2016 was a year of exciting projects and milestones for the Community Foundation of Ottawa, as we sought to make even more of a positive, systemic and sustainable difference in our community and beyond for generations to come. Among the year’s accomplishments was the culmination of our Refugees from Syria campaign conducted in collaboration with United Way, Refugee 613, and various other vital community partners. We were able to raise $1M+ to support the sponsorship and sectors as they geared up to welcome the more than 1,000 refugees who arrived in Ottawa over a matter of months. Just in time for our 30th birthday, we also achieved the pivotal milestone of granting out more than $100M since we were established in 1987 (read the Ottawa Citizen article). 2016 also saw the fruition of a variety of exciting strategic initiatives we helped to spearhead, including the creation of a Social Enterprise Platform to be housed at the new Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards (read the Ottawa Citizen article), and Ottawa’s first JUMP Math Art and Science of Math Education Conference that explored the most effective, evidence-based methods for strengthening numeracy – a true example of furthering systemic change (read the CBC story).
Here are just a few of the other highlights of 2016 that we’re pleased to share with you:
- Close to $15M was received in new donations, bringing the total assets under management to $124M;
- $7.8M was granted out to the community, bringing the Foundation’s total contribution to more than $100M since inception;
- Investment returns came in at 6.5% after fees;
- The Ottawa Insights community knowledge centre was developed and launched through the timed release of the site’s first seven theme areas, including: General Demographics; Basic Needs & Standard of Living; Economy & Employment; Health & Wellness; Environment & Sustainability; Education & Learning; and Arts & Culture. The final Community & Belonging theme was released in March 2017;
- The third annual New Leaf Community Challenge awarded a $125,000 grant to LiveWorkPlay in support of their Pie in the Sky initiative to tackle unemployment among local youth with intellectual disabilities;
- As part of our commitment to align with the findings and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we supported a project to create Indigenous-led school curriculum to revitalize culture and teach true Indigenous history in Ottawa schools;
- We started work on re-branding the Foundation, which will be unveiled in time to celebrate our 30th anniversary in 2017;
- We bid farewell to outgoing Board members Paul Hindo, Robin Madigan and Gordon Thiessen, and thanked them for their outstanding contributions to the CFO and our community.
Chair of the Board of Governors
President & CEO