Community Resiliency Through Philanthropy
in Oakville

2020 Annual Report

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that Oakville lies on the traditional territories of the Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Anishnaabeg. We recognize that these lands include Treaties 14 and 22 with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. 

We also acknowledge the many First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people who now call our Town home. We are grateful for the guidance of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and the many Indigenous knowledge keepers and community leaders who have shared their knowledge on this reconciliation journey. 

Our Indigenous Cultural Advisor:

Elder Peter Schuler

Building a Resilient Community Through Philanthropy

A Message from Our Board Chair and CEO

We started 2020 with ambitious plans to build Oakville’s social economy and leverage the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) for local social purpose organizations. We also planned to launch a campaign at our May 2020 Annual General Meeting to expand and rebuild the Heritage Trails on their 20th Anniversary with an exciting drone video, shot in the summer of 2019. Little did we know that we would be launching the Heritage Trails 20th Anniversary video in April as a way to keep people connected and improve their spirits as we were all physically distancing.

The Pandemic changed the way we worked, shopped, attended school, connected with friends and our extended family and community. As the ground shifted, we adapted, adjusted, and looked for productive ways we could continue to maximize our local impact. The Pandemic exacerbated many of the inequities in our community. It exposed the fissures in our long-term care system and challenged our own narratives about our country, our community and ourselves.

The senseless murder of George Floyd, violence towards Indigenous Canadians and People of Colour, and subsequent protests prompted us to take the time to listen and learn from our neighbours and local organizations. We reflected on our role in institutional racism and how we can use our philanthropic mandate to address economic and racial injustices.

To move forward, we adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aligned our business plan with SDG #10, Reduced Inequalities, and the plan to “leave no one behind.” As part of our continued journey on Truth & Reconciliation, we have entered into a permanent relationship with Elder Peter Schuler of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. We are very grateful for his continued guidance.

For The Foundation the transition to working from home was immediate as our 2018 digital transformation enabled us to adapt seamlessly from the office to home. This digital conversion also benefited our Fundholders, donors and the community as our digital infrastructure offered a means to apply, grant, fundraise and donate online.

With existing online systems, we were able to focus our attention on the needs of the local charity sector. In March, we launched the Oakville Resiliency Fund which distributed over $1 million throughout 2020 (PAGE). This Fund enabled a quick distribution of much-needed grants to support front-line charities during the State of Emergency; supported the Charity-Small Business Partnership Program;  and then Matched funds through GIVEOakville.

In January, we launched our Community Education Awards Hub, a free online platform linking local organizations that provide scholarships and bursaries to students seeking support for their post-secondary education. It was serendipitous that the Awards Hub was available to students online, given that secondary schools closed for the remainder of the school year.

We were excited to award the new Alexander and Bernice DeMaio Education Awards to three Oakville students. The Foundation continued to support elementary teachers, students and their families through online Community Classroom  programming while maintaining support for local arts, culture, and environmental organizations.

Another pre-pandemic decision that aligned serendipitously to support urgent needs was our third Program-related Investment to Windmill Microlending. Windmill provides microloans to foreign-trained professionals, a number of whom are Halton based. The majority are foreign-trained health professionals seeking their Canadian accreditation.

Oakville resiliency efforts:

Supporting Our Community Heroes

The Oakville Resiliency Fund

Launched in April of 2020, the Oakville Resiliency Fund was established to immediately help charities during the first lockdown due to COVID-19. The Resiliency Fund was initially rolled out in three phases and focused on funding for Community Heroes, Education Heroes and Food Heroes. These phases included charities on the frontlines working in the health, well-being, education, food and shelter sectors to support vulnerable populations.

Oakville Resiliency Fund Phase One By Sector

Many Halton families face an agonizing decision each month. They have to choose whether to pay their rent or buy food. It becomes a question of being homeless or hungry. We are pleased to say that we have not turned away any family needing our support even through this difficult time. Together with support from The Foundation, Food4Kids Halton is able to continue to serve our most vulnerable & disadvantaged.”

Donate to the Oakville Resiliency Fund

We raised over $510,000 for 54 local charities. Combined with additional match dollars from the Oakville Resiliency Fund we granted over $764,000 to our charity heroes.

Oakville Resilincy Fund granted to our charity heroes.
$ 0

21 Charities received full-funding.

Goes directly to charity
0 %

The Foundation covers all credit card transaction fees and every donor receives a tax receipt. Ensuring 100% of your donation goes directly to charity.


Resiliency Report

In November, The Foundation launched its latest research report, the Oakville Resiliency Report. The digital report, which is timestamped in the beginning of November 2020, shares the impact of the pandemic and the work that local charities continue to do in the community. The report also includes the 2020 GIVEOakville catalogue to encourage readers to rally behind these local organizations.

