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What is an Endowment fund?

An Endowment is an investment fund established in which annual disbursements from the invested capital and/or income are used for ongoing operations or other specified purposes. This “Endowment” investment is guided by an Investment Policy Statement (IPS)

What is happening with the Endowment fund?

The Foundation for Black Communities (FFBC) and the Government of Canada have finalized terms of the agreement for the Black-Led Philanthropic Endowment Fund. This process required ongoing negotiations concerning timelines, initial budgets, asset allocations, reporting requirements, work-plans and other related elements of the project.

FFBC was committed to ensuring that the final agreement reflected the intent and purpose of the fund and that it was rooted in principles and processes that support the needs and concerns of Canada’s Black communities. Now that the agreement is finalized, there is a standard 60 day waiting period before our team can begin the process of engaging with community groups and organizations across the country to identify priorities to design and create grants and programs that will be developed through this fund.

Understanding a Contribution Agreement

As a funding vehicle, contribution agreements align funding agencies’ and applicants’ terms, expectations, and what is expected of each party. A contribution agreement is a legal document that will lay out the conditions surrounding the transfer of an asset from one party to another (UpCounsel).

November 2022

RFP Submission

FFBC Submitted RFP for Black led philanthropic endowment fund 

November 2022

February 2023


Federal Government of Canada announces FFBCs selection to administer the fund

February 2023

March 2023


FFBC enters negotiation period to outline contribution agreement

March 2023

April 2023

Agreement signed

Contribution agreement approved and signed by both parties

April 2023

Fall 2023

Next Steps

Consultations with Black Communities across Canada to identify priorities

Fall 2023

The impact on Communities
over the next 10 years


4 column graphics:

Increase in sustainable employment 

Financial support for community-based programs and ideas 

Social integration 

Community Engagement  


Increased food security 

Access to linguistic and culturally appropriate health services 

Access to culturally appropriate social services 

Reduced inequalities 


Black Lead Philanthropic Endowment Fund
Frequently Asked Questions

An Endowment is an investment fund established in which annual disbursements from the invested capital and/or income are used for ongoing operations or other specified purposes. This “Endowment” investment is guided by an Investment Policy Statement (IPS)

  • An investment statement policy (ISP) is a formal document drafted between a portfolio manager or financial advisor and a client that outlines general rules for the holder of the endowment. This document is also called a Statement of Investment Policy (SIP)
  • This statement provides the general investment goals and objectives of a client and describes the strategies that the manager should employ to meet these objectives.
  • Specific information on matters such as asset allocation, risk tolerance, and liquidity requirements are included in an investment policy statement.
  • A well-conceived ISP enables both the manager and the investor to stay focused on the long-term objectives.
  • Investment policy statements are used by investment advisors and financial advisors to document an investment plan with a client. It provides guidance for informed decision-making and serves as both a roadmap to successful investing and a safeguard against potential mistakes or misdeeds.
  • A well-conceived IPS establishes a systematic review process that enables the investor to stay focused on the long-term objectives, even if the market gyrates wildly in the short term. It should contain all current account information, current allocation, how much has been accumulated, and how much is currently being invested.
  • The proposed deliverables within the Investment Statement Policy must also be approved and accepted by the governing body offering the endowment fund.
  • The investment and administration of the Endowment funds must first be negotiated through a Contribution Agreement and an Investment of Statement Policy (these often happen simultaneously)
  • The Endowment funds are administered and managed in accordance with the Foundation’s Investment Policy Statement (ISP). Guidance from the investment and financial advisors are often sought on which markets are best to invest in and how.
  • Investment objectives of the endowment are governed by the Investment Policy.
  • A contribution agreement, essentially, is an agreed-upon document that outlines the terms of a grant or loan transfer. Although there are a lot of terms associated with the government funding process, a contribution agreement is a key concept to understand because it holds the recipient organization accountable for the proposed project’s impacts, reimbursements, timelines, budget, and contingencies.  


Contribution agreements often outline the following:

  • Sum of contribution: the dollar amount and type of contribution
  • Date of contribution agreement
  • Agreement title
  • Description of the agreement
    • The description outlines a brief summary of project activities, budget, timelines, and impacts.
  • Organization name and details
  • Program name and reimbursement details and timelines
  • Requirements and commitments of both the funding agency and applicant(s)

When Canadian organizations are given repayable or non-repayable capital, the purpose is to produce a good, service, or specific results without being acquired by government departments. The key concept here is “without being acquired,” as Canada’s intent is not to acquire businesses but to give businesses the means they need to come up with unique solutions to Canadian challenges. This approach lends a freedom referred to as an “Arm’s Length Relationship,” therefore benefitting the country as a whole. 

Negotiating a Contribution Agreement is the process of coming to an agreement on a set of legally binding terms between two or more parties. Both parties seek to obtain favorable terms and minimize financial, legal and operational risk. 

Throughout the negotiation process there is a process of back-and-forth communication between the pre-selected recipient and the representatives of the Canadian Government. This back-and-forth can happen in real time (in a phone call or an in-person meeting) or over email. Both sides offer considerations and, in the process, insert, remove or modify contract clauses — the building blocks of contracts — until the two sides can come to an agreement. 

It can take few weeks to negotiate or anywhere between 30-90 days. 

  • If all the parties are satisfied with the contents of the agreement, the Agreement is then sent for final review to the governing body. Once the governing body is satisfied negotiations will be deemed closed.

  • An “Acknowledgement of Acceptance” letter is sent to the negotiating party officially informing the close of negotiations on the Contribution Agreement and document preparation for signing. 

  • An award letter and the final copy of the Contribution Agreement and is sent for binding signatures.