about us: history
The Remarkable Generosity of Manitobans
Continuing our province's tradition of a caring and giving community.
The Winnipeg Foundation, Canada's first community foundation, was established in 1921, with a cheque for $100,000 from William Forbes Alloway. Alloway, a successful Winnipeg banker, saw the creation of the Foundation as a way for him to give back to his community.
Since then, thousands of people from all walks of life have followed in his footsteps with gifts of all sizes. The second gift made to the Foundation, an anonymous donation of three $5 gold coins, is symbolic of the Foundation's spirit – that any gift, no matter the size, can make a difference in the community.
Throughout the Foundation's history, it has played an important role in Winnipeg's community life. The generosity of our donors has resulted in funding for hundreds of projects and organizations that contribute to the success of our city and the well-being of its citizens.
Click on a decatde to see some of the notable events that occurred, or use the "Open All/Close All" links.
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Cumulative total grants made by the Foundation surpass $300 million.
The Foundation celebrates its 90th anniversary with the 90-Hour Giving Challenge.
The Nourishing Potential Fund is established at the Foundation to provide a consistent source of funding to child and youth nutrition programs in Winnipeg.
The Foundation launches EnviroGrants, helping charitable organizations take concrete steps toward more sustainable operations.
The Foundation creates the Legacy Circle, an opportunity for the Foundation to express appreciation to those who have planned a future gift to an endowed fund.
The Foundation and the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba holds its inaugural Philanthropy and Law symposium.
Cumulative total grants made by the Foundation surpass $200 million.
The Foundation commits $3 million over the next five years to downtown Winnipeg with its Downtown Green Spaces Strategy.
The Foundation launches On the Same Page, a province-wide reading initiative encouraging all Manitobans to read and talk about the same book at the same time.
The Foundation injects $675,000 over five years into child nutrition programs. The funding is provided through Moffat Family Fund and administered by Manitoba Council on Child Nutrition.
The Manitoba government partners with the province's community foundations to develop new bursary programs for rural students, committing $500,000 to be administered by the Foundation over five years.
The Foundation's Summer Internship Program begins, matching four Youth in Philanthropy participants with 8-week paid summer jobs at local registered charities.
The Foundation is the presenting sponsor of CancerCare Manitoba's 75th anniversary Bears on Broadway project.
The Foundation makes the largest grant in its history -- $6 million to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
The Literacy for Life Fund is established at the Foundation to support family literacy programs in Manitoba. The Fund is a partnership with Literacy Partners of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Public Library.
The Foundation launches the Centennial Neighbourhood Project, a multi-faceted five-year initiative to help revitalize one of Winnipeg's most challenged neighbourhoods.
The Foundation launches its website, www.wpgfdn.org.
The Foundation sees unprecedented growth in endowment funds, including a $10 million gift from Israel Asper and a $100 million gift from the Moffat family.
Cumulative total grants made by the Foundation surpass $100 million.
The Foundation begins Youth in Philanthropy, a program that gives high school students the opportunity to administer grants and explore the world of philanthropy.
A bronze bust of William Alloway is sculpted by Leo Mol in celebration of the Foundations 75th anniversary. Capital assets are now over $100 million dollars.
Grants totaling more than $2 million are paid out.
The Foundation's assets now total over $20 million.
The Act of the Foundation is revised to expand grant-making activity to include conservation of human, natural and heritage resources.
This year's grants exceed $1 million.
Total assets of the Foundation exceed $10 million.
The Canada Assistance Plan is put in place to provide for the operating budgets of many agencies, allowing The Winnipeg Foundation to concentrate on more experimental and innovative projects.
A one-time $15,000 grant is given to the fledgling United Way, formerly known as the Community Chest.
The Foundation begins establishing and managing the funds of any recognized agency in the field of welfare, education or culture. This enables other organizations to have designated trust funds managed by the Foundation with all profits going to the organization.
A large grant is granted to the Children's Hospital to help address the polio outbreak.
A Legislative amendment made April 1st, 1950, expands the scope of the Foundation. It can now "accept and administer gifts for educational and cultural purposes." Before this change, the Foundation could only administer grants for charitable uses.
$25,000 is granted to the Manitoba Flood Relief Fund, payable from a community emergency reserve account.
Surplus funds from each year for the next five years are put into the Community Emergency Reserve, which by October 1949 represents $100,000 in bonds.
All capital accounts awaiting investment are invested in Victory War Loans.
The Foundation receives its first gift of a life insurance policy.
The "In Memoriam Fund" was established for donors to make a gift to the Foundation in lieu of flowers as their tribute to family or friends who had died.
William Alloway leaves his estate to the Foundation following his death, and that of his wife, Elizabeth Alloway. Together, their estates totaled more than $2 million. This greatly expands the resources of the Foundation to support the community.
Though it had been originally decided that member organizations of the Community Chest would not receive operational support from the Foundation, the hardships brought on by recession in 1930 caused the Foundation to change its policy.
The first designated fund is established at the Foundation by Mr. A.R. McNichol, to benefit the Victorian Order of Nurses, Knowles Home for Boys and Margaret Scott Foundation.
"The Widow's Mite", an anonymous donation of three $5 gold coins, is made to the Foundation. This, only the second gift, comes to represent the value of every donation, no matter what the size.
The first grants are made -- $6,000 equally shared by the Margaret Scott Nursing Home, Knowles Home for Boys, Victorian Order of Nurses, Children's Hospital and the Children's Aid Society.
The Winnipeg Foundation is founded by William Forbes Alloway with a gift of $100,000.