Fundraising Series

Following our Fundraising 101 workshop in the fall of 2022, we are pleased to announce the next three session within our Fundraising Series.

Mark your calendars for these engaging workshops, supporting and strengthening Niagara’s charitable sector.

April 19: Marketing & Communications

May 24: Case for Support

June 14: Capital Campaigns

Community Services Recovery Fund

United Way Niagara and the Niagara Community Foundation take part in the distribution of the Community Services Recovery Fund

Niagara, ON, January 3, 2023 – In November, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, announced that Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada, and United Way Centraide Canada have been selected to distribute funding to help a broad and diverse range of charities and non-profits adapt and modernize, so they can support pandemic recovery in communities across Canada.

The $400 million-dollar Community Services Recovery Fund was built to respond to the adaptation and modernization needs of charities and non-profits facing immediate and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund will accept applications from Community Service Organizations, which means non-profit organizations, Indigenous Governing Bodies or Registered Charities located in Canada who provide services to communities in Canada. As they continue to serve their communities, this unique funding opportunity aims to support Community Service Organizations to adapt, modernize, and plan for the future.

“United Way Niagara is grateful to the Government of Canada for this important investment in the community services sector. Now more than ever, charities and non-profits play a key role in addressing persistent and complex social problems faced by so many in our community, says Frances Hallworth, CEO of United Way Niagara. “I am continually impressed by the stamina and creativity in their response to the diverse and increasingly challenging needs they are faced with every day. We are proud to be able to support the distribution of funds locally.”

“Niagara Community Foundation – along with our Community Foundation siblings across the country in collaboration with United Way Canada and the Canadian Red Cross – is proud to be part of the Federal Government’s response in support of the charitable sector during these unprecedented times,” states NCF Executive Director Bryan Rose. “Here in Niagara, we know all too well the devastating impact COVID-19 has had. NCF and our United Way Niagara partners are eager to team up to deploy the funds our region has been allocated, effectively, efficiently and with expediency in order to support the amazing work being done on the ground by local Niagara charities serving the urgent needs of our community.”

United Way Niagara and the Niagara Community Foundation will be accepting funding applications for the Community Services Recovery Fund (CSRF) beginning on January 6, 2023.

Projects funded under the Community Services Recovery Fund will work within one of the Project Focus Areas below:

  • Investing in People: Funding will support one-time projects that focus on how organizations recruit, retain, engage and support their personnel, including staff, volunteers and boards of directors.
  • Investing in Systems and Processes: Funding will support one-time projects that invest in the systems and processes involved in creating the internal workings of an organization’s overall structure.
  • Investing in Program and Service Innovation and Redesign: Funding will support one-time projects primarily focused on program and service innovation and redesign using information gained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn about the program and the eligibility criteria please visit: https://communityservicesrecoveryfund.ca/about. The deadline for applications is February 21, 2023.

Applications will open on the Niagara Community Foundation website and United Way Niagara website on January 6, 2023.


Philanthropy in Our Communities

Giving Back Made Easy

This morning event was an engaging conversation with three professionals in the wealth management and financial planning sector. Hosted by NCF, we invited members of the Wainfleet, Port Colborne and Welland communities to join us for a light breakfast and learning opportunity. Together we discussed estate planning and planned giving and learned how giving back can be an easy process. You don’t have to chose between family and charity. You can do both!

Please enjoy the recording below.

Niagara Funders’ Alliance: Funders’ Round Table

The Niagara Funders’ Alliance is a partnership of private, public and corporate sector funders who work collaboratively for the well-being of the community by sharing knowledge and information related to community resources, needs, priorities and trends.

This annual event brings together funders from across Niagara to share about granting opportunities, priorities and deadlines. Have a chance to talk with the funders, learn about their grant programs and prepare for the 2023 season.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 | 8:30- noon | Meridian Community Centre
100 Meridian Way, Fonthill, ON L0S 1E6

Doors open at 8:30 a.m. | Program begins at 9:00 a.m. REGISTER BELOW.

Funders Include: 

Branscombe Family Foundation

To help assure the health and social well-being of Niagara’s people. Priority to poverty (food & housing) assistance and under privileged (mental & physical health).

Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities

Founded in 2005, Jumpstart helps kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to sport and recreation in an effort to provide inclusive play for kids of all abilities.

