Vancity Community Foundation (VCF) connects individuals and organizations with the charities and causes they are most passionate about, to help build a society that is inclusive, just and sustainable. With an initial focus on growing a pool of funds committed to community economic development, VCF opened its first Donor Advised Fund in 1994. Since then, VCF's portfolio has grown to include more than 250 funds supporting a range of charities and causes.
A range of strategies to simplify your giving
Using our experience, community connections and Vancity network, we will work with you to develop a giving strategy that helps you to invest in people and organizations - big and small - that are making a difference. VCF can help you simplify your giving, while minimizing costs and maximizing your impact, through a range of short- and long-term fund options for individuals, families and organizations:
- Donor Designated Funds are invested, with annual grants supporting a specific set of charities at the same percentages every year. Donor Designated Funds create an enduring legacy of support for the causes you are most passionate about.
- Donor Advised Funds are invested, with new annual grant recommendations made each year. Donor Advised Funds allow individuals, families and organizations the flexibility to respond to changing community needs or individual passions and interests, with the option to receive granting recommendations from VCF.
- Legacy Funds are Donor Advised Funds or Donor Designated Funds that are activated after your lifetime, through a gift in your will. Legacy Funds can help ease the administration of your estate.
- Agency Self-Sustaining Funds are created by charities to build a sustainable revenue stream that supports their operations. These funds are also an attractive estate gift option for your charity's donors.
- Give & Grant Funds are short-term funds (they are not invested). These funds support donors who wish to make a single large donation, then distribute to multiple charities over a short time horizon. While Give & Grant Funds may remain open over time, each new contribution must be distributed to charities within a short time frame.
- From time to time, we work with individuals and organizations who wish to create custom funds, including Impact Investing Funds that are created to support social finance goals, Impact Funds that allow charities to leverage our fundraising platform, and Program Services Funds that involve more complexity such as granting programs with committees. Please contact us to discuss how we might be able to work with you to develop a customized approach.
While each fund type has unique benefits and advantages, all our funds include:
- Advice and support in choosing the right fund type for you, your family or your organization
- Advice and support for identifying grant recipients
- A Deed of Gift (legal agreement) that sets out the roles and responsibilities of the Foundation and the donor
- Charitable tax receipts for eligible gifts into the fund
- An optional "fund page" in our online directory of Donor Advised Funds
- The option to enable online donations into your fund (from your supporters, family or friends)
- The option to make gifts of cash and securities, as well as other forms of donations
- Access to the "Advisor Portal" to view fund activity at any time
- Fund administration, periodic reporting and due diligence
A collaborative approach focused on community
Leveraging our experience, knowledge and deep connection to community, VCF's philanthropy team is available to help you make a difference with your grant recommendations. We'd be pleased to offer you advise and support to adopt community-centric approaches by identifying opportunities for you to use your fund to:
- Support local organizations that are Indigenous-led or Black-led
- Advance Truth & Reconciliation
- Contribute to the development of affordable community housing
- Provide critical support to local grassroots organizations, especially in the Downtown Eastside
- Address urgent or critical community needs, especially in the areas of social and climate justice, poverty reduction and financial inclusion
- Support organizations working at a systems-change level
We may also invite you to give with other fund advisors, so that collectively, grants are larger and more impactful.
An investment strategy focused on people and planet
The capital of our long-term funds (Donor Designated Funds, Donor Advised Funds and Agency Self-Sustaining Funds) is pooled and invested together for greater impact:
- Approximately 10% of the portfolio is invested directly, without sacrificing financial returns. These investments are mainly in the Affordable Community Housing Accelerator Fund, which supports the creation of climate-ready community-owned affordable rental housing by working with not-for-profit, co-operative and Indigenous organizations to fund affordable housing development projects.
- Approximately 90% of the capital is invested in socially responsible investments with Vancity Investment Management (VCIM). Socially responsible investments screen out harmful practices and industries, including fossil fuels. VCIM invests in responsible, progressive companies with competitive growth potential. Once a company is selected, it is actively monitored for its environmental, social and governance (ESG) progress. In areas where companies can do better, VCIM actively uses shareholder advocacy and resolution processes to encourage companies to continually improve their practices. Working with VCIM allows us to make a difference through our investments. You can read more about the difference that we make with VCIM through their impact stories and shareholder advocacy reports.
For more information, please contact:
Manager, Donor Relations