Frequently Asked


A community foundation is a charitable organization that raises funds from individuals, families and businesses to support charitable activities in a specific geographic area. Community foundations work to identify and address local needs and opportunities by providing community investments to charitable organizations, offering programs that support and educate the community, and supporting local initiatives. They focus on creating long-term impact and sustainability through investments and endowments.

An endowment fund is a type of investment fund that is established by a donor to provide ongoing financial support to a charitable organization. The fund’s principal is invested, and the income generated from these investments is used to support the organization’s activities or programs. Endowments funds are typically managed with a long-term perspective to ensure their sustainability over time.

Responsibility for the Foundation’s investment portfolio is vested in the Board of Directors with the guidance of the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee works closely with professional staff and investment advisors to recommend policy, establish performance benchmarks and monitor the performance of the portfolio.

Donations to the WECF are generally used to establish one or more of several types of funds, any of which can bear the name of an individual, family, corporation or charitable cause; or the fund can be anonymous. Please see our donor pages to learn more about establishing a fund at the WECF.

Yes! When you give to the WECF, whether you’re establishing a fund or making a one-time or monthly gift, you are creating a legacy. Your donation is always held in perpetuity – ensuring your gift is eternal.

A minimum amount is required when establishing a fund and is set out in the terms of the fund’s written agreement with the donor. Different types of funds have different minimum contributions. A fund is usually established when it reaches a minimum amount between $15,000 and $25,000.

The process is very simple. It entails choosing a name for your fund, focusing your fund’s impact, completing a fund agreement and then making your gift to The WindsorEssex Community Foundation. The first step in this process is to contact us and begin the conversation!

Because we manage a number of funds, administrative and service fees are lower due to economies of scale. There is no tax on the capital gain of gifts of publicly-listed securities to the Foundation. Our services include fund investment and management, regular financial reporting to donors, handing all governmental reporting requirements, community knowledge, facilitating granting and ensuring accountability, acknowledging and receipting contributions, fund stewardship and audit services, planned giving and family philanthropy expertise. Simply put, we take care of all the administrative work so that donors can focus on their philanthropic goals.

The WECF works regularly with professional advisors to support and guide donors in the philanthropic process. We encourage you to include any of your advisors as you consider giving to the Foundation.

Yes, anonymous gifts are welcomed by the WECF; however, we cannot issue charitable tax receipts for anonymous donations. Donors who wish the receive a charitable tax receipt may choose not to have the details of their donation shared publicly, in which case the WECF will maintain the privacy and anonymity of the donor.

Donors are protected from unwanted solicitations – we do not share donor information with other organizations.

No, we are a resource for them. We hold and manage many of their endowment funds and make grants to them. We link donors with a wide range of community organizations and encourage gifts to all kinds of causes and charities. We work collaboratively with other funders and grantmakers to help serve the needs of the whole community.

Both are important resources to the community. The United Way raises and distributes money yearly through an annual campaign, while a community foundation distributes a portion of its annual investment returns from permanent funds endowed in perpetuity. While the United Way generally focuses it’s funding on health and human services our focus broadly includes a full range of community interests such as the environment and arts, culture and heritage.

Cash, Appreciated securities, Bequests, Real Estate, Life insurance, and Charitable remainder trusts are all acceptable.

According to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) a Community Foundation can only provide grants to Registered Charities, Registered Amateur Athletic Associations and Municipalities. Non-profits wishing to apply for a grant will need to secure an intermediary organization that meets this criteria. Funds would then be paid out to the intermediary, ear-marked for the non-profit, and the intermediary would forward the funds on to the non-profit. There are further criteria which the intermediary will need to meet. Please contact us [link to contact page] discuss this further.

Religious organizations are welcome to apply for grant funding for projects which are non-sectarian in nature, are open to the general public and will make a positive impact upon the greater community. We do not fund religious, sectarian or political activities.