The Foundation undertook this report to share the role our charities played during the pandemic to keep us resilient and to provide a unique link to the GIVEOakville 2020 charity funding initiative. Each page of this report tells the story of numerous local charities and the people that they are able to help, which inspired our Fundholders and the local community to donate through GIVEOakville.

Charity-Small Business Partnership Program

The Charity-Small Business Partnership Program (CSBP) was developed to support the long-standing relationships between charities and local small businesses. The CSBP program provided financial support to local charitable organizations that procure their goods or services from Oakville-based small businesses in an effort to rebuild the local economy by keeping funds and jobs in the community.

The Foundation allocated $100,000 from the Oakville Resiliency Fund for the CSBP program, and corporate donations from Ford Canada, RBC and PearTree Financial. Charities who purchased meals for vulnerable populations they serve were eligible for up to $5,000. Charities who procured other goods and services in the delivery of their charitable activities were eligible for up to $10,000.

Partnering with The Foundation to Build Your Own

Corporate Social Responsibility Program​

We can help build a program to engage your employees!

If your corporation is interested in building their own CSR or Social Purpose, contact our Director of Philanthropy and Communications at




GIVEOakville is The Foundation’s online crowdfunding campaign that featured more than 54 charities in 2020. During the months of November and December, GIVEOakville gives Fundholders, families, businesses and members of the public the opportunity to shop at our virtual “charity mall” and give back to their community through our online catalogue.

“We just wanted to say a huge “Thank you!” for your ongoing support. We are so grateful to The Foundation, your Fundholders, and all of the public donors who have believed in and invested in us.”


GIVEOakville will be back during the 2021 holiday season!

Julia Hanna and Wendy Rinella doing a cooking demo on a WGC Zoom gathering!

Women’s Giving Collective

“I would have a much smaller impact if I was donating by myself but as a member of this Collective I feel that I can make a difference and be part of a group of women with the shared goal of supporting my community.”

Kimberly Schols, Women’s Giving Collective Member

Community Classroom Online

Community Classroom Online features a variety of videos and activities, ranging from music and art lessons to environmental and science-based sessions. Due to this year’s online format, we are proud to report that Community Classroom has been able to reach more students than ever before.

ArtHouse is just one of many community content providers on CC-Online.

Community Education Awards HUB

In the midst of this global pandemic, The Awards Hub serves as an example of the successful shift in providing philanthropic services through technology and connecting education award providers with post-secondary bound students seeking support.
New scholarships will continue to be made a available every year!


Homeward Bound Halton,
Home Suite Hope

Home Suite Hope also celebrated 4 participants that graduated from Sheridan College, bringing the count to 15 participants that have been able to achieve their post-secondary education through the Homeward Bound Halton program since inception.

As of 2020, of the participants who have completed the HBH program, 100% have transitioned off of Ontario Works, 86% are employed and the average annual salary amongst them is $48,000.

Halton Youth Collective Program

Data from Halton Children’s Aid Society programming (as at 2017) showed that more than 1 in 4 of youth or over 25% of those aged 18 – 24 were not in education, employment or training (NEET). It was to remedy this alarming number that the Halton Youth Collective decided to focus its efforts on a wraparound, client centric approach to assist these youth.

Data from Halton Youth Transitioning from Care Pilot Study - 2020

Despite the challenges of COVID, the Pilot continued in its support of these youth and the Collective met its goal before the 2022 date set out. Through the work of the Collective:

  • Youth were connected to a caring adult/mentor.
  • Youth have long term goals.
  • Youth’s needs were met to address barriers to employment, education
    or training.
  • Youth have sustainable, continuous housing.
  • There’s a pool of ready mentors as the program rolls out beyond the pilot.
  • Youth have built trusted, informal relationships.
  • Youth were employed and employable.
  • There were a variety of accessible, paid education, employment, training and treatment options for youth.
As a member of Community Foundations of Canada, local foundations like ours participate in national programs. Our founders saw a local community foundation as a vehicle to support our community through challenging times, like a pandemic. Today we give thanks and can capitalize on their vision in new and unique ways, as seen with our participation in these national programs.

The Emergency Community Support Fund

“Without a doubt, the technology purchased through this grant allowed those that were most vulnerable to stay connected and involved both spiritually and intellectually.”

–Grant recipient,
Shaarei-Beth El Synagogue

The Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) was a $350 million fund funded by the Government of Canada and implemented with Community Foundations of Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and United Way Centraide Canada, in partnership with local foundations across the country.

