Types of Funds
Contribute to an existing fund, or start a new one. The choice is yours.
Helping you support the causes that you are passionate about is what we do best. We have over 400 existing funds that you can contribute to, including our leadership funds targeting such issues as food security, literacy, the environment and more. If, instead, you prefer to set up a new fund, we can tailor it to your specific interests and needs.
Existing Funds You Can Contribute To
Contributions of any amount are gratefully accepted to any of our funds, including these leadership funds.
Vital Victoria Fund
The Vital Victoria Fund supports community applications in all areas of interest. Grant decisions, made annually by our Board of Directors, support the needs identified through our Victoria’s Vital Signs report. Included within the areas of interest, the current strategic priorities for the Vital Victoria Fund are Homelessness & Housing and Food Security.
Many donors choose to make their gifts to this fund, allowing the Foundation to proactively respond to critical issues in the community as they arise. Contributions may be made to the endowed capital of the Vital Victoria Fund to support the long-term capacity of our community grants program or to the Vital Victoria Pass-Through Fund to support the current year’s applications.
Food Security Fund
An estimated 50,000 people in Greater Victoria are food insecure, with higher rates among vulnerable populations such as seniors and children. The Food Security Fund was established in 2015 to improve regional food security through leadership activities and support for food access, food literacy, and local food production. It has helped provide fresh, healthy food for families through the Food Rescue project. This collaborative initiative recovers food from local grocery stores that would otherwise be wasted and distributes it to food banks, schools, and other agencies to reach the food insecure.
The Environment Fund supports environmental programs that benefit residents of the Capital Region and the Southern Gulf Islands to strengthen environmental organizations and encourage community-based efforts to address environmental concerns in the region.
Homelessness Prevention Fund
On the premise that it is more effective to prevent homelessness than it is to reconnect people with housing once they are in dire straits, the Homelessness Prevention Fund provides emergency assistance to individuals or families who are in financial need and at risk of losing their housing. With a maximum grant of $500, most recipients use the funds for emergency rent top-up while others may pay for damage deposits or utilities.
A love of reading led Harry and Mary Morrow of Victoria to leave a legacy for literacy. Through a generous bequest gift upon Harry’s death in 2014, the Literacy Fund was established to support initiatives in our region that strengthen literacy. The fund has supported the development of a literacy alliance, the production of a Strategy Roadmap to improve literacy in the region, and literacy programs for First Nations youth.
Neighbourhood Small Grants
Through the Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) program, small grants are available for people to lead a project in their neighbourhood, with granting decisions made by a committee comprising local neighbours. Goals of the NSG program are to connect and engage neighbours; share neighbours’ skills and knowledge; build a sense of belonging and connection; and respect and celebrate diversity. The Neighbourhood Small Grants Fund supports the implementation of the NSG program on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands as well as other models of grassroots grantmaking.
Smart & Caring Community Fund
The Smart & Caring Community Fund supports programs that are proactive, measurable, and responsive to findings from our local and national Vital Signs reports. Our current initiative focuses on the finding that Canada’s children are less active and at greater risk of childhood obesity than ever before. In partnership with the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, the ABCs of Physical Literacy program provides young children with the skills, confidence, and physical competence to engage in physical activities for life. Since 2012, more than 4,000 children and youth in the region have participated in the the ABCs of Physical Literacy program.
Vital Youth Program Fund
Our Vital Youth program provides students at ten high schools on southern Vancouver Island with hands-on experience in philanthropy and community development. The Victoria Foundation allocates each school group an annual grant of $2,500 to distribute to local charitable organizations of their choice and adds $500 to each school’s endowment fund to model the importance of legacy gifts. Since the program began in 2003, youth have recommended grants of over $260,000 to local charitable organizations.
Victoria Foundation Administration Fund
The Administration Fund supports leadership initiatives such as research for the Victoria’s Vital Signs® report, our online Community Knowledge Centre, and other projects that allow us to support and showcase charitable organizations in our community.
Hosted Organization Funds
Hosted Organization Funds are managed by the Victoria Foundation on behalf of charities that are seeking to create a stable source of permanent income. While a minimum donation – usually of $10,000 – is required to create a fund, donations of any amount are welcome to any established hosted organization fund.
