This month’s blog comes to you from Stacy Cardigan Smith, Capacity Building Consultant, Endow Manitoba. Although this content is Manitoba specific, I do encourage you to look at your local resources to build a relationship with your own community foundation.

Here is what Stacy has for us:

“Community foundations are valuable partners for charities and nonprofits. These endowment-based public charitable trusts are committed to improving life in local communities. While community foundations may be best known for making grants to charitable projects and initiatives, many are actively exploring new and different ways to build community capacity, resources, and relationships. This article provides background information about community foundations and outlines some ways charities and nonprofits might explore working with them. It is written from a Manitoba perspective.

Endow Manitoba
In Manitoba, there are 56 community foundations dedicated to supporting local communities, now and forever. Endow Manitoba, an initiative of The Winnipeg Foundation, serves this community foundation network by advancing the sustainability and growth of each foundation. While each community foundation is as unique as the communities it serves, every one is guided by a volunteer board, the vast majority without full-time staff.

Applying for grants
Community foundations annually grant out a portion of the income earned from their endowments. Since Manitoba community foundations’ assets range from tens of thousands of dollars to more than a billion, granting capacity ranges greatly.

Each community foundation has a Community Fund (sometimes called an unrestricted, undesignated, or responsive fund), which allows the foundation to support their community’s current needs and emerging opportunities. Some community foundations have specialized funds, depending on community interest and requirements.

Traditionally, most community foundations support their local communities, and granting application processes and deadlines vary by community. Charities and nonprofits are encouraged to explore community foundations’ websites and contact the community foundations directly.

General granting guidelines:

  • Recipients must be a registered charity with a CRA number*, municipal government, or a non-profit group with a formalized partnership with a registered charity or municipal government.
  • Funds must be devoted to a specific project, not used for general operations.
  • Projects must benefit residents of the community.
  • Projects must not be partisan or political in nature.

Working together to support community wellbeing
Today, many community foundations are striving to build relationships and networks across their communities that are committed to enhancing their community’s wellbeing. By encouraging community dialogue and being transparent and responsive in their operations, community foundations serve the wellbeing of all residents.

Many community foundations are looking to develop and strengthen community partnerships across sectors and with a variety of organizations. If you have an idea to explore, we encourage you to reach out to your local community foundation, or to Endow Manitoba.

For those interested in working with Manitoba community foundations, Endow Manitoba has a list of the province’s community foundations, along with relevant contact info.

You can go to Community Foundations of Canada to find a national listing.

* The 2022 federal budget proposes to amend the Income Tax Act so non-qualified donees can receive grants. This change is in alignment with Bill S-216, the Effective and Accountable Charities Act, which is being considered by Parliament.”

There you have it! As Stacy mentions in her last paragraph, you can visit Community Foundations of Canada to find your local community foundation. I encourage you to do so!

I hope you are enjoying your summer.


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