The goal of the ECSF was to provide support to charities and non-profit organizations serving vulnerable Canadians. Vulnerable populations included older persons, children and youth, Black, Indigenous and people of colour, persons with disabilities and persons experiencing low income.

In the first round of funding in June 2020, the Foundation awarded $502,500 to 18 local charities and 19 projects. Five months later in November 2020, the Foundation awarded $181,500 to nine local charities for the second round of funding.

Projects in the first round of funding included Oakville Meals on Wheels Rising to the Challenge to Meet the Need and Shaarei-Beth El Synagogue Congregation of Halton’s Supporting Isolated Seniors in Our Community. The second round of funding included projects such as Black Mentorship Inc.’s COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Program and COVID care for Community Living Oakville.

For the full results of the successful charities, please refer to our website.

“Being able to participate in this National program has allowed us to support local organizations whose work is grounded in building a just future, advancing women’s rights and gender equality and creating a better Oakville for everyone.”
Mary Lui, Fund for Gender Equality Review Committee

Fund for Gender Equality

The Fund for Gender Equality was created by the Government of Canada in partnership with Community Foundations to provide funding to local organizations that support women, girls, Two-Spirit and gender-diverse individuals who are working towards a future grounded in equity, inclusion and justice.

The Foundation took part in the Pilot Fund for Gender Equality to explore ways to support leadership in the women’s movement and advance gender equality in all communities. We distributed $50,000 to 5 charitable organizations advancing these goals. This included Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Halton and Hamilton’s Girls Linking Our Worlds (GLOW) and SAVIS (Sexual Assault & Violence Intervention Services) Reproductive Counselling Support. Visit our website to see the full list of supported projects.

In the first funding round, the Oakville Community Foundation and its Regional Partners awarded over $770,000 in funding to 22 organizations through the Investment Readiness Program. Local organizations included Food For Life and the Lighthouse Program for Grieving Children. These funds supported services such as business and strategic planning, marketing services, financial and tax services, legal and risk management services, market research and more.


To Build Back Better

The Foundation offers donors a powerful and diverse range of opportunities to drive positive change. We enable donors to grant to CRA designated charitable organizations and initiatives. Together with our Fundholders, our community granting is a focused, collaborative effort to build back better.

Don Noble, Philanthropist

“The Noble Effort”: Don Noble’s family legacy

On September 26, husband, father, grandfather, and philanthropist Don Noble passed away in Oakville. A kind, generous and curious man – as described by his wife Marilyn and daughter Debbie – Don left behind a loving family and great legacy.

Don was instrumental in the creation of the Oakville Community Foundation and is credited as one of the founders. The community foundation movement was gaining traction and Don was interested in the notion of a foundation whose purpose was to support the community.

The Peternelj Family

It’s All in the Family:
Inspiring Generations of Giving.

“When you help other people you’re also helping yourself.”

A Donor-Advised Fund functions much like a private foundation and provides the Peternelj’s the freedom to grant to any registered charity in Canada every year. Rudy said he appreciates The Foundation’s streamlined process and the tailored list of charities based on the Peternelj family’s philanthropic interests that were provided.

The “Philanthropic Talk”
and Future Planning with Advisors.

“We know there are many misconceptions surrounding legacy giving. Making gift giving in Wills the social norm is something no one entity can do alone.

Through the WillPower Campaign™ we aim to educate your clients, and inspire them to make a meaningful difference. In fact, research shows that when clients are prompted to leave a gift in their Will, charitable bequests increase by 120%. It’s time we open-up philanthropy in Canada, and Professional Advisors are the key to creating more social good.”

Paul Nazareth, Vice President,
Education & Development, Canadian Association
of Gift Planners (CAGP) – Pictured


And Investments Overview

The Foundation provides careful stewardship of the monies given over to our care. These charts and graphs are a way of providing a clear and concise snapshot of our fund positions for the past year, as well as demonstrating our historical data.

Fund Balances by Type:

Program-Related Investments are made for more than financial return with a focus on supporting a solution to a social, cultural or environmental issue.

In 2020, The Foundation added a third Program Related Investment to its portfolio with Windmill Microlending, with an investment of $50,000. Windmill Microlending is a nationally registered charity that helps immigrants and refugees, with loans of up to $15,000, to pay for the credentials they need to restart their careers in Canada. This year, Windmill Microlending served 56 clients within the Halton Region, with 18 of those living in Oakville.

Our Board, Committees, and Team

The work of the Oakville Community Foundation is made possible by a dedicated group of volunteers and a committed staff team. 

A full list is available in the back pages of the Full Annual Report, along with this year’s list of 20 Year Fund celebrations .