City of St. Catharines Cultural Investment Program (SCCIP)

Designed to support the creative sector and strengthen the overall cultural ecosystem in the City of St. Catharines. Available to not-for-profit arts organizations engaged in ongoing creation, production, presentation and dissemination activities related to the performing, visual, literary and media arts.

Meridian Credit Union

Investing in communities is a foundational part of our identity at Meridian. We believe that by using our financial expertise in combination with community-focused partnerships, we can effect meaningful change and help communities build financial resilience.

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport | Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility

Grants are generally open to incorporated non-profit organizations, First Nations and municipalities. Recent grants have focused on the following sectors: seniors/older adults, age-friendly and inclusive communities, accessibility, and tourism.

Niagara Casinos nc Community Giving Program

Aims to fund charitable organizations that support the immediate needs of our local community including shelter, food insecurity and mental health. We are committed to diversity funding throughout the Niagara region to promote a healthy and vibrant community for all.

Niagara Community Foundation

Supports registered charities and qualified donees in Niagara, looking to build their capacity or grow programs and services in arts, heritage, environment, social services, health, education and community development sectors.

Ontario Trillium Foundation

Offers a range of grants to support non-profit organizations. Current core grant programs include the Resilient Communities Fund (RCF) and Capital Fund.


Helping families find, connect and access recreational, cultural and sport programs in their community. Run in partnership between the YMCA of Niagara and the Region of Niagara, ProKids provides funding for eligible families.

United Way Niagara

Works with community partners across sectors to utilize our collective strength to help address the most pressing needs facing our local communities. Funding streams are currently under review.

Wise Guys Charity Fund

Our grants are designed to help fund capital projects/programs of organizations in Niagara. Our goal is to support those in need and aid in making Niagara a better place to be.

Meeting the Changing Needs of Niagara

NCF invests over $207,000 into Niagara charities through fall grant programs.

DECEMBER 15, 2022- The second and final installment of Niagara Community Foundation (NCF) grants has been released, investing over $207,000 into Niagara charities. The charitable sector continues to experience pressure from all sides as they navigate the impacts of the pandemic and NCF is helping to connect communities with resources through its Community and Mini grant programs.

NCF’s Community Grant program is the foundation’s most flexible grant program, offering supports for a wide variety of projects. The Mini Grant program provides quick and responsive funding to one-off events or small projects. This fall, through both funding streams, NCF is proud to fund projects that have tangible impact, like supporting Meals on Wheels in Port Colborne, to capital projects like installing a new roof at Horse Cents for Kids in Fenwick. Investments in the arts and culture sector, school boards and mental health supports, round out this year’s funding allotment.

For the full listing of grants received, please see the attached document.

  • Fifteen Community Grants, totaling $198,885;
    • Including five grants from the Niagara Casinos Endowment Fund totaling $36,739, supporting emergency food services and educational programming.
  • Twelve Mini Grants, totaling $8,800

“Seeing the variety of this year’s projects is an inspiration,” says Bryan Rose, NCF’s Executive Director. “Niagara’s charities are working hard to meet the changing needs of Niagara. We saw this demonstrated within the applications this year, and continue to be amazed at how our charity partners continue to adapt to the shifting landscape of the sector.”

NCF opened applications for the 2023 Environmental Grant program earlier this month. Charities and qualified donees are invited to apply before Monday, February 13th at noon. This granting round will be the first of six grant programs for 2023. For a listing of all application deadlines, please visit NCF’s website. www.niagaracommunityfoundation.org/charities/#grant

Established in 2000, Niagara Community Foundation has raised over $76 million and has granted in excess of $20 million to charities working in the arts, heritage, environment, social services, health, education and community development sectors. NCF connects donor to causes and communities to resources, turning intent into impact.



