From the Victoria Foundation’s founding with a $20 donation in 1936, the organization today grants nearly $2 million dollars per month to a wide variety of local charities.

The power of $20: Grant creates a lasting legacy

Back in 1936, from within the depths of the Depression, the Victoria Foundation was established with a $20 gift by Fannie Gadsden, whose son Burges founded the organization from a soup kitchen on Pandora Avenue.

Today, that same $20 remains part of the Foundation’s capital, now more than $300 million. “Connecting people who care with causes that matter” remains as important in 2019 as it was then, allowing the Foundation to invest in people, projects and non-profit organizations that make our communities stronger – now and for the long-term.

That history also underlines the importance of donations of all sizes. While a $200-million grant to McGill University made headlines earlier this month – and the Victoria Foundation certainly benefits from some significant bequests – smaller donations work equally hard to improve this community and the lives of the people who live here.

Here’s how:

The second oldest of Canada’s 191 community foundations, the Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts of all sizes to create permanent, income-earning funds that support hundreds of local charities each year. The funds remain with the Foundation in perpetuity, with grants distributed from the investment income.

In fact, the Foundation today grants nearly $2 million dollars per month, amounting to more than $222 million to date!

“Our donors appreciate the flexibility we offer. They choose when and how much they’d like to donate, when they’d like to start granting and where they’d like their donation to go,” explains Sandra Richardson, Victoria Foundation CEO.

1. Consider when and where you’d like to contribute.

  • Donate immediately to an existing fund, including the Vital Victoria Fund.
  • With a minimum $10,000 donation, set up a new endowment fund and begin granting immediately.
  • Set up a new endowment, but contribute funds over time until you have enough to begin granting.
  • Give later through your estate, setting up everything now to ensure your wishes will be met.

2. Choose how much – or how little – you’d like to be involved in granting. Some have a specific area or charity in mind, while others let the Foundation direct grants based on deep connections with Victoria’s non-profit community forged through the Vital Signs community check-up and annual granting.

  • Set up a Donor-Advised Fund so you can make grants to any registered Canadian charity; you can change your wishes any time.
  • Contribute to an existing Designated Fund, or create a new one so your chosen charities receive grants in perpetuity.
  • Contribute to an existing Leadership Fund, targeting such issues as food security, literacy, the environment and more.

3. Decide what and how you want to donate: A direct donation today via cash, cheque or credit card; donating publicly listed securities, eliminating the tax on capital gains; or naming the Foundation as a beneficiary of RRSPs, life insurance or your will. Regardless of how you donate, you can have a say in where your donation goes.

To learn more, visit victoriafoundation.bc.ca or call 250-381-5532.

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In 1936, the Victoria Foundation was founded by Burges Gadsden from the Sunshine Inn soup kitchen on Pandora Avenue.

Donors appreciate the flexibility the Victoria Foundation offers, including the ability to choose when and how much they’d like to donate, when they’d like to start granting and what they’d like their donation to support, says Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson.

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