How the Foundation’s partnership with the Community Forward Fund
is changing the funding landscape for local charities and non-profits.

Nov. 14, 2013 (Ottawa, ON) – Since the Ottawa Community Foundation invested its first $1 million in the Community Forward Fund (CFF) in 2012, more shovels can be heard hitting the ground and a tide of change can be felt around town as local organizations begin tapping into this new source of capital and bridge financing. In the last year alone, five new projects have gotten underway, including an affordable housing complex on Montreal Road, Ottawa’s first Funeral Co-op, and campaign growth and expansion work at local conservation champion “One Change Foundation.”

“We’re so pleased with the quick and enthusiastic uptake of this program by both our donors and the local community,” says Barbara McInnes, President & CEO of the Ottawa Community Foundation. “Since investing just over a million dollars of donor-provided funds in the Community Forward Fund, more than that amount has been given out in financing to non-profit organizations, and the CFF has already full received repayment of one of the loans.”

In 2012, organizations supported through the fund  included 25One Community (formerly Under One Roof), a collaborative workspace in downtown Ottawa that brings together diverse organizations and individuals to “share, grow and inspire”; Ottawa Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO), which supports the settlement and integration of new Canadians in Ottawa; and the OCISO Non-Profit Housing Corporation, an offshoot organization that has been building and managing affordable housing projects for new immigrant residents in Ottawa since 1991.

“The partnership with CFF is really about providing local organizations with the wherewithal to grow, build and expand on their inherent strengths through financing opportunities they might not otherwise be able to access,” says Brian Toller, Chair of the Ottawa Community Foundation’s Board of Governors. “Through our partnership with the Community Forward Fund, we’re able to provide this complementary method of supporting local initiatives – along with our usual grant-making activities – to create both a financial return and social benefit to the entire community.”

“The Ottawa Community Foundation is a pioneer in impact investing, paving the way and serving as a role model for many others. Their innovation is supporting the nonprofit and charitable sector in Ottawa in a very strong and bold way,” states Derek Ballantyne, CEO of the Community Forward Fund. “The loans are supporting excellent initiatives such as affordable housing, social services and energy conservation.”

Most recently, loans have been provided to support the work of the Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa and the One Change Foundation. Opened in September of this year, the Funeral Co-op was provided a loan to cover the necessary start-up costs for the organization to renovate leased  space on St. Laurent Blvd, as well as to hire a Funeral Director and market the new business to the community. Inspired by La Coopérative funéraire de l’Outaouais, the FCO provides an alternative option to private funeral homes.

An Ottawa-based charity that promotes energy conservation in Canada and the U.S., the “One Change Foundation” was recently given a $250,000 loan to support its latest campaign and expand its portfolio after it experienced significant funding challenges during the economic downturn. Through such popular programs as “Project Porchlight,” a door-to-door campaign in which 200,000 energy efficient CFL bulbs where distributed and installed in Ottawa residences, One Change has been promoting energy conservation since 2005, one household at a time.

To learn more about the Ottawa Community Foundation’s impact investing program and partnership with the Community Forward Fund, view the following video featuring Foundation Board Chair Brian Toller and President & CEO Barbara McInnes.

Established in 1987, the Ottawa Community Foundation is a public, non-profit organization created by and for the people of Ottawa. It connects donors who care with causes that matter and serves as a trusted resource for addressing issues and leveraging opportunities in the community. Since its inception, the Community Foundation has been enabling generous citizens to enhance the quality of life in their community and to achieve their own charitable objectives through permanent, well-managed endowments.

For more information about the Community Forward Fund, visit

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For further information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Iona Green

Manager, Marketing and Communications

Ottawa Community Foundation

613-236-1616 X 232

Heidi Lasi

Community Forward Fund