Giving through the Community Foundation to the causes you care about is rewarding for a number of reasons. Your gift creates lasting change in the community and offers generous tax incentives, making it easier for you to give more for less. The Thunder Bay Community Foundation has a number of funds available for donors to consider. Please take some time to explore the useful information below to discover the most appropriate giving option for you. Gifts may be made to these funds by any interested contributor thereby allowing even modest contributions to be combined with others’ gifts for maximum charitable benefit.

Download our Types of Funds PDF to read at your convenience!



Jump to a sectionStart a Fund | Types of Funds | Ways to Give | Frequently Asked Questions


Start a Fund

Creating a fund (otherwise known as an endowment) is a great way to give back to your community, create a lasting legacy for you and your family and/or honour a loved one. The Thunder Bay Community Foundation gives individual donors, family foundations, businesses and charitable organizations a number of ways to support our community’s well-being. We specialize in building endowment funds, where the capital is not spent and the fund’s earnings support the ever-changing needs of Thunder Bay. We believe that by strengthening the gifts, assets and capacity of individuals and groups, we strengthen our community. We have a number of funds available for our donors to consider!

Types of Funds

Field of Interest Funds

Field of Interest Funds allow donors to identify the issues that are important to them in our community and the Foundation's grant-making team makes effective grants on behalf of the donor.

Donor Advised Funds

Donor Advised Funds give donors the chance to participate in the grant-making process. Working closely with the Foundation's staff and Board of Directors, donors (and their loved ones as desired) may identify and recommend specific charitable organizations they want to see benefit from their fund. The Donor Advised Fund is considered the easy and cost effective alternative to creating a Private Family Foundation. This fund appeals to existing foundations as they may transfer their assets to the Thunder Bay Community Foundation to achieve higher returns and reduce administrative costs while still remaining involved in allocating grants. Once opened, other donors may contribute to the fund. A Donor Advised Fund can be either endowed (only the interested is disbursed) or non-endowed (the entirety of the fund can be disbursed). 

Pictured: Shirley and Jim Symington with Albert Aiello of Boys and Girls Clubs of Thunder Bay.

Scholarships and Bursaries

A Scholarship or Bursary Fund can either be Field of Interest Fund or Donor Advised Fund. Scholarships and bursaries assists promising students, including those challenged by education costs, to pursue education and/or training. A Scholarship and/or Bursary Fund can be either endowed (only the interested is disbursed) or non-endowed (the entirety of the fund can be disbursed).

Pictured: Deborah Kraft, daughter of MO Nelson with the 2018 Shirley H. and Meredith O. Nelson Scholarship recipient Emily Kamphof of Westgate CVI.

Donor Designated Funds

Donor Designated Funds allow donors to name one of more charitable organizations to benefit from the income generated by the fund as listed in the agreement. This allows donors to choose their favorite charities and provide a lasting gift. A Donor Designated Fund can be either endowed (only the interested is disbursed) or non-endowed (the entirety of the fund can be disbursed).

General Fund

The Thunder Bay Community Foundation's General Fund is an endowed restricted fund made up of gifts of all sizes from individuals, corporations and foundations. Giving Donors create and/or donate to these funds to broaden the legacy of their gifts, allowing the Foundation to respond with the greatest flexibility to our community's needs and changing priorities. The Thunder Bay Community Foundation General Fund supports the Thunder Bay Community Foundation Grant, which in turn, supports existing programs and services and new and innovative programs or other charitable works in the District of Thunder Bay. Each year the Foundation awards grants to charitable organizations for projects in areas including, but not limited to: arts, heritage, youth, recreation, capital projects, alleviating human suffering, health and welfare and community innovation.

Agency Endowment Fund

Agencies (or donors on behalf of agencies) can establish an Agency Endowment Fund, which allows the charity to receive interest earned on the fund annually (the fund will receive 3.5% of the funds market value as long as the interest earned on the fund is greater than 5%). Donors can designate the charity in their Will and funds will go into this endowment in perpetuity. 

Legacy Gift

A legacy gift is a bequest in your Will. Any of the above funds can be established as a part of your estate plan. Existing funds may also be named.

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Ways to Give

Donate Now Through!


Using Canada Helps, online donations can be made through various payment methods. You can make a one-time gift or even setup a recurring donation to your favourite fund!


Gifts of cash (cheques, money order, e-Transfer, etc.) are a very straightforward way of making a gift to the Thunder Bay Community Foundation. This is an attractive form of gift for the donor who has cash in the form of a cheque readily available and wants to make an immediate donation. The Foundation is able to invest the donation immediately to generate funds to support charities.

Make cheques payable to:

Thunder Bay Community Foundation
312-101 North Syndicate Avenue
Thunder Bay, Ontario P7C 3V4

memo: purpose of the donation/fund name

Other Ways to Give:

  • Appreciated Securities
  • Insurance Policies
  • Charitable Bequest
  • Charitable Remainder Trust
  • Other Assets

Download our Ways to Give information sheet to see which option works best for you!

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What Happens to my Donations?

When we receive your donation, it is deposited to our investment account with Mawer. If the donation is cash/cheque, it is sent directly to our account with Mawer. If the donation is a stock transfer, the stocks are sent to our custodial account with Fidelity who then converts the stocks to cash and that cash is invested into our portfolio with Mawer. 

Managing investments for foundations and not-for-profits (source)

This podcast, proudly presented by Mawer, outlines the process to choosing an Investment Manager and firm for foundations and not-for-profits.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much do the funds disburse annually to the community?

Annually, funds disburse on average 3.5% of their market value (depending on interest earned). The remainder is added to the fund for growth.

How much does the Foundation charge annually to administer the fund?
Annually, the Foundation charges between 2% and 5% to administer the fund. Donors are given an annual statement.

Where are the administration funds spent annually?
Administration funds are used for marketing, office expenses and human resources. Please see our Financial Statements.

How much will my fund grow every year?
If your fund is pooled, it will grow using the following formula:

Interest Earned*
+ Donations for the Year
- Disbursement to the Community (Grants, Scholarships and Bursaries)
- Operating Expenses
= Fund Growth

*The amount of interest earned is based on the funds' weight in the overall portfolio held by the Foundation.

What happens throughout the year at the TBCF?

January - The Foundation prepares its financials from the year before for audit purposes.
February - The Board of Trustees approves the funds to be disbursed for the year and students who received scholarships and bursaries in the previous year receive their T4As for tax purposes. 
March - Scholarship and Bursary applications are made available.
April - The office is busy assisting local and district schools with Scholarship and Bursary applications.
May - Scholarship and Bursary applications are marked and winners are determined. The Annual General Meeting is held and is open to donors. The audited financial statements and annual report are released.
June - Fund holders are notified about their fund's status including the amount of interest earned, the amount deducted for administration and the amount available for disbursement (all based on the previous year’s earnings) specific to the type of fund they hold. Fund holders are notified through mail unless otherwise specified. The Scholarship and Bursary Reception is held to celebrate the winners. This event is open to the winners, their families, and the donors.
September - Grant applications are made available for charitable organizations. 
October - Grant applications are due back to the Foundation for marking.
November - The successful grant applications are chosen and the charities are notified. The Grant Reception is held on "Charity Wednesday" (the day after Giving Tuesday) to celebrate the winners. This event is open to the winners (up to two individuals from the organization) and the donors. Winners receive their cheques at this event.
December - Successful students who have submitted the necessary information for Scholarships and Bursaries receive their cheques. The financial year-end occurs for the Foundation.

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