Attachment and Trauma Treatment Centre of Healing (ATTCH) Niagara$15,000Collect and process client standardized assessment data, client and community feedback to demonstrate the efficacy of trauma model and prepare presentation for agencies with mandate to fund mental health treatment.
Avanti Chamber Singers$5,500Support the performance of choral work “Considering Matthew Shepard” in April 2023 for the general public focusing on themes of social justice and inclusion.
Community Support Services of Niagara$15,000*Support the Age-Friendly Niagara Council (AFNC) business plan which focuses on AFNC’s priority of achieving sustainability.
Design For A New Tomorrow$10,365Connecting with domestic violence offenders shortly after their referral in order to provide support and create engagement and once completed Partner Assault Response (PAR) Program, supporting offenders/participants in living violence free lives.
Gillian’s Place$6,000Invest in front-line staff by providing them with the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).
Holy Trinity Church$7,500Support monthly Food and Hygiene Program.
Horse Cents for Kids$15,000Install new roof on the Horse Discovery Centre.
Lincoln Public Library$5,215Expand the Makerspace program by adding a new 3D printer and engage more youth in Lincoln and Pelham in STEM technology.
Links for Greener Learning$7,800*Support delivery of educational workshops at greenhouse to create awareness about food insecurity in the Niagara region and provide residents with knowledge and skills to grow their own food
Meals on Wheels Port Colborne$8,625*Support Safe at Home services, specifically, to low-income seniors who would have chosen to opt out of receiving services due to financial hardships.
Niagara Catholic District School Board$15,000Support Recess Project which is about reimagining and redesigning outdoor playspaces through schoolyard renovations at Niagara Catholic with the goal to support student well-being by enhancing recess experiences for all students.
Niagara Falls Art Gallery$10,000Increase accessibility to renown Kurelek archival materials by providing ingallery ipad and website access to the archival materials for public and researchers.
Niagara Pumphouse Visual Arts Centre$15,000Hire a Program Coordinator to rebuild live and virtual art programs (as guidelines allow) and recruit experienced instructors to revitalize programming devastated by COVID.
Niagara Region Emergency Management$4,000*Expand the capacity of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) by providing in house first aid/CPR training and disaster preparedness materials for vulnerable populations.
Project S.H.A.R.E. of Niagara Falls Inc.$9,000Increase  capacity to meet the increasing need for our services with necessary IT equipment, and furniture for additional program and meeting space.
St Catharines Public Library$9,920Develop a Gamerspace featuring powerful computers and technologies that will foster social, recreational and educational collaboration within the community, while promoting digital literacy.
Start2Finish$12,000*Support LIT Project that will give Indigenous children in Niagara consistant access to books/literacy enrichment oopportunities through an innovative “book vending machine” filled with Indigenous books, and through culturally-relevant after-school programming
Suitcase in Point Theatre Company$7,500In partnership with Future Black Female, deliver a creative workshop series to young Black Women in Niagara, to provide arts-based learning and promote positive mental health.
Thorold Public Library$12,800Digitize Thorold’s rich local history in order to make it accessible on one website for equal and easy community access.
Yellow Door Theatre Project$7,660Provide training, mentorship and work opportunities for youth exploring careers as Theatre Technicians to increase capacity of our performing arts programs to benefit family and youth in our region.
* funded by Niagara Casinos Endowment Fund


Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton/Niagara$750Purchasing BBQ and equipment to be used in activities outside our physical address to help with accessibility, promotion of diversity + inclusiveness by allowing more people to attend events.
City of Port Colborne$750Market and promote the newly formed Winter Wonderland – Bring on the Magic, to attract more visitors to downtown Port Colborne and the Main Street district.
Grimsby Auxiliary Marine Rescue Unit (GAMRU South Shore Search and Rescue$750Replace Search And Rescue Mannequin to be used in volunteer training.
I CAN Therapeutic Equestrian Riding Association of Niagara Inc.$750Revise and print marketing materials for program and services offered.
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 230$750Purchase technology and activity equipment to entice seniors to socialize and exercise in low-cost weekly activities.
Start Me Up Niagara (SMUN)$750Fund Uhaul rentals for 13 events held in in partnership with SMUN and the Niagara’s Mobile Closet’s goal is to mobilize 50 free shopping events across the Niagara serving low income and homeless residents.
The Welland Historical Museum$750Replace and update materials of the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit kits that are available for schools within Niagara to borrow to allow teachers to indigenize learning in all subjects for grades 3 and 5.
Town of Lincoln – Museum & Cultural Centre$750Install wheelchair accessible ramp to schoolhouse to enable children and adults facing physical challenges to enjoy the museum’s unique and enriching programming.
Town of Lincoln Concert Band$750Market and promote the band with the additional focus of band recruitment.
Welland Public Library$630Purchase books and reading equipment for the free Reading Buddies program that provides a fun and engaging learning environment by pairing trained teen volunteers with children to foster their literacy development.
West Lincoln Public Library$750In collaboration with other Niagara Public Libraries, host Canadian author Ivan E. Coyote for the One Book, One Niagara event.
YWCA Niagara Region$750Purchase and implement the use of walkie talkies in all shelters to help departments connect with each other in an efficient manner for daily use and in case of emergency.

