Community Foundations of Manitoba

The Thomas Sill Foundation has a special relationship with rural and northern Manitoba. In our core area of providing cash grants, those awards made in rural and northern Manitoba have represented a significant percentage of annual allocations.  This makes the Foundation rare among its peers.

Further evidence of our support for rural and northern Manitobans is Community Foundations of Manitoba.  Between 1993 and 2005 we awarded $1,934,286 in a challenge grant program to help establish or reinvigorate the following 19 foundations:

Robert Martens (second from left) and Dave Anderson (centre), both of the Thomas Sill Foundation, present a challenge grant award to Dennis Alvastad, Claudine Cordiero and Shannon Robinson, all of the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Regional Community Foundation.

Robert Martens (second from left) and Dave Anderson (centre), both of the Thomas Sill Foundation, present a challenge grant award to Dennis Alvastad, Claudine Cordiero and Shannon Robinson, all of the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Regional Community Foundation.

  • Morden Area Foundation
  • Thompson Community Foundation
  • Altona Community Foundation
  • Selkirk & District Community Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Portage & District
  • Dauphin & District Community Foundation
  • Winkler Community Foundation
  • Carman Area Foundation
  • Southwest Manitoba Regional Community Foundation
  • Westshore Community Foundation
  • Interlake Community Foundation
  • Brokenhead River Community Foundation
  • Beautiful Plains Community Foundation
  • Steinbach Community Foundation
  • Brandon Area Community Foundation
  • Northern Neighbours Foundation
  • Roblin District Community Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Swan Valley

Insofar as Manitoba has a special relationship with Northwestern Ontario, the Thomas Sill Foundation has also supported the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Regional Community Foundation.

These “partners in philanthropy” have provided their citizens with access to over $60 million in new endowment funds.  Income from the funds will advance the quality of life in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario in perpetuity.  These assets now far exceed those of the Thomas Sill Foundation, an amazing accomplishment by our partners since 1993.

A second challenge grant program was offered to all of Manitoba’s rural and northern community foundations in 2015.  Forty-nine of them accepted, and earned $1,095,987  from the Thomas Sill Foundation.  They also received $1,000 each to help administer their fundraising strategies, bringing our second phase funding to $1,144,987.

Our partners in this latest endeavours included community foundations in:

Altona  Headingley Pinawa
Beausejour  Holland Plum Coulee
Birtle  Interlake Portage
Boissevain  Kenora Reston
Brandon  Killarney Rivers
Carberry  Lac du Bonnet Roblin
Carman   Lundar Russell
Cartwright Miami St. Boniface
Dauphin  Minnedosa Selkirk
Elkhorn  Morden Shoal Lake
Flin Flon  Morris Souris
Gimli  Neepawa Southwest
Gladstone  MacGregor Swan River
Glenboro  Oak Lake Thompson
Grandview  Manitou Treherne
Hamiota  Pilot Mound Wawanesa
    Winkler

In 1993, the assets of the few rural and northern community foundations were, perhaps, $5 million.  Today they total almost $100 million.  The Thomas Sill Foundation is proud to have worked with so many fine communities, and to have shared their successes.  Further growth is inevitable, and income from these funds will enhance the residents’ quality of life in perpetuity. 

As part of its continuing support for all rural and northern community foundations, the Thomas Sill Foundation has helped fund national and provincial conferences. It has also assisted in the development of websites for those foundations expressing an interest.

As of 2015, the Thomas Sill Foundation is partnering with The Winnipeg Foundation to help fund the Administrative Grants Program for rural and remote community foundations.  Our grant of $125,000 is payable over 5 years.

Since 1993, our capital and administrative grants to this project total $3,304,273.

The annual gala of the Carmen Area Foundation.

The annual gala of the Carman Area Foundation.

Manitoba, with only 4% of Canada’s population, has 50 members of the Community Foundations of Canada.   This represents 25% of the membership.

In a 2015 report, the Rural Development Institute of Brandon University estimated that the annual direct and indirect economic impacts to rural and northern Manitoba derived from community foundation activity is almost $30 million.

Please call our office if your community would like to start a foundation.