Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Community Foundation?
  2. Are there other Community Foundations in Canada?
  3. What do Community Foundations do?
  4. When was the Stratford and Perth County Community Foundation formed?
  5. Is a Community Foundation different than other charities?
  6. Who gives to Community Foundations?
  7. Who benefits?
  8. How do donors establish funds?
  9. Is there a minimum donation required to establish a named fund?
  10. What type of funds are there?

What is a Community Foundation?
Community foundations are locally run foundations that build and manage endowment funds to support charitable activities in their area. Each community foundation is autonomous and governed by a local volunteer board.

Are there other Community Foundations in Canada?
Currently there are more than 191 Community Foundations in Canada. Community Foundation’s are linked and supported at the national level through membership in Community Foundations of Canada and have combined assets of more than $3.5 billion.

What do Community Foundations do?
Community foundations provide donors with a lasting way to make a difference in their community by building donations through endowments or trust funds. Foundations also provide grants to community organizations and act as community conveners and leaders.

When was the Stratford and Perth County Community Foundation formed?
Officially launched in November 2004, the idea of establishing a community foundation in Perth County did not happen overnight. It was the result of years of dialogue among municipal, business and community leaders. One of these leaders, the late B. Julian (Bo) Sibold initiated The Community Fund with a generous gift from his estate. Contributions from local governments, individuals, and businesses have provided needed operating funds.

Is a Community Foundation different than other charities?
Yes. A community Foundation is a charity that helps other charities. Instead of providing charitable services, community foundations provide support to a wide range of charities.

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Who gives to Community Foundations?
All kinds of people give many types of gifts – cash, real estate, stock and insurance. Flexibility is key. Donors can choose to support their community broadly or designate a favourite cause or charity. Many charities also place their endowment funds with community foundation in order to benefit from greater returns on their investments.

Who benefits?
The whole community! Community foundations benefit everyone by promoting the value of charitable giving. They provide grants to every sector – from health, education, and social services, to youth, the arts and environment. Their support also includes helping charities manage complex donations, linking groups with common goals, and connecting organizations with potential donors.

How do donors establish funds?
The donor can leave the designation unrestricted – leaving it flexible to the changing needs of the community or the donor can advise the Foundation of the area of interest or organization he or she wants to support. A name for the fund is chosen. The name can reflect the cause that is being funded, like The Reading Fund, can honour an individual, like the Donald McTavish Conservation Fund, or can recognize the donor or the donor’s family, like the George and Edna Hislop Family Fund. An agreement is then drawn up between the donor and the foundation with the understanding that the gift will be pooled with other gifts and the income used for the charitable purposes specified by the donor.

Is there a minimum donation required to establish a named fund?
Yes. These amounts vary according to the type of fund the donor wishes to establish. A gift of any amount can be made to a fund that is already established.

What type of funds are there?
The Community Fund allows donors to support a wide variety of community activities. Designated Funds allow donors to specify the charitable organization(s) they wish to support. Field of Interest Funds enable the donor to focus giving in a particular area or sector. Donor Advised Funds allow donors to recommend specific organizations to receive grants.

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The Stratford Perth Community Foundation enriches the lives of people in Perth County by providing support to charitable organizations through grants made possible by responsible stewardship of endowment funds.