NCF’s New Grant Portal

NCF is pleased to announce the launch of our new Granting Portal; making applying, receiving, and reporting on grants a streamlined and simple process. Through one dashboard, applicants can access all grant programs available through NCF, see archives of past grants, and have access to final reports and follow-up steps.

Beyond the simplicity for our grantees, this new portal allows our volunteer grant reviewers to access applications assigned to them with a transparent and templated process for evaluation. This ensures NCF is adhering to the highest grantmaking standards required to maintain our certification with Imagine Canada.

For all applicants, please follow these simple steps to start your application process today.


Follow this link and click on “Create New Account” to set up a username and password. In the registration process, you will be asked to provide your organization’s contact information and CRA number. This information will be used to track all your applications, approvals, and grant agreements.


Once logged in, you will have access to all available grants through NCF by clicking on the “Apply” tab at the top of your screen. The first step of the application process is completing a LOI. This process determines your eligibility to apply. The LOI does NOT replace your grant consult with JoAnne Krick; required to apply. Instead, this added step provides the needed due diligence to ensure NCF is granting to registered charities and/or qualified donees that meet our granting priorities.


After NCF approves your LOI, you will be given access through your dashboard to the full Grant Application. Click APPLY to begin. You can save your work and return to your application whenever convenient.


Within your dashboard, you will have access to all current, past and approved applications, as well as grant agreements and final reports. NCF’s new portal will make applying for grants a streamlined and straightforward process.


For further information, questions or concerns, contact JoAnne Krick, Director of Grants & Community Initiatives.

Ruth Todd: Feature Interview

October is Women’s History month in Canada, highlighting the contributions and noticeable impacts women have made throughout history. For the Niagara Community Foundation, our roots were established by some incredible women within Niagara who shared a passion for the community and had a vision for the legacy of Niagara to far extend past their reach. Liz Palmieri was the founding Executive Director of NCF in 2000 and it was thanks to her drive and commitment –  along with the many other women around her – that NCF built the solid foundation on which we stand today.

Throughout our 22 year history, NCF has been shaped and molded by many women, whether they were ambassadors, volunteers, staff or consultants. It is thanks to the women of Niagara that NCF is a leader within the philanthropic sector today. One of these women is Ruth Todd.

Ruth is a Partner with KPMG and has been a volunteer with NCF for just shy of a decade. Ruth was first appointed to the Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2015 and quickly joined the Investment Committee and became NCF’s Treasurer in 2016. In 2018, Ruth was appointed Vice Chair, taking the helm as Board Chair in 2019. In 2021 Ruth passed on the torch and became Past Chair. During her tenure on the Foundation’s Executive she has served as Chair of both the Governance and Nominating Committees. Her contributions are countless and her leadership second to none. We asked Ruth for a few reflections as she completes her tenure. Read her interview below.

How did you get involved with NCF?

I moved into the Niagara area to take over the lead for our KPMG office in St. Catharines in 2009. I had previously been involved on a casual basis helping as a volunteer with Hamilton Community Foundation, so I was very aware of community foundations and their mandate. One of my earliest meetings after moving to KPMG St. Catharines was a visit from Liz Palmieri letting us know about the foundation and the work they were doing. From there, Liz and I kept meeting each other at community events until that day when we seriously started chatting about me joining the foundation, and the rest is history!

October is Women’s History Month and NCF has a long legacy of women who have been formative in shaping the foundation. Tell me a bit about a few of them?

Such wonderful women have been involved with the foundation – to name a few that I would call friends and colleagues are Betty Lou Souter, Liz Palmieri, Madeline Woodhead and Jody Lycett not to mention the incredible team of women at NCF- JoAnne, Orla and Suzanne. All of these women demonstrated incredible commitment not only to the foundation but to the community of Niagara in various different ways. They helped me as role models with their generosity of time and energy, but also assisting the foundation without fail for whatever the call to action was. I am so grateful for these women, and others that have gone before me to help strengthen the communities across Niagara. I feel as though NCF might have been ahead of its time as there has always been a tremendous number of women on both the board and the team, which is not necessarily true of other community organizations.

In what ways do you see women playing a role in the world of philanthropy?

