Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation

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Many ways to give

In Memorium

Donations can be made in the name of your loved one. Ask your funeral director, or call our office.

In Celebration

Life events like birthdays, anniversaries, at retirement etc. can be celebrated with a donation in the honouree’s name. What better way to celebrate than to help strengthen our community?

Gift in Wills, Bequests, Charitable Remainder Trust, RRIF, RRSP

Your gift becomes your legacy and provides ongoing support for your community, your favourite charities and your Community Foundation.

Stocks, Bonds or Shares

We have a quick and straight forward process to transfer stock, bonds or shares to an existing fund or to set up a new Fund in support of your favourite charity. There are special tax advantages we would be happy to explain.

Online Donations

Our secure online portal through Gift Tool make giving easy. Simply choose the Fund or area you wish to support and follow the simple instructions.

Life Insurance Policies

Did you know you can transfer an existing Insurance policy to the Foundation or a new policy can name the Foundation as a beneficiary? Let us explain how it works.

Create Your own Fund

Anyone can create a legacy (individual, family or organization), and support the causes that are dear to your heart. We have a range of Fund options and can design your Fund to suit your unique vision.

Anyone can build a legacy

Contribute to an existing Fund, or establish your own Fund within the pooled Community Fund (Each type of gift has specific tax advantages, so you’ll want to discuss the benefits of each with your financial advisor.)

Can we help you build an Endowment Fund? Contact us!

Planned giving

In addition to making a gift now, you may choose to leave a legacy that will be For Elgin . Forever.

These gifts may include:

A bequest in your will

A gift of cash, securities or life insurance

A Charitable Remainder Trust

Naming ESCF as a beneficiary of an RRIF or RRSP

Call now: 519-637-8230 or email us.

We provide tailored services to support your family’s philanthropic interests or your organization’s sustainable community service goals.

Donate Now and allocate your gift to any one of our Funds

Our mission

Since 2003, Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation has provided support for the charitable organizations that help make communities what they are today.

ESCF is a charitable organization dedicated to improving communities across Elgin. We do this by pooling the charitable gifts of donors to create endowment funds and using the investment income to make grants. In short, we are, “For Elgin . Forever.”

We also provides leadership — monitoring this area’s quality of life in a project called Vital Signs, and convening people, ideas, and resources to help build stronger and more resilient communities.

Our Vision

Everything we do is designed to help build more vibrant, healthy and resilient communities across Elgin County With the partnership of caring local people, we invest in community based solutions that create meaningful and lasting impacts.

Click below and support “For Elgin . Forever” through The Community Fund, or any one of our Targeted Funds



. . . and Eliminate Capital Gains Tax!

Consider a gift of listed securities to the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation

There is currently no capital gains tax on appreciated listed securities when they are donated to a charity or public Foundation. This may result in a double tax benefit for donors.

By transferring the security directly to the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation, donors eliminates capital gains tax on their gifts, and in addition, the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation provides a charitable receipt for the full 100% of the fair market value to qualifying donors.

More information

Terry Carroll, Executive Director

Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation

519-637-8230, or tcarroll@escf.ca

With Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation’s endowment funds, the principal or capital is invested and the investment income flows back to local charities in perpetuity. We are like a savings account for the community.

We offer 7 different Types of Funds, and additional donor services. This allows great flexibility to tailor a Fund to your interests or level of involvement. Please contact us at 519-637-8230 for more detailed information on any of these Funds or services.


1. Community Fund/Unrestricted

Grants from the Community Fund prioritize the following areas: Environment, Arts and Culture, Education, Social Services, Recreation and Animal Welfare.


2. Field of Interest Funds

Provide support for a general area (such as Youth or Wildlife) without limitations to a specific organization or beneficiary. These funds do not require donor participation in developing grant criteria or allocating grant.

Active Living Scholarship Fund. Established by the OhiOntario International Friendship Games Association to support post secondary education in the area of physical activity.


3. Donor Designated Funds

Support a particular area of interest, agency, organization, or charitable activity (a scholarship, for example) as named/selected by the donor at the time of the gift.

– Howard and Alice Williams Fund– guided by direction provided in their estate, this fund has a focus on Education.

– St. Thomas-Elgin Tourist Association Scholarship Fund awards annual scholarships for second year post secondary school education in a travel and tourism related area of study.


4. Agency Funds

Established by charitable organizations as permanent funds to ensure an ongoing source of support for their programs and operations.

– YWCA of St. Thomas Elgin Endowment Fund

– Elgin Children’s Foundation Endowment Fund

– YMCA of St. Thomas Elgin Endowment Fund

– Pearce Williams United Church Christian Centre Fund

– Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation Endowment Fund


5. Donor Advised Funds

Donor advisors develop grant criteria and direct the distribution of income from their fund.

– #IVEGOTYOURBACK911 Endowment Fund – Supports charities with a focus on first responders’ mental health.

– Bud and Melba Marr Fund – Supports regional and local charities with a focus on health care, community and youth.

– Colchester Fund – An anonymous family fund supporting local and regional charities.

– Costello Music and Storytelling Scholarship Fund – Established by Mickey and Gerry Costello, this Fund celebrates talented music and storytelling performers from Elgin County through scholarship awards.

– Dennis Redman Memorial Scholarship Fund – Supports post secondary education in firefighting and emergency services.

