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Ottawa Community Foundation makes philanthropy easier than ever for busy professionals

Unique philanthropic offerings help build the 'soul' of the community

Restaurant owner and man pose in front of Indian restaurant
Restaurant owner and man pose in front of Indian restaurant

When Ravinder Tumber came to Ottawa, he had $40 in his pocket. Today, he’s the owner and president of Host India, a restaurant with two thriving locations in the city.

“Wherever I am today, it’s all due to the support of the community,” Tumber says. “Now that the business is established, I thought [I] should start giving back to the community.”

But it’s easier said than done — as a busy entrepreneur, Tumber struggled to keep on top of his donations. “I’m approached on a day-to-day basis [by] church groups, sports organizations, hospitals, community groups,” Tumber says.

And it doesn’t end there: even when he donated, Tumber would find himself swimming in admin tasks, managing more paperwork, and chasing down tax receipts.

Then, Tumber’s daughter told him about the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF): a public, charitable organization created by and for the people of Ottawa. After the first meeting with the OCF, he quickly set up the Tumber Family Fund.

A charity for charities

The OCF is the charity for charities that connects philanthropic-minded individuals, corporations, and organizations with all charitable causes. Through strategic philanthropy and granting, social infrastructure building, and community leadership, the OCF helps create positive, systemic, and sustainable impact. They offer an efficient, creative, diverse, and inclusive giving experience.

After setting up a donor-advised fund at the OCF, Tumber can now centralize all his giving and receive tax receipts from one source. He also has a dedicated fund manager that takes care of all the administrative details.

“It takes a lot of time off me, so that’s very helpful,” Tumber says. “I can spend that time with my business, with my kids. We can still actively support charitable causes and can pass this legacy of giving on to future generations of my family.”

“It’s a new level of giving back to the community, and I can focus on building new relationships and connections,” Tumber says.

Simple and efficient giving

The OCF is also a great alternative to setting up and managing a private foundation. That’s why Grant Jameson, a current OCF board member and a board member of the formerly-private Audette Foundation, got involved.

Created in the late 1970s by Louis Audette, the Audette Foundation supports adults living with physical disabilities. Audette founded it in memory of his late brother, Stuart Audette, who lived with cerebral palsy.

Jameson, who was Audette’s friend and legal counsel, says that Audette was dedicated to his brother for his whole life. On [Louis] Audette’s passing, the Audette estate funded the foundation. A board of directors was set up, consisting mainly of partners in Jameson’s firm.

Quickly, the board realized they’d run into some sustainability issues. “Who would the directors be when we’re gone?” Jameson says. “We all knew Mr. Audette and his dedication to his late brother. Who was going to carry on that legacy?”

That’s where the OCF came in. By transferring its assets to an OCF donor-advised fund, the Audette Foundation continues its mission while alleviating all administrative and charitable reporting burdens.

It’s one of the many ways the OCF works to make philanthropy inclusive and accessible. “The Audette Foundation continues to make an impact, but we no longer have to worry about being a Board of Directors,” Jameson says. “We don’t have to worry about making wise investments for the future; we take advantage of the professional asset management of OCF’s sophisticated investment committee. We know that Mr. Audette’s wishes will be carried on for many, many years to come.”

An easy and inclusive platform

Since 1987, the OCF has provided an easy and inclusive giving platform for people in the national capital region. The OCF is well-known for its governance and financial stewardship. The Nominating Committee, chaired by the Governor of the Bank of Canada, appoints the OCF’s Board of Directors.

Setting up a donor-advised fund and planning your charitable goals is easy because you can choose what, when and how you want to give.

“We work with you – individuals, families, or corporations for all charitable causes. The OCF is ready to support your philanthropic journey,” says Grace Xin, the vice-president of philanthropic services & community building at the OCF. “We invite anyone interested to visit our website and contact our friendly philanthropic services team to explore the OCF’s unique giving experience.”