Please find below a few of the most common questions asked about charitable giving and the Burlington Foundation.

What is an Endowment Fund?

Establishing an endowment fund is like opening an investment account for our community. Your contributions are permanently invested and a portion of the interest is distributed annually to local registered charities. You can choose how the money will be directed to the community. Or you can let our experts decide where it will do the most good.

What are the benefits of creating an endowment fund with the Burlington Foundation?

Your gift can be directed by you–and your family members–to build an endowment fund that will give forever. Working with the Foundation’s granting experts, you can be certain that your funds will go to charities that are making meaningful contributions to the Burlington community in areas that you are passionate about. 

Are there also tax advantages?

Yes. Establishing an endowed fund can help you to offset taxes during peak earning years, later in life or as part of your estate. Your professional advisor can provide you with advice on the potential tax advantages of an endowment fund, based on your personal financial planning objectives.

Can I give to a local charity through the Foundation?

Yes. Giving to a local charity that is personally meaningful is a great way to support the Burlington community. Visit our list of funds to discover the endowments that local charities have established with the Foundation. If you would like to give to a specific Burlington charity that isn’t on the list above, our team can help you establish a fund that reflects your personal interests and will last forever.

Can I support a charity that is based outside the City of Burlington? 

Yes. The Foundation can support you in giving grants to any registered Canadian charity that is in good standing with the Canada Revenue Agency.

At what age does charitable giving make the most sense?

Giving can make sense at any age, not just during the retirement years. Sometimes giving during high earning years is a wise financial choice. Based on your personal situation, a professional advisor can provide you with advice on the potential tax advantages of endowing a fund.

What is the minimum amount required to establish an endowed fund?

An endowment fund can be opened with a modest opening gift, with the intent to grow the fund to the required capital balance.

Other than cash donations, are there other ways I can give?

Gifts can be given in many forms including through life insurance and stocks, as well as by leaving a bequest in your will.

What tools does the Foundation provide to help grow my fund? 

Burlington Foundation staff will provide ideas, advice and support to help you start your fund and continue to grow your fund through third-party fundraising and other activities. Your fund will be listed on our fund list page and it is easy for people to donate by clicking on our Give Now button. 

When can my fund start granting to our community? 

Once the fund reaches a capital balance of $25,000 and is generating income, you can consider granting. A spending amount is calculated annually for each fund in accordance with the Foundation spending policy. The spending rate for last year was 3.5% of the capital. 

Is there a set timeframe within which my fund needs to reach $25,000? 

The sooner your fund reaches $25,000 and generates income, the sooner you will be able to grant. The Foundation can provide you with one-on-one support so you can start growing your fund through personal and third-party fundraising, as well as other initiatives. 

How involved can I be in the fund during my lifetime? 

You can be as involved as you wish—and determining the type of fund you wish to set up plays a big part in that involvement. As well, the Foundation’s staff team can direct the available earned income of your fund to a meaningful local charity, based upon areas of pressing need in our community.

Can my friends and family be involved?

Your friends and family can be involved during your lifetime and after. You can designate one or more people to participate in on-going fund decisions. By inspiring and rallying friends and family members to your cause during your lifetime, they often continue to build on the legacy you established with your fund.

What are the costs associated with setting up a fund with Burlington Foundation?

Based upon the capital in the fund, a modest fee is charged by Burlington Foundation to recover the administration and investment management. The annual management fee is currently 1.75% and can be modified at the discretion of the Board of Directors of the Foundation.

Does Burlington Foundation pool its funds? 

Yes. Working with our investment advisors, BNY Mellon Wealth Management, we work with several managers to pool all of our funds to maximize the potential for earned income. 

What is the Foundation’s asset mix?

In keeping with our Investment Policy, our current asset mix is 25% fixed income, 55% equity and 20% alternative investments.

Click here to learn more about our Investment Committee and to link to our Investment Policy Statement.


How much government funding do you receive?

None. Aside from occasional grants and support of our fundraising events, we do not receive any core funding from municipal, provincial or federal governments. 

Can I support Burlington Foundation itself? 

Yes. The Burlington Foundation is a charity that you can support in three ways:

Burlington Community Fund – gifts to the community fund help Burlington Foundation address pressing needs in the community through our Community Fund Granting Program

Burlington Community Foundation Impact Fund – a gift to this fund supports our operations so we can continue our mission

Mental Wellness Endowment Fund – a gift to this fund supports mental health initiatives in our community

Can I donate by credit card? 

Burlington Foundation graciously accepts donations by credit card, on-line through CanadaHelps as well as over the phone. A 3% credit card processing fee will be deducted from the total amount gifted to the recipient endowment fund from donations made over the phone and a 3.5% transaction fee will be deducted from the total amount gifted to the recipient endowment fund from donations by CanadaHelps directly. Donors will receive a tax receipt for the full value of their donation. For further information please contact 905-639-0744 x2.

Who can I contact to learn more about creating a fund with the Foundation?

We are here to help. Please contact us.

Can gifts of donations to endowed funds be withdrawn?

Fundholder and donor contributions provided to endowment funds held at a Community Foundation are permanently invested and a portion of the interest is distributed annually to local registered charities as advised by the fundholders. Gifts to an endowed fund are intended to support the community in perpetuity and are therefore irrevocable in nature.

Can I plan for my fund’s successors with a community foundation structure?

Absolutely. Burlington Foundation will document and follow the intent you specify for your fund, including your wishes for the involvement of future generations.

Can I establish a fund on behalf of my corporation?

Yes, the Foundation’s experts can provide guidance in creating a fund in your corporation’s name. A professional advisor can provide information about the specific tax advantages for your corporation. Third-party fundraising for an endowed corporate fund can also help build employee engagement.

Will Burlington Foundation manage a flow through donation to a charity on my behalf?

Yes. Burlington Foundation is pleased to facilitate a flow through donation on your behalf. Based on sector standards, we charge a modest management fee of 3% to do so.

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