Community Foundations of Canada members must strive to:
- provide a broad range of giving opportunities for donors, and a variety of services to help them achieve their philanthropic goals;
- consult with the community to guide the foundation’s grantmaking and other activities, and act as a catalyst for community action on issues of broad community concern.
What is a community foundation?
A community foundation is a philanthropic organization focused on building permanent endowments to tackle long-term community challenges as well as meeting immediate needs.
Community foundations meeting the following criteria are eligible for membership in Community Foundations of Canada:
- be officially registered as a charity and be designated by the Canada Revenue Agency as a tax exempt Public Foundation and, as such, be assigned a Business Number that reflects charitable status;
- be independent and autonomous (not controlled directly or indirectly by government, corporations, associations, individuals, related family members, or particular religious, cultural or ethnic groups) and be governed by a body of volunteers, usually independently appointed, which strives to represent and be accountable to the community it serves;
- maintain a broad grants program providing funding to many different grantees in a range of fields of interest and segments of the population. Grantees must be “qualified donees” as defined in the Income Tax Act;
- be structured primarily as a growing collection of permanent and non-permanent endowment funds, which includes a pool of unrestricted dollars, that support the diverse charitable purposes specified by the governing body and by its donors;
- describe itself as a “community foundation” without necessarily having the words “community foundation” in its legal name;
- focus its grant-making and charitable services primarily in a defined geographic area;
- be a prudent and responsible steward and investor of charitable funds, maintaining complete and accurate financial records;
- regularly monitor its internal processes and activities with the goal of meeting the highest standards of practice in all its activities.