news & resources: frequently asked questions
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What is a community foundation?
A community foundation is a charitable organization that manages and invests gifts from individuals, families and other organizations. The interest earned on the gifts provides for the community, supporting local charities through grants. Community foundations enable donors from all walks of life to improve the communities they care about through charitable giving. There are more than 170 community foundations across Canada.
What is The Winnipeg Foundation?
The Winnipeg Foundation, Canada’s first community foundation (est. 1921), is a collection of endowment funds established by a wide range of donors including individuals, families, organizations, corporations and others. Funds are pooled and invested with the income distributed as grants to registered charitable organizations that primarily benefit the citizens of Winnipeg.
Scholarships & Bursaries – For Students
How do I apply for a scholarship/bursary from The Winnipeg Foundation?
The Foundation does not review applications nor decide who receives any of the awards. Students are selected by selection committees at schools, community organizations, or associations based on criteria set by the donor who established the award. In many cases, anyone who meets the criteria is automatically considered for the awards. In other cases, there is an application or nomination process.
High school students should consult with their guidance counsellor or student services staff about awards available to them.
Post-secondary students should consult the Awards and Financial Aid office at their college or university.
Other awards – such as sports scholarships, professional development support and music awards – are generally publicized by the sponsoring organization or association.
How do I claim my award?
Present your award letter to the Aid and Awards office at the post-secondary school where you are registered. The post-secondary school will apply the award amount towards your tuition and then invoice The Winnipeg Foundation. The amount will go directly into your student account at the post-secondary school. If you are having trouble, contact Pat Lilley, Student Awards Officer, at 204.944.9474 or email
I am going to school out of the country, how do I claim my award?
The Foundation will work with your post-secondary school on your behalf to arrange payment. In the event that payment cannot be processed this way, a cheque will be issued directly to you. In this case, you will need to provide the Foundation with proof of registration. Contact Pat Lilley, Student Awards Officer, at 204.944.9474 or email
to arrange payment.
I received an award but am not going to school this year, can I save my award for later?
Generally, you can request to defer your award for one year, but you must submit your request in writing to The Winnipeg Foundation. Some awards cannot be deferred so be sure to contact the Foundation to find out the conditions of your award. To defer your award or get more information, contact Pat Lilley, Student Awards Officer, at 204.944.9474 or email
I received an award but am not going to school full-time, can I still use it?
Most awards will be pro-rated based on the number of credit hours. This means you can still claim the award but not for the full amount. For example, if you are taking 60% of a full course load, you will receive 60% of the award amount. The remainder will not be carried forward. For more information, contact Pat Lilley, Student Awards Officer, at 204.944.9474 or email
Can I request money from The Winnipeg Foundation if I have a personal dire need?
The Foundation does not make grants or loans to individuals. As a community foundation, it can only provide grants to organizations that are registered charities.
Can I apply for a grant if my organization does not have a registered charity number?
Only registered charities are eligible for grants from the Foundation. Non-profit organizations who do not have a charitable registration number can be sponsored by a registered charity with which they have a formalized partnership through a written agreement, a history of collaboration, and a similar mission and vision. The application must be submitted by the registered charity, and must include Confirmation of Written Agreement Between a Registered Charity and a Non-Profit Organization
How often can I apply for a grant?
Organizations may submit a community grant application to the Foundation once in the calendar year. Please note:
- Organizations that have an outstanding multi-year commitment for the calendar year will be considered as having an application submitted for that year.
- In the case of a collaboration among a group of registered charities, one organization in the group may step forward as the applicant without risking the opportunity to apply for its own projects.
Organizations with special circumstances that may require a second application within the calendar year should contact the Foundation to discuss their situation with the Director of Community Grants at 204.944.9474 or email
Does The Winnipeg Foundation provide operating grants?
The Winnipeg Foundation does not accept applications for annual operating support or general operating support. For more information, please download Operating Grants for Agencies
(PDF). However, The Winnipeg Foundation does consider applications for organizational development and capacity building. This initiative is intended to assist organizations addressing longer term sustainability of their programs, and may include funding for staffing or short-term operating support. For more information about organizational development and capacity building, please visit Types of Community Grants
page. The organizational capacity building mandate also encourages endowment fund building as a means for organizations to become self-sustaining in the long term. Please visit our Agency Endowment Funds
page to learn more.
