After Niagara Falls philanthropist Frank Branscombe first raised the idea for a community foundation, former Regional Chair Debbie Zimmerman brought together a group of leaders from across the region to discuss the formation of a community foundation as a millennium project of the Region. This meeting took place in March of 1999 and was attended by representatives from the four United Ways, hospital foundations, educational institutions, various charities, political leaders and the private sector. A Steering Committee was formed in September 1999 to lay the groundwork for the Niagara Community Foundation.
Through the efforts of the Committee, the Foundation was incorporated in April 2000 and received charitable status in June 2000. The initial Foundation Directors worked with the Steering Committee to hire the first Executive Director, Liz Palmieri, in October 2000. The Foundation was officially launched to the public on November 16, 2000 where the inaugural Board of Directors was elected.
The foundation’s charitable status can be confirmed on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website. Copies of our Charity Information Return (T3010) can be found here.
The Niagara Community Foundation is under the umbrella of Community Foundation's Canada. To learn more about the history of the community foundation movement in Canada, watch below: