Your Guide to Giving: Designated and Discretionary Funds

Similar to our donor advised fund where the capital of the donation is invested in permanence, our designated or discretionary funds provide ongoing, annual funding to support specifically named charitable organizations or caused-based areas in perpetuity.

With a designated fund, the grant recommendations are set out in the fund agreement from the outset with the annual distributable returns from the fund allocated to one or more registered charities. For example, if you wish to establish a scholarship fund, a designated fund could be established with one or more post-secondary institutions named as the grantees. We would negotiate the scholarship awards with the institutions and after the terms are in place, the annual grants would be made to each school. Examples of the scholarships we have established may be found on our website.

A discretionary fund is one where the fundholder sets the areas of interest or causes they wish to support such as arts and culture, education, health and wellness, environmental sustainability, or equality issues. The specific charities that receive the grants each year are determined within the discretion of the Foundation according to the assessment and adjudication processes in place for our community granting programs, currently through our Community Recovery Program. This allows the Foundation to respond to the most urgent needs and the emerging opportunities for projects, programs and services across a broad range of causes carried out by local charities. During these challenging times, our current discretionary funds provide flexible and general operating funds to support vital services and programs that contribute to the well-being of our community.

At this critical time, when charities across the Capital Regional District are digging deep and maximizing their capacity to be resilient – trusting that they know what they need and helping them access undesignated funding to do it is one of the best ways we can work together to strengthen their important work.

Designated and discretionary funds can be set up during a donor’s lifetime, or established through a gift in a Will or other estate planning vehicle, such as a direct designation of RRSP or RRIF plans or tax-free savings accounts.

To learn more about establishing a designated or discretionary fund at the Victoria Foundation, please contact