About the Foundation

What exactly is a Community Foundation?

Community Foundations are one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic networks dedicated to building and strengthening communities in Canada.

Community Foundations:

  • pool the charitable gifts of many donors into permanent, income-earning endowment funds that benefit local communities,
  • award funding from those earnings to support a wide range of local initiatives — from health, education, and social services to arts and culture, the environment, and sports and recreation, and
  • provide leadership to their communities by identifying local issues and by bringing people together from all sectors to address those issues (see Vital Signs).

How does the Sunshine Coast Foundation operate?

The Foundation is an organization overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors, comprised of respected citizens from the Sunshine Coast and managed by a part-time Executive Director. The Board determines policy and provides direction to committees made up of Board members and other volunteer experts from the community. The skills, reputation, credibility, and experience of our Board ensures the successful operation of the Foundation. (See About Us.)

How is the Sunshine Coast Foundation structured?

The Foundation was incorporated under the British Columbia Society Act in 2003 (S0045744) and registered as a charity with the Canada Revenue Agency in the same year (charitable tax no. 89608 6105 RR0001) (See About Us.)

Donating to the Sunshine Coast Foundation

Where does the Foundation get its money (who gives)?

Individuals from all walks of life give many types of gifts, including cash, publicly-traded securities, gift by will, annuities, real estate, or art work. Donors can choose to support their community broadly or designate a favorite cause or charity. The Foundation provides many services to donors to help them make the most of their charitable gifts. Local businesses also make donations or provide sponsorships to demonstrate their support for the community. Charities place their endowment funds with the Foundation in order to benefit from greater returns on their investments. Most gifts are eligible for a receipt for income tax purposes. (See Ways of Giving).

Where does the money go?

Although we are very grateful for donations towards our operating costs, the Foundation is not the object of most donors’ generosity. Rather, we provide the means by which donors can fulfill their wishes to give back to their community. We pool the gifts that we receive, carefully invest them, and use the earnings from investments and other sources to provide funding to charities on the Sunshine Coast. Through our granting programs, the Foundation is committed to seeding, nurturing, supporting, and strengthening our community. The Foundation is able to provide funding only to not-for-profit organizations recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency as registered charities or qualified donees. Organizations without charitable status may be able to partner with a charity for the purpose of applying for a grant. See Information for Charity/Non-Charity Collaborators.

How can I give?

Your gift, no matter the size, can address the community issues you care most about or you can let the Foundation to decide where your gift can be best used to help the most vulnerable on the Sunshine Coast. You can either make a gift to an existing fund or establish your own named fund to honor your family or the memory of a family member. This is a great way to teach your children about giving back. Please contact us for more information on the types of named funds and which one(s) best suit your wishes and needs. (See Ways of Giving).

How are Funds managed?

The Foundation has entrusted two of Canada’s top investment managers with our endowed funds and both have delivered excellent long-term results. Consistent with our core beliefs, the Foundation ensures that both managers integrate Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors when conducting their investment analysis for our endowments. (See Why Give to Us.)

Why should I choose the Sunshine Coast Foundation for my charitable giving?

The Foundation’s investments are permanently endowed. This means that the original gift is never spent but is invested for growth so that the earnings are available to fund local charities forever. Sunshine Coast Foundation helps donors to place their gift where it will most meaningfully fulfill their giving desires.

The Sunshine Coast Foundation is flexible and provides many services to help donors realize their charitable objectives.  Donors are able to support specific fields of interest (e.g., the arts or sports) or specific organizations. Donors can have as much or as little involvement as they want in how funding is distributed.

The Sunshine Coast Foundation can provide you with the tax saving advantages of charitable contributions in a particular year even if you are not certain which charities you would like to support. We can accept your gift and issue a receipt in the current tax year and then assist you in choosing a charitable recipient the following year.

All donations received by the Foundation are pooled to generate a greater rate of return on investments.

The Sunshine Coast Foundation will be in existence indefinitely, monitoring the changing needs of the community and making grants where they can have the greatest benefit.

Granting to the Community

Who is eligible for grants from the Foundation?

Grants must directly benefit the citizens of the Sunshine Coast and are made only to not-for-profit organizations recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency as registered charities or qualified donees. Under special circumstances, a group that normally would not qualify for funding may arrange a partnering relationship with a registered charity. (See Information for Charity/Non-Charity Collaborators in the FAQs on the Responsive Grants page.)

What types of projects or activities are supported?

Browse through our Grant Recipients Archive to see some of the projects that have previously received funding from the Foundation.

Most of our grants historically have fallen within these fields of interest:

  • Arts, Culture, and Heritage
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health, Wellness, and Safety
  • Social Development
  • Sports and Recreation

However, this list is not closed and other causes will be considered, e.g., animal welfare.

The concept of ‘community capacity building’ is the cornerstone of our community grants program. We seek the strengthen the ability of the organizations that we support to serve the needs of the Sunshine Coast. See our granting guidelines in the FAQs under Responsive Grants for details.

Who or what is not supported?

Community Grants will not be made for:

  • academic research (i.e., research intended for publication only without application to current activities),
  • tours or travel outside the community,
  • scholarships or bursaries,
  • activities of religious organizations that serve primarily their membership and/or their direct religious purposes,
  • general endowments,
  • core operating and on-going costs not directly related to the project,
  • building campaigns,
  • operating or capital deficits, or
  • individuals.

Do I need other sources of funds?

The Sunshine Coast Foundation prefers not to be the sole funder. We recommend that you try to find other funding for up to 50% of your project. However, from time to time, we will provide full funding for a project when it is evident that there are no other avenues for funding and the project is seen by the Foundation to be high priority.

How does my organization apply for a grant?

The Sunshine Coast Foundation has a two-stage application process. The first stage is the submission of a ‘letter of intent’ to determine basic suitability. The second stage requires the submission of a more detailed formal grant application. The Foundation grants once a year, the process running from early February to the end of April. Letters of Intent and Grant Applications are submitted through an online portal. (See Apply for Funding.)

Are there post grant requirements?

Yes. The Foundation expects that grant recipients will acknowledge the Foundation’s support wherever possible and especially when communicating about the project we have supported. And within one year after receiving a grant or before applying for another grant, we require the completion of a final project report in a form that we will provide to you.

How is grant funding distributed?

If your organization is approved for a grant, we will require you to complete a grant agreement on line. Once you have done that, we will forward 80% of the grant amount. We will pay you the remaining 20% once you have submitted your final project report.

Community Leadership

How does the Sunshine Coast Foundation engage in community leadership?

The Sunshine Coast Foundation provides leadership in the community by identifying local issues and by bringing people together, often in partnership with other community organizations, to address those issues. Our Vital Signs program is the primary way we track and share indicators of community well-being. (See Vital Signs.)