– ELGIN CFDC- Helen LeFrank Scholarship Fund – Provides an annual scholarship to recognize youth interested in a career in business and/or entrepreneurial disciplines.

– Jaden Wood Memorial Fund – A family fund to celebrate Jaden’s life with a student scholarship, and / or a grant to support sick children in Elgin / Middlesex .

– Janet and Marion Morgan Environmental Fund – Supports environmental, animal welfare and wildlife protection agencies.

– Jean Macdougall Endowment Fund – Supports projects and initiatives that were close to Jean Macdougall’s heart, celebrating and encouraging women in politics.

– Jean and Fred Biehl Fund – Established by Jean and Nancy Biehl to support environmental and animal welfare protection agencies.

– Jim O’Grady Legacy Fund– Established in memory of Jim O’Grady and his love of sports to support registration and equipment for children who would otherwise not be able to participate in sporting activities due to lack of funds.

– Joanne Brooks Community Fund – A family fund in memory of former mayor Joanne Brooks, this fund supports local charities and projects that reflect her concern for others, and passion for community values.

– June Evangeline Anne Horton Fund– Established in memory of June Horton (nee Ernest), a War Bride with wide-ranging interests in reading, gardening, nature, animals and ballet, the Fund will grant in the areas of animal welfare, kidney disease and ballet and possibly other charities.

– Kiwanis Club of St. Thomas Fund – Promoting healthy living and active lifestyles for children.

– Kohler Family Community Fund – A family fund which supports local charities and projects that reflect family values, and provide scholarships for post secondary education.

– Marg and Harold Carroll Fund – Supports local and regional charities and projects.

– McGregor Morris Fund– A family fund dedicated to supporting Art in Public Places.

– Nancy, Jim and David Douglas Fund – A family fund established to support specific charities, including The Salvation Army, Pickering College, St. Thomas Christmas Care, St. Thomas Public Library (audio books), St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Foundation (children’s needs) and the Children’s Hospital.

– Parks and Recreation/Pinafore Endowment Fund -is committed to maintaining the St. Thomas Parks and Recreation heritage for generations and will contribute to capital projects and improvements to our Parks, Recreation or Trails infrastructure.

– Sweetgrass Fund– A family fund established by Bob McCaig and Janet Taylor to support local charities and projects that help to build community.

– Thomas C. Fox Fund – A family fund established by Tom Fox with proceeds to Elgin County charities.

– Turnberry Fund – A family fund established by Sine and William Herold in support of local and regional charities .

In addition to Endowment Funds, the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation provides additional services to our community and to donors.


6. Managed Funds

Funds entrusted by other charitable organizations to the Foundation for investment management only.
– Elgin County Railway Museum Managed Fund – Established by the Elgin County Railway Museum to support their restoration plan which includes replacement of the building’s 52,000 square foot, century-old roof.

– St. Thomas Elevated Park Project Fund – Established by On Track and the Corporation of the City of St. Thomas to support the purchase and stabilization of the Michigan Central Railroad Kettle Creek Bridge and associated properties.


7. Flow-Through Funds

Flow-Through donations are usually granted in the same fiscal year as they are received. Though funds are not endowed, ESCF is happy to provide administrative services, and charitable receipting for existing Funds wishing to also do Flow-Through granting..

– Elgin Welcome Fund – Support for local charities providing resettlement services and support for Syrian refugees in Elgin County.

– 100 People Who Care Grant Fund – The goal is 100 local people donating $110 each. Donors hear presentations from short-listed charities all in one evening and then vote to determine which project most deserves the pooled fund of +-10,000.

Rather than sending flowers in memory of a loved one, family and friends often suggest donations to support charitable work which the deceased would have been keen to help.

If the deceased was born or lived and worked in the area – and has a particular connection or bond with Elgin-St. Thomas – In Memoriam gifts to the community foundation can be a wonderful way of celebrating and continuing that legacy. If you wish, funds can easily be earmarked to benefit an area near and dear to the person’s heart. Just let us know the area of greatest significance.

If a family wishes to make a large gift in memory of a loved one, it may be more suitable to create a permanent Named Fund – please call the Foundation at 519-637-8230 if this is something you would like to consider.

Elgin County Railway Museum

“Our Full-Steam Ahead – Phase 1 Capital Restoration fundraising campaign is building momentum,” says Dawn Miskelly, Elgin County Railway Museum’s (ECRM) Executive Director, “Right now, we are working hard to replace the building’s 52,000 square foot, century-old roof.”
Operating for nearly 30 years out of the century-old Michigan Central Railroad Locomotive Shops in the heart of St. Thomas, ECRM welcomes more than 7,000 guests each year, and presents cultural events such as Railway Adventure Day, Railway Nostalgia Weekend, and a Day Out With Thomas.
To donate now, click here and select Elgin County Railway Museum.
For more information on the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation and their services – contact Terry Carroll, Executive Director at 519-637-8230, tcarroll@escf.ca



Our Corporate and Community Partnership relationships are “year long, everything we do” relationships. These partners help us to fund the services we provide by contributing cash, in-kind services or prizes, and without them we could not operate.

Please show your support for these Corporate Partners by giving them your business!

If you would like to become a 2017-18 Corporate Partner, please contact us at 519-637-8230, or email us at info@escf.ca

Thanks also to the AMAZING VOLUNTEERS who work tirelessly with us!