How much funding should I request?
There is no minimum or maximum amount that organizations can apply for, and every project is unique. However, it is helpful to know that the average grant from the Foundation is approximately $15,000, and 90% of the Foundation’s grants are less than $30,000.
Please note that if your grants request is $100,000 or greater (including multi-year projects where the total request is $100,000 or over) you will require an in-person pre-consultation with a member of the Foundation’s community grants staff. Pre-consultation appointments are available on a continual basis throughout the year and can be arranged by contacting our office at 204.944.9474 or email
My project will be finished before the Board is scheduled to make their decision. Is it still eligible for funding?
Grants are not made to projects or programs that will be completed before the grant decision takes place, and we cannot retroactively cover costs. Please review our grant application deadlines
to ensure you apply at the appropriate time.
What if I don’t submit all the required attachments?
Your application will not move forward until all required attachments have been received.
Our audited financial statements won’t be completed until after the application deadline – what should I do?
Submit the most recent audited financial statement that you have available. Make a note in your application that the more recent audited financial statements will be available soon. Once they are completed, you can forward them to the Foundation office.
Online Grant Application Questions
I have answered all the questions to the Eligibility Quiz, but cannot access the grant application. What should I do?
The eligibility quiz is designed to help you determine if your project meets the Grant Application Guidelines of the Foundation. If you have answered the questions, and are unable to access the application, it is likely that your project does not meet the requirements for funding. However, if you feel that your project would be eligible for funding under our guidelines, please discuss your proposal with a staff member by contacting our office at 204.944.9474 or email@example.com
How do I attach the required documents?
On the last page of the application you will be asked to attach a number of documents to complete your submission. Select from the drop down menu which attachment you will be uploading, and then click the "Browse" button. This will allow you to select a file on your computer to upload. Once you have selected the proper file, click the "Upload" button. (The process is similar to attaching a document to an email.)
What file formats will be accepted for attachments?
Files with "exe", "com", "vbs", or "bat" extensions cannot be uploaded. Most other file types are acceptable. The maximum size for all attachments combined is 50 MB. If your attachments are larger than 50 MB combined, please contact us at 204.944.9474 or firstname.lastname@example.org
What if I do not have the required attachments in electronic form? Can I make other arrangements to deliver them to you?
Grant applicants are asked to make every effort to provide all required attachments in electronic form. If you do not have the required documents in electronic form, please forward them by mail. Clearly mark all attachments with organization name, contact person and application date. Please send the attachments only; do not send the entire application.
How can I access my saved, in-progress application?
When you create an account you receive an automatic email with a link to the account log-in page. You may use that link to log-in and access your saved application, or you may follow this link: https://www.GrantRequest.com/SID_550
You will be asked to provide your email address and password. If you cannot remember your password, follow the prompts.
How do I know you have received my online grant application?
Once you click submit, a message will appear thanking you for your application.
You wil also receive an auto email confirming that your application has been successfully submitted. This email will include a summary of your grant application and a five digit tracking number. Please save this email for your records.
Within five business days of the grant application deadline, you will receive an email from the Community Grants Administrative Officer. This email will include your assigned grant number (eg. 20120123) and specific details of when the application will be considered by the Board of The Winnipeg Foundation.
If you have not received acknowledgement of your online grant application submission within five business days of the grant application deadline, please contact us at 204.944.9474 or email@example.com
How are community foundations different from commercial gift funds (such as the TD Waterhouse Private Giving Foundation, RBC DS Charitable Gift Program, etc.)?
The Winnipeg Foundation – a community foundation – offers a wider variety of fund options for a donor to choose from, ensuring they can have as much or as little involvement as they wish in the granting process. Also, The Winnipeg Foundation has local, professional staff available to provide personalized assistance in the areas of giving, community knowledge and expertise. For a detailed comparison, download Comparing Three Approaches to Giving
What are the differences between a establishing a fund at The Winnipeg Foundation and creating a private foundation?
Establishing a fund at The Winnipeg Foundation is simpler and more cost-effective than establishing a private foundation. The ongoing administration of a private foundation is typically more costly and time-consuming than having a fund at The Winnipeg Foundation, which handles all administrative requirements. For a detailed comparison, download Comparing Three Approaches to Giving
Does The Winnipeg Foundation offer services to professional advisors?
