Individual Donors - Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions Vancouver Foundation receives from individuals, families, corporations and professional advisors.
If you would like more information or have additional questions, please call our Development and Donor Services department at 604.688.2204.
Q: How can I donate to Vancouver Foundation? Is there a minimum donation amount? [View answer]
Q: What is the minimum amount required to start a fund? [View answer]
Q: What are my giving options? [View answer]
Q: Can charitable funds established at Vancouver Foundation benefit areas outside metro Vancouver? [View answer]
Q: What is the tax advantage for giving a gift of publicly-traded securities to Vancouver Foundation? [View answer]
Q: Will I receive a tax receipt for my donation? [View answer]
Q: What are Vancouver Foundation's fees? [View answer]
Q: Can I name a successor to my fund? [View answer]
Q: What type of assets can I use to start a fund? [View answer]
Q: What amount can I expect to disburse in grants each year from my endowment fund? [View answer]
Q: What money managers does Vancouver Foundation use to manage the two investment funds? [View answer]
Q: If I am interested in a particular topic (for example the arts), can Vancouver Foundation help connect me to interesting arts proposals that are looking for funding? [View answer]
Q: How can I donate to Vancouver Foundation? Is there a minimum donation amount?
A: You can contribute any amount to our existing endowment funds. If you wish to support our Grants and Community Initiatives Program you can contribute to any of our nine Field of Interest Funds or our Community Impact Fund.
Donors, corporations and charities can also create their own endowment fund.
Q: What is the minimum amount required to start a fund?
A: The minimum gift to establish an endowment fund is $10,000, although we also offer individual donors the option to establish an endowment to fulfill their $10K commitment fund over time.
Q: What are my giving options?
A: Vancouver Foundation offers a variety of giving options. Whether it's contributing to a pre-established fund, setting up your own endowment, making an outright gift, or more complex, long-term arrangements, we work with your to meet your financial needs and your personal philanthropic goals.
Q: Can charitable funds established at Vancouver Foundation benefit areas outside metro Vancouver?
A: Yes. The Vancouver Foundation is the only community foundation in Canada with a province-wide mandate. Our goal is to create positive and lasting impacts in communities throughout British Columbia. Grants from Donor Advised Funds can also be given to national and international charities.
Q: What is the tax advantage for giving a gift of publicly-traded securities to Vancouver Foundation?
A: Gifts of publicly-traded securities (stocks, income trust units, bonds, and mutual fund units) are exempt from capital gains tax. This is one of the most tax effective ways to make a charitable donation.
Q: Will I receive a tax receipt for my donation?
A: Vancouver Foundation will issue tax receipts for every gift to Vancouver Foundation.
Q: What are Vancouver Foundation's fees?
A: As a not-for-profit organization, Vancouver Foundation's fees are only designed to recover our actual costs - whether it be our operating/administration costs or our investment services costs.
Creating a fund with Vancouver Foundation is considerably less expensive than starting a private foundation. We handle daily administration, file annual tax returns and process grants.
We have two services for which we recover costs.
Q: Can I name a successor to my fund?
A: Yes, you can name a successor (or successors) to your fund. If there is no successor, or upon the successor's death, the Foundation's Board of Directors will continue to direct the funds in accordance with your wishes.
Q: What type of assets can I use to start a fund?
A: Gifts can be made in several forms including: cash, publicly traded securities, life insurance, charitable remainder trusts, private property and bequests. Vancouver Foundation staff can help you customize a giving approach that takes into account personal interests and tax planning needs.
Q: What amount can I expect to disburse in grants each year from my endowment fund?
A: Our Investment Committee and Board of Directors review the distribution rate at least annually, taking into account distributions from the previous year, inflation protection, and the funds current market value. The distribution rate is expressed as a dividend - a fixed amount of money for each unit that your fund holds.
Vancouver Foundation's current dividend rate for the Consolidated Trust Fund is $0.612/unit which is the equivalent to a distribution rate of 4.07%. For the Socially Responsible Investment Fund the dividend rate is $0.40 which is equivalent to a distribution rate of 2.54%. Our Distribution Policy can be viewed here
Q: What money managers does Vancouver Foundation use to manage the two investment funds?
A: The Foundation employs several investment firms to manage the funds in our care. By spreading our funds over several firms we can select money managers based on their areas of expertise, and help reduce the risks associated with putting too many of our funds with one money manager.
Q: If I am interested in a particular topic (for example the arts), can Vancouver Foundation help connect me to interesting arts proposals that are looking for funding?
A: Yes. That is a key advantage of having your fund with Vancouver Foundation.
Vancouver Foundation is knowledgeable and very well connected to the community. Our advisory committees, who review and evaluate grant proposals comprise many individuals and organizations that are directly involved in various fields, including arts and culture, education, medical research, and children, youth and families, etc.