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Donors / Our Stories

Our Stories

Reaching Out



It’s a relationship that started with a simple hello.

In 2016, David Murray reached out to Niagara Community Foundation Executive Director Bryan Rose just to congratulate him on his appointment to the Foundation’s leadership role. But soon after, David and his wife Elizabeth Surtees established a fund in their name to benefit local health and education charities.

The Niagara-on-the-Lake couple were looking for someone to handle their annual donations after their Toronto-based fund manager started dropping hints they should take advantage of recent capital gains. He suggested they consider finding an institution to which they could contribute a capital donation, have their donation administered and nurtured by that institution, and annually direct where their funds be disbursed to assist community needs. Their fund manager pointed out that this approach enabled them to take advantage of the charitable donation tax credit gradually. The Niagara Community Foundation immediately came to mind.

So in 2017 the couple set up the MURRAY-SURTEES FUND with the NCF. A foundation-administered fund allows David and Elizabeth a say in how their donations are used but with much “less red tape” than relying on the fund manager to follow their directions. “It’s our policy,” Elizabeth says. “We like to support whomever we choose.”

Having a dedicated fund growing under the Foundation’s watch also means the couple can give whenever the need arises.

​“If, at any time, Bryan were to call us and say there was a special need for something, would you consider donating, we would probably say yes,” David says. “That’s the beauty of it.”

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