The Winnipeg Foundation works closely with all types of professional advisors, including lawyers, accountants and financial planners. We can help you design a charitable giving plan that is customized to meet your clients’ needs. We offer assistance with your research questions, sample language for estate plans and fund agreements. We can also make tailored presentations for you and your colleagues on giving strategies, and if requested, we are able to personally meet with you and your clients.
How do I get my clients started?
For some initial information on charitable gift option ideas and access to introductory information visit our Donor & Gift Services
or For Professional Advisors
sections. There are a wide range of resources available online that may help you begin. You can also contact The Winnipeg Foundation’s Donor Relations staff, by email
or call 944.9474, to discuss gift options and different fund types
that best fit your clients’ charitable interests and financial situation. A client may establish a named fund with an initial gift of just $2,500 or more.
How does The Winnipeg Foundation invest the assets of a charitable fund?
The Foundation works with several investment managers to direct its pooled consolidated trust. The investment objectives for this fund are to protect the purchasing power of contributed capital through capital appreciation and provide an income return to fund our charitable activities. For details of the operation of the trust fund, download 2010 Report on Investment Results
What are The Winnipeg Foundation’s fees?
The Foundation’s administrative fees are the same regardless of the type of fund that a donor establishes. The Winnipeg Foundation charges include a 0.5% fee for general administrative costs of the fund and a fee to cover the actual cost of the investment management fees which combined shall not to exceed 1.0%. There are no other charges or fees.
Will I have to pay a fee to work with you?
No. The Winnipeg Foundation’s staff welcomes the opportunity to discuss a custom-tailored charitable giving plan for your clients at no charge.
How can The Winnipeg Foundation fit into my clients’ estate plans?
The Foundation will work closely with you and your clients to help facilitate planned gifts of all types. Establishing an endowment fund to support the community – either by specifically identifying a charity or having the flexibility for a fund to be used where it may be needed most – is one of the most philanthropic acts an individual or family can consider in their estate plans. We have the expertise to assist with all aspects of charitable giving, including letters of intent around planned gifts.
Will The Winnipeg Foundation serve as an executor of a donor’s estate?
No. Foundation policy does not allow us to act as an executor. We recommend donors appoint a qualified and capable organization or individual to administer their estate. We can work with you and your clients to develop a letter of intent as to how such a planned gift will be used.
Will The Winnipeg Foundation serve as a trustee of charitable remainder trusts or an annuity?
No. Foundation policy does not allow for us to serve as a trustee in either the case of a charitable remainder trust or an annuity. We recommend donors appoint a trust company or an individual as trustee. In the case of an annuity, we would recommend working with an insurance company. We can work with you and your clients to develop a letter of intent as to how such a planned gift will be used.
Can my clients' families be involved in their charitable giving through The Winnipeg Foundation?
The Foundation strongly encourages family philanthropy. Our Director of Family Philanthropy is available to answer your questions and meet with you and your clients to help them through their philanthropic process. We can help you create a philanthropic plan tailored to your clients’ priorities and preference with no obligation to establish an endowment fund at the Foundation and there is no fee for this service. For more information, visit our Family Philanthropy
Is my information secure?
The Winnipeg Foundation values your privacy and uses a variety of security measures to protect your personal information. If you have any questions, please contact the Foundation at 204.944.9474 or by email
How will I get my tax receipt?
After your gift is processed your tax receipt will be sent to you by email. To ensure your e-receipt is delivered to your email address, add our email address – firstname.lastname@example.org – to your "Safe Senders" list.
How will my gift to The Winnipeg Foundation be recognized?
As a normal course of business, the Foundation publishes the names of its donors in its annual report (also available online – see our Publications
Donors are also welcome to make their gift anonymously. When you make your gift, just uncheck the box beside the statement “I give my permission for my name to be displayed on donor lists.”
What kind of correspondence can I expect from The Winnipeg Foundation?
As part of the Foundation’s commitment to be transparent, an annual report and two magazines (spring and fall) are sent to donors every year. Donors can also expect to receive E-veryday Philanthropy, the Foundation’s e-newsletter sent three times a year with information on recent projects, grants, special events and opportunities related to the Foundation.
Donors can choose not to receive these publications and emails. When you make your gift, just uncheck the box beside the statement “Please check this box if you would like to receive future correspondence.”