Message from the Chair and CEO

As the Community Foundation of Ottawa marked its first 25 years of forever, 2012 was a time for celebration, commemoration and renewal. Together with the entire city, we celebrated our cumulative accomplishments over the last quarter century; commemorated the many community leaders and volunteers who brought us to this point in our history; and worked together to renew our plans and commitment towards an ever more prosperous future.

Here are just a few of the highlights of our milestone silver anniversary year:

  • The City of Ottawa named the week of November 19th Community Foundation of Ottawa Week at a special Mayor’s Breakfast and Mayor Jim Watson presented the Foundation with the Key to the City at our public celebration.
  • We celebrated our 25th anniversary with the entire community at a free, public event at the Ottawa Convention Centre hosted by CBC Ottawa News anchor Adrian Harewood and featuring entertainment by local and Foundation-funded performers. Community Foundations of Canada patron Governor General David Johnston gave the keynote address and presented six Caring Canadian Awards to National Capital Region recipients at our anniversary celebration. Recognizing citizens who have made significant, sustained, unpaid contributions to their community, awards were presented to several Community Foundation friends and donors, including our own Scott Wilson, Past Chair of the Board of Governors.
  • We became the first Canadian community foundation to be a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (UNPRI), joining 1,130 organizations from 50 countries around the world with total assets over $30 trillion. UNPRI is a global association of asset ownersand investment managers committed to investing responsibly.
  • The Foundation implemented an Impact Investing Strategy by partnering with the Community Forward Fund through an initial $1-million donor investment which helped provide loans to three local charitable organizations.
  • Investment Returns of 9.8% (9.4% after fees) were achieved in 2012, surpassing the benchmark of 8.0% set by our Investment Committee, which, along with donor generosity, allowed us to provide close to $7-million in grants to 494 charitable organizations.

The events of 2012 were a fitting tribute to 25 years of foundation-building in our community, as well as an auspicious launch of the next quarter century. Not only did we take the time to look back and appreciate our roots, but we used the opportunity to properly plan for the future by establishing a new three-year strategic plan for building on that work. We wish to thank all those who have contributed to our continued success, both past and present, including outgoing Board members, Scott Wilson, Patricia MacCallum-Lord and Dick Stewart, as well as our umbrella organization, Community Foundations of Canada, and all our treasured community partners.

Brian Toller,
Chair, Board of Governors
Barbara McInnes, CM
President & CEO