About the Innisfil Community Foundation
With community at our core and trust as our default, we are investing in community-driven solutions that will help improve quality of life for everyone in Innisfil. Innisfil Community Foundation is here to ignite and inspire the community through financial grants and create partnerships that go far beyond funding.
We are excited to share that our first round of Social Solutions Grants opens April 1, 2020. Click here for criteria, eligibility and important dates.
Innisfil Community Foundation FAQ’s
- What is the Innisfil Community Foundation?
The Innisfil Community Foundation is a registered charity and a public foundation. The Foundation will work with organizations in the community to develop sustainable solutions for big picture systemic problems affecting our community such as poverty and hunger.
- How is the Innisfil Community Foundation different from the Inspiring Innisfil Grant program?
The Inspiring Innisfil Grant program provided small, one-time grants to community organizations to support the community, tourism, arts, culture and heritage, and the economy. These are important to our community and organizations will still be able to apply for these grants in a modified Inspiring Innisfil grant program (see #7 below). The Foundation will shine a light on some of the bigger social issues facing our community – issues such as poverty and hunger. The Foundation will take a trust-based philanthropy approach (see #11 below) to make larger grants and establish stronger relationships. Working hand-in-hand with the organizations that already have such a deep understanding of our community, the Foundation will elevate causes, build resources and drive changes at the root of local issues.
- Will the Foundation duplicate the work of other organizations in our community?
The Foundation will not duplicate the good work already being done by non-profit organizations in Innisfil – it will accelerate it. The Foundation will provide multi-year funding to help those organizations grow their operations and enhance their work.
- How will the Foundation decide what social issues to support?
The Foundation will take a community-based approach to identifying social issues to support that will make the greatest impact in our community. Looking to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) as a framework for which areas to focus on; the Foundation intends to concentrate on a handful of these internationally recognized goals. Extensive community outreach will help identify which are the most meaningful goals to focus on here in Innisfil.
- Who is eligible for a grant?
Under the Income Tax Act, the Innisfil Community Foundation can only make grants to qualified donees such as registered charities, registered Canadian amateur athletic associations and registered Canadian municipalities. (Click here for a complete list of qualified donees.)
- My organization is not a qualified donees? Will we be left out?
We know that many organizations that are doing good in our community are not qualified donees. To ensure they are not left out, the Foundation will use its network of community relationships to help form partnerships between qualified and non-qualified donees who are working to achieve similar objectives. Organizations may also be eligible to apply for a modified Inspiring Innisfil-style grants program (see #7 for more details).
- What is happening to the Inspiring Innisfil grants program?
While not the Foundation’s main focus, a modified Inspiring Innisfil- style grants program will be administered by the Innisfil Community Foundation. The Foundation will distribute up to $50,000 annually to organizations within the community, with grants capped at $5,000 per organization, per year.
- Who decides which organizations receive grants?
The Innisfil Community Foundation Board of Directors will be responsible for reviewing and approving grant applications. Community leaders Anne Kell, Howard Courtney and Sandra Rizzardo were appointed as the initial slate of directors by the 2014 – 2018 Town Council, due to their deep understanding of local issues and organizations. As the Foundation Board grows in the future, a Grants Committee may be developed to help guide granting decisions.
- Is the Innisfil Community Foundation an arm of the Town of Innisfil?
Innisfil Community Foundation is legally independent from the Town of Innisfil, but will achieve true success through a strong partnership with the Town.
- What is trust-based philanthropy?
Trust-based philanthropy is a concept that is gaining popularity in charitable foundations in the United States. The principles include:
• Multi-year funding that allows organizations to grow and adapt;
• Streamlined grant process that frees nonprofit staff to concentrate on their mission;
• Open, honest and transparent communication; and
• Establishing true partnerships with grantees.
This approach is also happening in Canada at the federal level. A report of the Special Senate Committee on the Charitable Sector, “Catalyst for Change: A Roadmap to a Stronger Charitable Sector” (June 2019) advises that short-term funding and complicated application and reporting requirements are an obstacle to charities. The report recommends that the Government of Canada, through the Treasury Board of Canada, ensure that grants and contribution agreements cover a minimum of two years, and that the level of information required for both application and reporting on these agreements be commensurate with the levels of funding.