Frequently Asked Questions

About OJCF

What is the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation?

The Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation is a registered charity under the Corporations Act of Ontario existing for the purpose of assisting donors with fulfilling their philanthropic objectives by providing the vehicle to contribute to the long term financial stability and support of the needs of the agencies which serve the Ottawa Jewish Community.

Can the Foundation help donors with planning their charitable giving?

Yes. The Foundation has professional staff members to help donors understand the various Giving Vehicles available on the market today and are able to help donors establish plans to fulfill their philanthropic goals.

Does the Foundation and its donors support only Jewish agencies?

No. Many agencies and organizations, both Jewish and non Jewish, local, across North America and in Israel receive funding from the OJCF. Disbursements are only made to registered charities. Over half of the disbursed income in past disbursements has been allocated to local Jewish agencies with 3% or less disbursed to non-sectarian agencies.

How is the Foundation managed?

The Foundation is run by dedicated volunteers from the Ottawa community assisted by paid professional staff. The Foundation Board of Directors consists of up to 10 elected members chosen by the members of the corporation annually at the Foundation Annual General Meeting.

Why should I establish a fund at the Foundation versus setting up my own private foundation?

The Foundation facilitates the set-up of personalized funds and has the expertise to enable donors to make the most of their charitable gifts. As such, the Foundation has:

  • a donation administration program to carefully handle all gifts
  • a Board of Directors to oversee the daily business activities and investment of the capital funds
  • professional staff members to assist donors with philanthropic giving
  • professionally managed investments, which are in accordance with our investment policy

What is an endowment fund?

An endowment fund is a vehicle to hold cash funds which are invested in fixed income and equity markets to generate income whereby a percentage of the income earned is allocated for philanthropic purposes. The purpose of an endowment fund is to create a legacy in support of charitable organizations for current and future generations.

Is the capital in my fund held in-perpetuity?

Ideally, the capital is invested and a portion of the income generated from the capital is allocated to beneficiary agencies. A “Deed of Gift” signed by the Foundation and the donor secures the fund as in-perpetuity.

What happens to the money in my fund?

The capital is invested in accordance with Foundation Investment Policy Statement and is monitored by a committee of the Foundation Board known as the Investment Committee.

What are the fees associated to my fund?

The administrative fee ranges from fifty basis points up to 1.5% depending on the capital size of the endowment fund. Our Admin Fee outlines the ranges.

Are there different types of endowment funds?

Yes. An endowment fund can be established as a “donor advised fund”, “undesignated fund” or for a “specific purpose”.


Donor advised Fund: Where an individual is selected as the fund advisor to provide instructions on which charitable agencies to disburse the available income annually.


Undesignated Fund: Where the Board of Directors of the Foundation makes the decision of where to allocate the available income.


Specific Purpose: A fund established in-perpetuity in support of a specific cause or agency (where the beneficiary agency does not change).

What is the minimum amount needed to establish an endowment fund?

The minimum amount to establish an endowment, family or memorial fund is $1,000.00 and $250.00 for a B’nai Mitzvah Fund. For more information on B’nai Mitzvah Funds, please contact Micah Garten, Director of Development, at at 613-798-4696 ext. 270.


Fund Allocations

Why is a Deed of Gift important?

A Deed of Gift summarizes details pertaining to the opening of a fund and records the intentions for the gift.

Who receives the distributions?

The selection of the agencies comes from instructions provided by fund advisors (for donor-advised funds) or by the OJCF Board (for undesignated funds).

How often are disbursements made from my fund?

Disbursements are made annually after the Board of Directors has approved the allocation amount. Cheques are mailed to beneficiary agencies in April.

How much money is disbursed each year and how is it decided?

The Board of Directors meet in February to review the year-end investment results and to approve by resolution the percentage to allocate. According to the Income Tax Act, 4% of the average capital is the minimum amount required to be distributed.

Are there limitations on the number of agencies I can support through my fund?

No, but generally one beneficiary is initially chosen when a fund is established and more beneficiaries are added as the fund capital grows.

How does the fund advisor provide allocation instructions?

A fund advisor may provide allocations changes in writing by mail, in person, fax or email. The deadline for providing modification to the instructions for the applicable year is October 31st.


For Donors

Will personal and financial information I share be treated confidentially?

Yes. The Foundation takes every measure to secure both personal and financial information of its donors in accordance with the Privacy Policy.

Who can donate to my fund and how?

Endowment funds are open-ended allowing for anyone to make further donations to the fund and to benefit from a charitable tax receipt for their gift. Charitable donations can be made online or by contacting the Tribute Card Coordinator, at or 613-798-4696 ext. 274. We accept all major credit cards.

Is there a minimum amount required to make a donation to a fund?

Any amount will be accepted as a donation to a fund. To send a tribute card the minimum donation is $18.

Will I get a tax receipt for my donation?

Contributions $10 or greater will be receipted in full.

Will I receive statements for my fund?

Yes. Fund Advisors receive annual Fund Activity Reports in the spring that summarize the activity in the fund for the past year. These include items such as the opening balance, aggregate donations, income gain/loss, management fee, disbursement amount and details and closing balance.


The Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Ottawa

Are the goals of the Foundation and of the Federation the same?

Foundation: The goal of the Foundation is to assist donors with fulfilling their philanthropic giving. In working with the donor, both the donor and the Foundation are working towards the betterment of the community for the people today and for generations to come.


Federation: The goal of the Federation is to serve as a communal organization to preserve and enrich Jewish life by planning for the evolving needs of the community, coordinate community action and represent the views of the community.


Both organizations work closely together to achieve their goals for the community’s benefit and do have different mandates they aim to achieve in reaching the common goal.

What’s the difference between the Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Ottawa with respect to fundraising?

Foundation: Holds and manages endowed funds and makes disbursements to beneficiary agencies based on a percentage of the available capital. The Foundation raises money through philanthropic vehicles such as bequests, life insurance, charitable remainder trusts, cash and non-cash donations, etc.


Federation: Raises money through an annual campaign and distributes all of the money raised through an allocations process conducted by the Allocations Committee.