About the Stratford Perth Community Foundation

About Stratford Perth Community Foundation

Stratford Perth Community Foundation is part of a world-wide network of foundations whose objective is to help build stronger and more vibrant communities. In Canada we are a member of Community Foundations of Canada, the umbrella organization to more than 200 community foundations from coast to coast.

We make charitable giving easy, flexible and effective. Our in-depth knowledge of the community, its organizations, needs and opportunities can help direct gifts to areas of most impact. We work with donors and their advisors to maximize the value of charitable gifts. Our goal is to help donors fulfill their charitable goals, maximize their tax advantages, and meet important needs in the community. Gifts are limited only by the will and imagination of donors. We believe in the power of individuals and organizations working together to effect positive change in our community.

Gifts are pooled and invested and form community assets. Earnings from these assets are granted back into the community each year to registered charities. We bring local knowledge, experience and a network of community relationships to our grant making.

We are a charitable public foundation created by and for the people of Stratford, St. Marys and Perth County. Registered charitable # 88488 4305 RR0001.

Realizing community vitality through philanthropy

To enrich the lives of people in Stratford, St. Marys and Perth County by providing support to charitable organizations through grants made possible by responsible stewardship of endowment funds.


Accountability: Our mission is achieved through strong leadership and governance, capable administration and dedicated volunteers. Our community is strengthened now and into the future by growing endowment funds, sound fiscal management, and reliable stewardship

Responsiveness: Monitoring trends and impacts of change, coupled with a proactive, innovative approach produces actions that meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Collaboration: We believe that by working together with donors, other funders, community leaders and charitable groups, we encourage the creation of new ideas and solutions, reduce duplication of effort and increase effectiveness in the voluntary sector.

Meeting the needs of the community

  • Since we began in 2004, we have grown community assets to over $9 million
  • We have established over 90 funds that support: arts and culture; children and youth; education; environment; health and wellness; recreation; seniors; and social services
  • We have distributed $3 million to area charities
  • We grant for breadth and impact to the widest possible needs and opportunities

Our History

The Stratford and Perth County Community Foundation was established as a registered public charitable foundation in 2004, the result of the perseverance of a group of visionary community leaders including representatives from local government, business and groups. They had heard of other community foundations and wanted the local community to benefit from having this vehicle for building community investment and community philanthropy.

This spark of an idea began in Stratford but soon spread to St. Marys and the rest of Perth County when the benefits of a more regionally based community foundations were recognized. Founding board members from around the county signed on to be part of this exciting new venture. Founding board members included Tim MacDonald, Listowel (Chair); Mary McTavish, Perth East (Secretary); Peter Van Drunen, West Perth (Vice-Chair); Bill Somerville, Stratford (Treasurer); Jeff Carruthers, Stratford; Tom Clifford, Stratford; Brenda Mitchell, St. Marys; Berny Nymeyer, Stratford; Richard Smelski, Perth East, Anne Marie Tymec, Stratford, Anne Walsh, Stratford.

One of these leaders, local Stratford businessman Bo Sibold, unfortunately did not live to see the dream realized. But in typical fashion he gave back to the community through a gift from his estate which was the first gift to the Community Foundation and initiated the Community Fund.

Also in 2004, the McTavish Family of Perth East wanted to honour the memory of father and grandfather, Donald McTavish, a local environmentalist. Grandson Alec and wife Sam (Mary) McTavish created the Donald McTavish Conservation Fund which has grown through the generosity of family members and friends.

Today the Stratford Perth Community Foundation has grown to three staff members. Many community-minded volunteers give of their time, talent and treasure serving on the Foundation’s Board of Directors, on specialized committees, and lending valued support in the office.