Women are critical to philanthropy but the truth is, so are men! But I would say that my observation is that women approach it slightly differently. Over my career, I have seen a shift in the number of women entrepreneurs who are looking to give back to their communities and they have often done so through their philanthropic efforts. They focus on community needs they are passionate about and usually, what I see, is that they are not willing to just send funds. Many that I have worked with also want to get involved, roll up their sleeves and help alongside their financial gifting. I would also say over my career I have seen many women of wealth gain financial literacy and want to be involved with how they are leaving a legacy, which is where an organization like NCF comes in – helping them find a way to support their passions for the long term.

You will be ending your term with NCF in 2023. What’s one piece of advice you would pass on to women entering into leadership roles within the sector?

I spoke yesterday to a group of new students at KPMG that are just at the start of their careers. One of them asked me about my volunteering and whether it has added to my ability to be a better professional. I had the opportunity to share with them that I started volunteering on boards when I was just in my second year at KPMG. I think I was likely 24 years old – but over the many years and across the many great organizations that I have had the privilege to work with, I have come away richer from my experience! I hoped the organizations I was supporting are also richer.

Throughout my years, I not only learned a great deal about the communities the organizations were serving, but also the demographic they were serving in a particular community. I have also made relationships with wonderful people that I would not have met otherwise. These relationships have been key to me in many ways over the years with me learning about their skills and their “day jobs” which in turn, expanded my view of the world. 

So, back to group of students, I told them to get involved! Make as many relationships around the tables you join as you can since the world is small and these connections will make you a better person but also a better professional. I would also say that no matter your walk in life, you have skills that a charity can benefit from. Find an organization that you are interested in and get involved to help them! We need as many hands as we can get to help in this era of growing needs in all corners of our communities.

Why more Canadians are leaving a gift to charity in their Wills

We are lucky. Supporters of NCF are thoughtful individuals, who share a concern for Niagara and are committed to building a better future.

Often people think about contributing to the causes they care about with monthly donations or volunteering time, but there is a growing number of people who are going one step further to leave a gift to charity in their Wills. These are ordinary Canadians who’ve realized they can make a powerful contribution that will last for generations to come, without taking away from the resources they or their families need.

This new mindset among Canadians of all ages has been triggered, to some extent, by the intensity of recent global events and the realization that it’s possible to do more just by giving in a different way.

In fact, if more Canadians left even a minuscule percentage of their estate to charity, the sum of all their efforts could represent as much as $40 billion to advance organizations like NCF.

When you look into it, you may be surprised to learn that a donation of as little as a 1% of your estate can result in a bigger contribution than you ever thought possible. You are still leaving 99% of your estate to support your loved ones, and you’re not using any of the money you need now.

The best part is that leaving a gift in your Will can be a very simple process. Here are a few suggestions that can help you take the next steps:

  1. Calculate your donation. You can determine how much you want to leave to charity, and how much you want your loved ones to receive, with a simple calculation. You can make that calculation using the Legacy Calculator tool developed by Will Power, a national public education campaign designed to inspire Canadians to think differently about charitable giving.
  • Discover the tax benefits. Did you know the Canadian government has created some of the best tax incentives in the world to encourage more giving to charity, especially from your estate? Just to cite an example, this article illustrates how a couple’s financial advisor helped them give big to charity and take advantage of the tax benefits, all while leaving a sizeable inheritance for their daughters.
  • Ask a financial advisor. Consulting a financial expert can help you maximize your donation and ensure it works in your favour. You can use Will Power’s Financial Advisor Finder to match with an expert in your region. There is also a handy guide available to start the conversation with your advisor here.
  • Find out how to keep the love going. Learn how a gift in your Will to NCF would be used to advance Niagara here. Or you can contact us to find out more.

Who would have thought of a Will as a powerful tool to make change in the world? But more and more Canadians are harnessing the power of their Wills to become larger-than-life philanthropists who continue to inspire others and make an impact on the future. Join the movement and keep the love going for what matters to you!

Golden Horseshoe Community Foundations join Truth and Reconciliation Week 2022

TORONTO – All nine community foundations of the Golden Horseshoe region are coming together to help fund Truth and Reconciliation Week 2022. This year, the educational program produced by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) will feature an in-person gathering held in Mississauga for 5,000 high school students across the region. A portion of the foundations’ contribution will support this new aspect of the week’s programming.

