An endowment fund is a great way for your company to establish itself as a community leader and enables your employees to play an active role in social responsibility.
Creating an endowment fund with the Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) helps to strengthen our community, but it also helps you build a lasting legacy. Not only do you provide much needed grants to causes that are important to you, but you also receive tax benefits, which you can learn about here.
Several companies have established endowment funds that have made a lasting impact in the community. In 1994, Ogilvie LLP opened an endowment fund to mark its 75th anniversary. Since then, the firm’s initial gift of $10,000 has grown to more than $550,000 and granted over $200,000 to more than 200 charities in Edmonton.
Ogilvie’s chair Ron Odynski says that opening an endowment fund was the best way to ensure the firm’s long history of community support continues. He also notes that involving staff in the granting process has created a benevolent spirit within the office that grows each year.
“We post the numbers in the lunchroom, showing how much is being donated and where,” Odynski says. “Part of that is for transparency, but part of it is to encourage people to think about what they’d like to support.”
As for new recruits, Ogilvie seeks out the best and brightest to join its team, but the young lawyers, “get the message loud and clear,” Odynski says. “If you’re going to be successful at Ogilvie, you need to be a participant in the community.”
Many people equate endowment funds with millions of dollars. In reality, it only takes a minimum of $10,000 before a fund can begin granting to causes and charities important to your company. Businesses can also take up to three years to reach that threshold.