Other Existing Funds
Using our CanadaHelps* portal, you may designate your gift by selecting a fund from the pull-down menu or writing a fund name in the message box. All donations over $3 will immediately receive a tax receipt. You may choose to make a one-time donation or monthly donations, and you can pay with VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Interac or through a PayPal account.
New funds you can create
If giving to an existing fund isn’t for you, we can start a new one that suits your specific needs. You can establish a fund in your name, anonymously or in the name of someone you’d like to memorialize. Support specific charities, causes or scholarships. It’s all about making the most of your wishes while making our community a better place.
Donor Advised Fund
Our most popular type of fund. A minimum donation of $10,000 is required to create this type of fund. Your donations are permanently invested, with a portion of the returns made available for granting to the Canadian charities of your choice each year. You also have options available to manage your fund after your passing, such as designating a successor fund advisor, or converting your fund into a Designated Fund. A donor advised fund is considered the most effective alternative to the creation of a private foundation.
Donor Designated Fund
Donors wishing to support specific charitable organizations in perpetuity will choose to create this type of fund. A minimum donation of $10,000 is required to create this type of fund. Your donations are permanently invested, with a portion of the returns granted to the Canadian charities of your choice. Unlike a Donor Advised Fund, your choice of which charities to support does not change from year to year. You can take comfort in the knowledge that, even after your passing, your support of specific charities will continue indefinitely.
Field of Interest Funds (discretionary)
This type of fund allows you to support an area of interest to you (e.g. youth) without having to designate a specific charity (e.g. Big Brothers/Big Sisters). A minimum donation of $10,000 is required to create this type of fund. Your donations are permanently invested, with a portion of the returns granted as part of our Community Granting program each year to local charities working in the field of your choice, such as the arts, education, health, community service or the environment.
Unlike our other funds which permanently invest your donation and only distribute a percentage of the returns as grants to charities, this fund will also utilize a portion of the capital on an annual basis for granting purposes. The amount of capital distributed each year will be determined according to a formula established when the fund is created. A minimum donation of $100,000 is required to create this type of fund, and grants from capital are made for at least a 10-year term. A Long-term Fund may be set up as a Donor Advised, Donor Designated, or Field of Interest fund.
Unlike our other funds which require a minimum donation to start, this type of fund allows a donor to make contributions over a period of time until the minimum amount of $10,000 required to start a permanent fund is reached. After that time, it can be set up as a Donor Advised, Donor Designated, or Field of Interest fund, and the fund can begin to make grants to Canadian charities.
This type of fund enables a donor to make a contribution and provide advice on the subsequent disbursement to charitable organizations within the following 12-month period.
Corporate Advised Fund
Socially responsible businesses will set up this type of fund to send a message to the community about their support and encourage philanthropy among their employees. See our section on giving for businesses for more information.
Hosted Organization Fund
These types of funds are managed by the Victoria Foundation on behalf of charities that are seeking to create a stable source of permanent income. The foundation accepts donations on behalf of these organizations. See our section on giving for charitable organizations for more information.
The Victoria Foundation typically does not charge for fund-related services, other than administrative and management fees on funds. We charge a minimal 0.75 per cent annual administration fee for all permanent, long-term and emerging funds where the fund is donor advised, donor designated, or for a hosted organization. Where the fund is discretionary (that is, fund distributions are managed by the Victoria Foundation), the current fee is 1.5%. For pass-through gifts, a fee of 1% on the value of the gift will be assessed, although this fee may be waived where the donor or the grantee organization has established a permanent fund with the foundation.
These fees allow us to care for your fund and help cover the costs of our operations. It is the goal of our Board of Directors to keep these fees as low as possible while providing the best philanthropic services to our fund holders. Fees are set by the Board of Directors and are subject to change from time to time.
Investment management fees are also paid to the managers of our Common Trust Fund (the entire endowment managed by the foundation). Due to the size of our fund holdings, these fees are significantly lower than what an individual or organization would typically pay for these types of services. We are currently paying 0.35 per cent for investment management fees.
Please see our Administrative Fee Policy for complete details.