“Community foundations are proud to support the next generation in transforming relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. The journey towards Truth and Reconciliation started with the TRC but there is still work to be done before we see parity for all those living from coast to coast to coast. Educating our youth is a crucial piece of this work,” said Glenn Gumulka, CEO of the Community Foundation of Mississauga.

The NCTR welcomes the financial contributions of the nine community foundations and is pleased to call them a partner in this initiative. The community foundations serve Brampton and Caledon, Burlington, Halton North, Mississauga, Durham Region, Hamilton, Niagara, Oakville, and Toronto.

“Advancing reconciliation would not be possible without the participation of our communities,” said Stephanie Scott, Executive Director of the NCTR. “Like the NCTR, community foundations are at the forefront of the movement towards a just and sustainable future for all. This future would not be possible without Reconciliation. This partnership represents a step in the long journey towards the future we all aspire to.”

Truth and Reconciliation Week 2022 will take place from September 26-30, 2022 and have both virtual and live in-person components for all grade levels. Educators from across the country are encouraged to register to participate virtually in the free program. Teachers in the Golden Horseshoe region will have the opportunity to apply to attend Gidinawendimin – We are all related, the in-person component of the program with their high school students on September 29, 2022 in Mississauga, ON. More information on registration is available at: https://nctr.ca/gidinawendimin/.

For media inquiries, please contact media@emdashagency.ca.

A Garden Party with Big Impact

Good intentions, without action, remain just that- good intentions. But when you put your intentions into action, you get impact! And that’s exactly what two Niagara women did, taking a small garden party idea and growing it into a $57,000+ endowment fund with NCF, impacting women and girls across Niagara for 20 years!

In 2001, one year after Niagara Community Foundation (NCF) was founded, Karen Stearne was inspired by the idea of creating an endowment fund that could have an impact on the community in perpetuity; forever! But, there was only one problem- she didn’t have $25,000 to start a Field of Interest fund by herself. She could make a $250 donation and build it overtime, but Karen had bigger ideas.

Karen approached her friend, and then NCF Board Member, Ann Louise Branscombe, and together they created a vision. What could happen if they brought together twelve of their friends for a garden party and asked each of them to bring twelve of their friends? For $50 the friends would enjoy good food, wine, some live music and great company. How much money could that group raise and what impact could that make on the community they call home, directing funds to support the advancement of women and girls in Niagara?

After some planning, support from Niagara Parks and concerted effort from the core group of 12, the first “Sunday in the Parks” event was held, bringing together 160 people… but they didn’t stop there. Three years in a row, a garden party was held and over $30,000 was raised! Now this was enough to invest into a new fund, aptly named, “Sunday in the Parks, field of interest fund.”

In 2021, the fund celebrated its 20th anniversary and has now grown to over $57,000 and has supported over 15 different charities in Niagara. Since the Fund was created, grants have been awarded for workshops for women returning to the workforce, computer training for older women, and outreach programs for girls. And the Fund continues to grow! This is a true testament to what can happen when you turn your intention into impact.

NCF is in the business of endowment building. You don’t have to have sizable wealth to make an impact. Whether you are committed to building a fund over time, want to come together with others to pool resources, or contribute to an existing fund, NCF helps connect donors with causes and charities to resources. We help YOU turn your intention into impact.

Congratulations to Karen, Ann Louise and all the donors who helped create the Sunday in the Parks fund twenty years ago. Together, you have made a noticeable impact on Niagara.

To help celebrate the anniversary, consider donating to the Sunday in the Parks Fund here.

New look. Same foundation. Our rebrand story.

When Niagara Community Foundation was established as a millennium project in 2000, it began with two donations of $100,000 each. In its first round of grants, it proudly invested $9,500 into the community in the form of six community grants. In these early days, the Foundation had eager intentions to grow, to gain awareness but most of all, to meet the changing needs of the community, making an impact on the charitable sector here in Niagara.

In 21+ years, the foundation has grown to $76 million in assets, over 400 fundholders and grants over $2.5 million each year. This exceptional growth has shaped and changed Niagara and inturn, has shaped and changed us as an organization. But it’s not just about the numbers. Another shift has happened.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, NCF was gearing up for a year of celebration as we marked our 20th anniversary. However, as we all know, the tone of that year quickly shifted from jubilation to emergency response, supporting a charitable sector that was hit from all sides. 2020 did not go as planned but in many ways, it brought us back to the epicenter of who we are as an organization. We turned our intention into impact. We adapted our granting schedule, we tightened up our application process and we ensured that our donors were able to see their assets at work to meet the ever changing, and pressing needs of our community. It was through this crisis, that we were able to reflect on who we were as an organization, and were reminded of our role in Niagara. We are Niagara’s philanthropic partner, connecting donors to community and charities to resources. It’s what we do best and it is why we have served Niagara for the past 21+ years.

