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Winnipeg Foundation record-breaking 2021 $84.9 million to approximately 1,100 charities

Responsive and reliable community support is possible because of generous donors.
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2021 was a great year for Winnipeg Foundation donations.

Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. For immediate release – In a year when we have all been deeply affected by the pandemic, The Winnipeg Foundation is grateful to have been able to support the community with $84.9 million distributed to approximately 1,100 charities working in all Cause areas in our community. This is the most distributed, to the greatest number of charities, in The Foundation’s 100-year history.

The Foundation’s work is only possible because of generous donors. Despite living through the uncertainty of COVID-19, last year Manitobans yet again demonstrated why we are known as the most generous province. In 2021, The Foundation received a record 9,613 contributions totaling $189.8 million.

“The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives and the repercussions will be long lasting. However, we are never helpless. We can always rise to the challenges in our community,” says Sky Bridges, CEO of The Winnipeg Foundation. 

Charities deliver valuable programming that builds community and supports us all. The financial impacts of the pandemic have been especially challenging for charities, and so The Foundation is incredibly proud to have been able to deliver responsive and reliable support to our charitable sector. Between March 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021, The Foundation issued 749 COVID-related grants totaling $21,065,620.

During the pandemic, The Foundation’s grantmaking adapted as circumstances evolved. It continued and heightened its practices of trust-based philanthropy, which includes engaging and listening to community organizations to understand their needs, being flexible with funding and reporting, and providing proactive and/or unrestricted funding. The Foundation also applied an equity lens to its work; acknowledging there are systemic barriers faced by Indigenous communities, Black communities, People of Colour, the 2SLGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities.

“The Foundation is a testimony to what we can achieve when we work together,” says Doneta Brotchie, outgoing board chair of The Winnipeg Foundation. “2021 marked The Winnipeg Foundation’s 100th birthday, and we are proud to be the first community foundation in Canada. We celebrated our centennial with a variety of collaborations and activities.” Head to wpgfdn.org/celebrating-our-centennial for more.

While the ethos of service leadership is ingrained in The Winnipeg Foundation’s approach to supporting community, it is being reflected on with new vigour as it enters its second century.

“The Foundation is working with stakeholders and the community to ensure we are helping to create a community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive,” says Tom Bryk, incoming board chair of The Winnipeg Foundation. “We acknowledge this work requires an understanding of both power structures and of how institutions may inadvertently perpetuate inequities. We are committed to asking, listening and learning from our community as we build our best path forward. We also understand this requires reflection on both the individual and institutional level.”

Gifts to The Foundation are pooled and invested in endowment funds, and a portion of the interest is granted back to the community each year. It is this endowment that allows The Foundation to provide responsive and reliable community support. The Foundation’s endowment, which is made up of thousands of individual funds, totaled $1.748 billion at fiscal year-end 2021

To view The Foundation’s audited financial statements, and read its 2021 Annual Highlights document, head to wpgfdn.org/publications