How Funds Work

Donors work with Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) to ensure their investments are set up for long-term growth. Endowment funds offer permanent investment of charitable gifts to provide ongoing support to organizations in the Edmonton community.

When you’re thinking about donating, it’s important to first think about what you’d like to accomplish. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Do you know what you would like to do to make your community a better place?
  • Would you like to name your fund in memory of a loved one or in honour of someone you admire?
  • How will you define your legacy and who in your family will be able to make decisions about your fund?

Our Donor Advisors will help you answer these questions and more. We specialize in matching your interests with organizations whose goals mirror your own. Grants can be made to any registered Canadian charity, which means you’re not limited to local causes. With one stop, you can provide ongoing support for your favourite causes in Edmonton, across Canada, and around the world. Whatever you want to accomplish, we’ll be happy to work with you to realize your vision for a better community.

Once you’ve defined the objective of your fund, we’ll draft an agreement that captures your intentions. This is a straightforward document that explains, in writing, the goal of your fund, how involved you would like to be in allocating money, and other relevant details. There is no obligation for you as the donor — we simply want to ensure we’ve documented your wishes correctly.

After the agreement is in place, it’s time to make your gift. People tend to equate endowment funds with millions of dollars. With ECF, you can create your endowment with $10,000. You can donate it all at once or take up to 10 years to reach the total amount. This flexibility allows people from a variety of financial backgrounds to create endowment funds. The money in a fund is not immediately granted. Instead, your gift is invested, and a percentage is disbursed to the charity of your choice.

Once your fund is ready to grant, your level of involvement going forward is your choice. You can add to your fund during your lifetime or make a gift later in your estate documents, like your will or life insurance — or a combination of both. You can stay active in the annual granting process or allow us to use our expertise of grants within the community.

We love hearing about great ideas for our community. To share your idea or simply for more information on how you can make a difference, contact one of our Donor Advisors.

Contact Us to Start a Fund