20+ years later, they remain in operation, facilitating grants and networking between fund creators and charitable organizations.

Discover more community foundations, resources and tools

No matter the social work or nonprofit, the range of funding in Canada covers every sector of social good work. There are government funding programs, private and public foundations, and as we covered in this article community foundations.

Want to learn more? Contact us at ABCD for more on Canadian community foundations for funding nonprofits, and to discover our tools and resources to grow your impact.