Vancouver Foundation

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Vancouver Foundation
Founded incorporated 1943 (established by act of the Provincial legislature, 1950)
Founder Alice G. McKay
Focus Community foundation
Area served British Columbia
Method Donations and Grants
Key people Chair of Board of Directors, Gord MacDougall
Endowment Can$735 million
Employees 65
Slogan Mission Statement: to harness the gifts of energy, ideas, time, and money to make meaningful and lasting impacts in communities.
Website [1]

Vancouver Foundation is the largest of Canada's 180 community foundations and was founded in 1943.


Vancouver Foundation started in 1943 with one person. Alice MacKay had saved $1,000 from her secretarial job and wanted to help homeless women trapped in a cycle of poverty.

At the same time, local industrialist and philanthropist Whitford Julian VanDusen knew the potential of building a permanent endowment that could benefit many charitable activities. As Director of the Vancouver Welfare Federation (now the United Way of the Lower Mainland) and Chair of its Endowment Committee, he had studied models of community foundations for several years. By 1943, he had overseen the establishment and incorporation of Vancouver Foundation. However, at the time, it was nothing more than a legal entity with virtually no capital.

Inspired by MacKay's generosity, VanDusen added $10,000 to her endowment and encouraged nine friends to match his own gift. The nine other founding families were:

The $101,000 dollars has now grown into a major charitable force with an endowment of roughly $735 million.[1]


Vancouver Foundation administers 1,400 funds, worth approximately $735 million, on behalf of individuals, families, corporations and charities.

Each year they grant millions of dollars to a wide variety of programs and projects in areas ranging from arts and culture and education to environment, animal welfare, and children, youth and families.

Incorporation and registration[edit]

In 1950 the Foundation was incorporated by the Legislature of British Columbia in a Special Act. It is registered as a public Charity with Revenue Canada with charity number 119281640-RR0001.

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