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.