Many people think of donations as a one-time lump sum of money given to a charity. But, donations can also be set up so that donated money has the power to give year-after-year. This perpetual giving is called an endowment fund, and is a popular choice for many donors in our communities. Endowment funds can be set up in many different ways. One specific type of endowment fund is called a donor-advised fund.
How a donor-advised endowment fund works
For all endowment funds, a donor works with the Community Foundation to invest a sum of money. This investment is managed by the Community Foundation, and every year, in perpetuity, earnings from that investment are given to one or several charities.
How that money is dispersed depends on the donor’s wishes. For example, sometimes, a donor wants to choose a cause or charity to be supported in perpetuity. Other donors want the flexibility to choose where the money is given each year. This second option is called a donor-advised fund. For example, one year the donor may advise the Community Foundation that they would like a local food program to receive funding, and the following year decide to give to habitat preservation. Donor-advised funds give the donor, or the donor’s family, the ability to adapt their giving support to emerging community needs or causes.
You can create a fund, or donate to existing endowment funds, including donor-advised funds
We administer more than 200 endowment funds of all different kinds. While not all of these funds are open to public donations, many of them are. Donating to an existing fund can be a great way to team up to support a charity or cause, or to support the wishes of someone you value.
To browse our community endowment funds, please visit our Funds page.
Join the Legacy Club
The Legacy Club is our way of honouring the generosity of donors who have included the Foundation in their estate plans. Learn more about the Legacy Club here.