- What is the purpose of The United Church of Canada Foundation?
- What is the Foundation's relationship to the Mission and Service Fund?
- What is the relationship between the Foundation and the United Church?
- How does the Foundation invest the endowment funds?
- How does the Foundation make granting decisions?
The Foundation is the expert in managing the resources that will help fund the future of The United Church of Canada.
The Executive of the General Council of The United Church of Canada established the Foundation to manage the “Future Funds” of the church. Future funds are endowments and trusts created to support the church in various ways. For example, individuals have established endowment funds to support their congregations, the Mission & Service Fund, the United Church Archives, United Church retreat centres, and other United Church programs and related institutions. The Foundation holds these funds in perpetuity and provides annual grants to support whatever area of the work of the church the donor designated.
The Foundation has worked with its fund manager, Fiera Sceptre, to enable United Church congregations, presbyteries, conferences, and related institutions to invest in Fiera Sceptre’s Balanced Fund. The Balanced Fund has a very low management fee and a very good current and historical rate of return.
The Foundation also facilitates all gifts of publicly listed securities—such as stocks and mutual funds—for the United Church and for congregations that do not wish to set up their own brokerage accounts.
In addition to assisting with raising funds for the work of the church, the Foundation also oversees the granting of funds from endowments and trusts of the Foundation and United Church. It does this through the Seeds of Hope granting program, which is overseen by the Joint Grants Committee of The United Church of Canada and The United Church of Canada Foundation. The committee is composed of members of the Foundation’s board and of the Executive of the General Council of the United Church.
The Mission and Service (M&S) Fund provides the key support for the immediate regional, national, and global ministries of The United Church of Canada. Most gifts to the M&S Fund are spent in the year they are received to fund current needs. In other words, the M&S Fund represents the “Now” or current funds of The United Church of Canada.
Gifts to the Foundation's endowments are intended as long-term investments, to create reliable income for ministries year after year. Just as an individual or family divides income between current spending (rent or mortgage, food, transportation, clothing) and investment for future needs (retirement, the education of children, improved income in the future), members of the United Church can purposefully support the future of the church by contributing to a Foundation endowment fund, or by building a personal endowment to support their congregation and other valuable ministries within and beyond the church.
The Mission and Service Fund supports program priorities as set by the General Council and its Executive. Gifts through the United Church of Canada Foundation may be for a personal endowment or support any program of the church or a Canadian charity of the donor's choice.
Further, the Foundation established a Mission and Service Endowment Fund to accept gifts that will support the M&S Fund in perpetuity. Each year this endowment fund makes grants to augment the monies donated directly or through congregations to the M&S Fund.
The fundamental purpose of the Foundation is to support the work of the United Church in every way it can.
The law requires any foundation to be a separately incorporated body governed by an independent board of directors. The directors of The United Church of Canada Foundation include United Church members throughout Canada, as well as the Moderator and the General Secretary or their nominees.
The Foundation is a vehicle that dedicated United Church members can use both to create endowment funds for long-term support of the work of the church and to make immediate gifts of securities to their congregations, emergency appeals, the Mission and Service Fund, and other funds or special projects of the United Church.
The regional Financial Development Officers of the United Church or Foundation staff would be happy to speak with you about how the Foundation facilitates support for the work of the United Church.
The Foundation has adopted the socially responsible investing (SRI) policies of the United Church. We avoid companies that earn significant revenues from alcohol, weapons, tobacco, pornography, gaming, or unsafe products. We seek out companies that lead their sectors in adopting and enforcing an ethical code, treating their workers fairly, respecting and consulting with their host communities, and stewarding God's environment. Within these boundaries, we maintain a conservative investment strategy that maximizes return while minimizing volatility.
The Living Spirit Endowment Fund and the Mission Focus Funds are intended always and only to support the work of The United Church of Canada, including its General Council, conferences, presbyteries, congregations and missions, as well as its related institutions such as theological colleges, camps, and seniors' homes.
Organizations related to The United Church of Canada and registered as charities with the Canada Revenue Agency may apply for grants from these funds, for their own work in Canada or their work with global partners. Click here for the latest application information.
The Joint Grants Committee of The United Church of Canada and The United Church of Canada Foundation reviews applications and recommends granting decisions to the Foundation’s board in keeping with current granting guidelines for the Foundation. The Joint Grants Committee is also guided by the policies and overall directions of The United Church of Canada as expressed in the decisions of The General Council, and, for applications to the Mission Focus Funds, by the "Future Directions" document that inspired the relevant Fund's creation.
Grants from personal endowments are distributed according to the agreements between the donors and the Foundation’s board of directors.
The Foundation reports on its granting activities to each meeting of the General Council Executive and in the Foundation's annual report.
Click here for a list of grant recipients in the most recent calendar year.