For five years, we’ve made a tradition of compiling some of our annual highlights for you. Here’s the 2018 edition!


A North American first

We kicked off the year by holding the first-ever North American Community Foundations Summit in Mexico City, in partnership with the U.S.’ Council on Foundations and Mexico’s Comunalia. As one participant related, “ it helped build my understanding for how local initiatives in communities can translate into broader global impact. It also made me want to explore how we can bring the conversation around the Sustainable Development Goals to our region.”

Memorable, thought-provoking learning and gatherings across the country, from CFC’s Learning Institute

Throughout the year, the movement came together for some amazing shared learning experiences. We held 6 peer gatherings, 30 webinars and then some! In addition to our regular offerings, more than 50 staff from 35 community foundations across Canada are now taking part in our brand new “learning communities” focused on sustaining and deepening leadership practices and exploring best practices in rural philanthropy. Thank you for your engagement! As one participant noted, “Feeling like you’re part of this National Movement and we’re in this TOGETHER, really gives me the gusto to move onward in our community!” Read a great account of the 2018 Rookie Retreat on Wasan Island.

The Queen Elizabeth Scholars Program is going strong

Alongside our colleagues from the Rideau Hall Foundation and Universities Canada, we proudly continued our support of the Queen Elizabeth Scholars program. With contributions from CFC, several scholars participated in the 2018 Students on Ice expedition. As QES student Tashi Lomo said, “Amid the signs of alarming changes in climate, the SOI expedition empowers, engages and equips students with a unique learning opportunity to broaden and deepen our understanding of climate change issues in the Arctic and their impact on Northern communities and wildlife.” Read about Tashi’s experience in this blog.

A new national network of Canadians committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

In 2018, we deepened our commitment to the SDGs by launching Alliance 2030 at the United Nations’ High Level Political Forum in July 2018, alongside Employment and Social Development Canada’s newly-formed SDG Unit and Alliance 2030 partners, including the Canadian Council for International Cooperation and the International Institute for Sustainable Development. More than 1,500 individuals and organizations have since joined Alliance 2030. Alliance 2030 features a searchable database at of all the work that’s being done across Canada in alignment with the SDGs, amplified by high-quality storytelling through a blog and new podcast series called No Little Plans.  We’re thrilled that No Little Plans was named one of Apple’s best podcasts of 2018!

A big year and a bright future for community-led data

Vital Signs continues to be a driving force in our work as well as that of community foundations across Canada and abroad. Did you know that 94 community foundations in Canada and around the world now take part? Peruse the latest Vital Signs activities and reports.

Gearing up for the next community foundations conference

In August, after much brainstorming about how we could build on “Belong 2017,” we were excited to launch “#AllIn2019”, the theme for the next community foundations conference. If you haven’t yet, explore what it’s all about and register to join us (as well as 600 of your closest community foundation colleagues from Canada and around the world!)

Welcoming the new $755M Social Finance Fund

In November, we celebrated the federal government’s announcement of the new fund. As our CEO Andrew Chunilall said, “The Social Finance Fund will attract increased investment to help vulnerable people and to solve pressing challenges like climate change, housing affordability, technological disruption of jobs and other national and local priorities.” Read more about this exciting news on our blog.

Exciting legislative and policy developments on the horizon

In December 2018, we also welcomed news of federal legislative changes that could open up important new possibilities for the charitable sector to affect systems-level change. Most notably, the Government of Canada passed amendments to the Income Tax Act that stipulate that charities (including community foundations!) may further their charitable purpose through non-partisan advocacy without limit. This reaffirms that advocacy and public policy work are key tools for charities as they work towards public policy. We will continue to follow these developments, including CRA interpretations of these amendments in 2019. Stay tuned for more news soon!