The pandemic shaped all of us in different ways, however for NCF, the crisis of the pandemic provided us with an opportunity to reflect and to evaluate who we are as an organization, how our community views us and who we want to be in this ever-changing world. This time of reflection led us to the decision to rebrand Niagara Community Foundation. 

NCF- Turning Intention into Impact.

The goal of this rebrand was twofold:  to build on the solid foundation of who we are as an organization and to propel us forwards into the future ahead. As a visual representation of our organization, we wanted our brand to reflect our core principles of leadership, integrity, trustworthiness, excellence and empowerment. We wanted viewers to gain a sense of familiarity with our acronym displayed in our primary colour palette of dark blue and green and yet be inspired by a modern, clean and bold brand. We chose a graphic style that is professional yet approachable, reflecting both our leadership within the sector and the accessibility that we strive for, representing the charitable sector in Niagara.

Though we have a new look, the core of who we are remains unwavering. This process of rebranding has given us the opportunity to solidify our understanding of who we are to Niagara and what role we continue to play in the philanthropic sector. With each step of the rebranding process, we came back to the intentions established in 2000, to meet the changing needs of our community, making a noticeable and sustainable impact on Niagara. This is what brought us together in the first place and what will remain central to our path moving forward. Niagara Community Foundation turns intention into impact.

MEDIA ADVISORY: New Look. Same Foundation.

After 21+ years in the community, Niagara Community Foundation is launching a new brand and visual identity for the organization, on June 8, 2022, positioning itself as Niagara’s philanthropic partner.

JUNE 8, 2022- Niagara Community Foundation (NCF) has grown and evolved over the last 21+ years and it was time to breathe some fresh air into the brand. Building on the established identity in Niagara, NCF rebranded the organization to reflect who they are and who they want to be. NCF has been Niagara’s philanthropic partner since 2000 and the new brand is a reflection of their strong reputation.  

NCF has grown from a burgeoning community foundation starting with two $100,000 donations to an established organization of over 400 fundholders, $76.5 million in assets, granting well over $2 million each year. “We are thrilled to have developed a new brand that reflects how our organization has grown and matured and we look forward to presenting it to Niagara,” says Bryan Rose, ED of NCF.

“The goal of this rebrand is twofold,” says Suzanne Veenstra, NCF’s new Marketing and Communications Coordinator. “To build on the solid foundation of who we are as an organization and to propel us forwards into the future ahead. As a visual representation of the organization, we wanted our brand to reflect our core identity while also inspiring our community and the philanthropic sector.”

The decision to rebrand came after an extensive communication and marketing audit, conducted in 2021 by long-time partner and friend of the Foundation, Armstrong Strategy Group (ASG). “We look forward to seeing NCF move from Niagara’s best kept secret to a household name,” says John Armstrong, President of ASG and NCF Ambassador.

The new brand is a bold change for NCF. According to Damian Goulbourne, Board Chair for NCF, “The decision to rebrand NCF was not made hastily, as our reputation in the community is our greatest asset. Though we may have a new look, the core of who we are remains unwavering as we continue to meet the ever changing needs of Niagara.”

NCF hired Niagara-based creative agency Hughes & Co. to help with the process. “It has been our privilege to work with NCF to help shepherd their rebranding process. NCF is a pillar of our community and their new brand reflects the leadership they bring not only to the non-profit sector, but to Niagara as a whole,” says Allie Hughes, CEO/Founder of H&C.

NCF’s new brand will be launched virtually on June 8th 2022 with the rollout of the organization’s new website. Fundholders, donors and community partners can expect to see the new brand implemented in the coming weeks and months. For more information about the branding process, or how to access the organizations new assets, please contact Suzanne Veenstra, Marketing & Communications Coordinator – communications@ncfnew.wpengine.com.

Established in 2000, Niagara Community Foundation has raised over $76 million and has granted in excess of $20 million to charities working in the arts, heritage, environment, social services, health, education and community development sectors. NCF connects donor to communities and charities to resources, turning intention into impact.