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Frequently Asked Questions

The Foundation is the expert in managing the resources that will help fund the future of The United Church of Canada. We provide service and support to all courts of the church and United Church related institutions and organizations.

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 funds to support their congregations, Mission & Service, the United Church Archives, United Church retreat centres, and other United Church programs and related institutions. The Foundation holds these funds for a period of 10 or more years including some that we hold in perpetuity. From these funds we provide annual grants to support whatever area of the work of the church the donor designated.

The Foundation works with the fund managers Canoe Financial, Genus Capital Management, and Fiera Capital to enable United Church congregations, Regional Councils, and related institutions to offer a variety of  investment options.  These organizations offer low management fees, competitive returns, and a values approach to investing.

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 makes grants for the work of the church and all its courts and related institutions. It does this through the Seeds of Hope granting program, which is overseen by the Joint Grants Committee. The Committee is composed of members and nominees of the Foundation’s board and of the Executive of the General Council of the United Church.

The Mission & Service of the church provides the key support for the immediate regional, national, and global ministries of The United Church of Canada based on the priorities set by the General Council and its Executive. Most gifts to Mission & Service are spent in the year they are received to fund current needs. In other words, Mission & Service represents the “now” or current funds of The United Church of Canada.

Gifts to the Foundation’s long term funds 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 fund, or by building a personal long term fund to support their congregation and other valuable ministries within and beyond the church.

Further, the Foundation established a Mission and Service Endowment Fund to accept gifts that will support Mission & Service in perpetuity. Each year this endowment fund makes grants to augment the monies donated directly or through congregations to the Mission & Service of the church.

The fundamental purpose of the Foundation is to support the work of the United Church and its courts 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 from across Canada, as well as the Moderator and the General Secretary or their nominees.

The Foundation helps dedicated United Church members create long-term support of the work of the church and make immediate gifts of securities to their congregations, emergency appeals, Mission & Service, and the funds or special projects of the United Church.

The regional Stewardship & Gift 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 a socially responsible investing (SRI) policy. 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 that are 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. Apply for funding now.

The Joint Grants Committee 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.

Grants from personal funds are distributed according to the agreements between the donors and the Foundation’s board of directors.

The Foundation reports on its granting activities in its promotional materials and on the website and annually informs the Executive of the General Council about grants made over the past year.