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 does not have a fund with us, our team can help you build 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?

A minimum of $2,500 is required to create an endowed fund with the Foundation.

Other than cash, 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. And, you can donate directly to many of our existing funds.

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 benchmark 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% 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.

Are there 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.

Does Burlington Foundation pool its funds? 

Yes. Our professionally managed pool–consisting of more than 82 funds–currently totals approximately $11 million dollars. Working with several investment management firms, the Foundation pools all funds to maximize the potential for earned income. Read more about how we invest funds here. 

Overall, how is the pool of funds managed by the Foundation performing?

The goal of the Foundation’s Investment Policy is to optimize total returns and maximize distributions, while at the same time ensuring the protection of capital against inflation.

Who are your investment managers?

The Foundation employs several investment management firms to manage the more than 82 funds in our care, including Jarislowsky Fraser Limited and Connor, Clark and Lunn Private Capital Limited.

What is the Foundation’s asset mix?

In keeping with our Investment Policy, our current asset mix is 44% fixed income and 56%


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. 

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:

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

Burlington Foundation 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

May 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 through CanadaHelps. Donors will receive a tax receipt for the full value of their donation. For further information please contact 905 639 0744 x 221.

Who can I turn to for help in creating a fund with the Foundation?

Please contact us:

Laura Pizzacalla, Manager, Donor and Fund Management

905 639 0744×221

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