Our History

Our HistoryThe concept of creating a community foundation in Brampton originated from the City of Brampton Millennium Committee and was broadly supported by City Council. The first Steering Committee was formed in October 2001 and formal incorporated status was granted in June 2002. BACCF received its registered charity status in October of that same year.

Businessman and principal of a local Canadian Tire Associate Store, Mr. Robert Bell, was asked to put his name forth to be the Foundation's founding Chair. Mr. Bell is a past-president of the Brampton Board of Trade, a Rotarian and a well-respected leader in the Brampton Business community. Upon acceptance of becoming the founding chair, Mr. Bell was determined to make the Foundation an important institution in Brampton and area.

Through his leadership, the Foundation quickly attracted significant endowment donations that meant a strong start for the Brampton and Area Community Foundation. Under Mr. Bell's leadership, the Foundation received a very important gift of $100,000 from Mr. Bell, and a matching gift of $100,000 from The Rotary Club of Brampton to underwrite the initial administrative requirements of the Foundation.

Mr. Bell was also the Foundation's initial endowment donor - creating several endowment funds to benefit worthy charities within our community.

Within two years, the Foundation had over $1.2 million in permanent endowments, and was able to make grants to charitable organizations every single year. During this time, the Foundation established sound and accountable business practices, policies and procedures that would see it evolve into an important philanthropic and charitable granting institution. The start-up phase of any organization is critical, and Mr. Bell's hands-on approach and incalculable hours of devotion meant the BACCF was on the road to success.

Succeeding Mr. Bell in 2005 was Mr. David Sharpe of ScotiaMcLeod, Brampton. Mr. Sharpe also brought a genuine committment to the Foundation. Under Mr. Sharpe's leadership, the Foundation continued on the path Mr. Bell and the original Board had established. Granting doubled from $20,000 in 2004 to $40,000 in 2005 to over $80,000 in 2006. Endowments increased to over $3 million. The Foundation was clearly fulfilling the mandate established for it years before.

Gage ParkIn 2007, Ms. Maria Britto of Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc. became the Foundation's third Chair and first female Chair. Under Ms. Britto's leadership, the Foundation's granting, endowments and profile have continued to grow. In 2007, the Foundation granted over $100,000 to worthy charities and endowments approach $5 million.

The BACCF is an independent, autonomous entity. BACCF initially received the financial support of a three-year commitment from the City of Brampton as well as a three-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in order to assist with operating expenses for the first years of existence. After one full year of operation we were very proud to have accumulated over $1 million in assets thanks to the many generous citizens of Brampton and surrounding communities.

Today, the Foundation holds over $9 million in endowed assets. We will strive to continue to build on this success and thus be in a position to continuously increase our annual grants to worthy local charities.

The concept of community foundations is not entirely new. The movement began in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio and moved north into Canada in 1921, with the birth of the Winnipeg Foundation. In 1992, a national umbrella group, Community Foundations of Canada, was founded with its headquarters located in Ottawa. This group serves to provide a forum for community foundations to support one another, learn from each other, work together to promote the movement and demonstrate philanthropic leadership. It has become a highly respected voice in the voluntary sector nationally and internationally.

CFC is a member-focused organization that stresses a collaborative approach. Its programs, activities and services are shaped by its members. CFC continues to develop services that support the fund development, grantmaking and community leadership activities of its members. The number of community foundations has more than quadrupled over past decade: from 32 foundations in 1990 to 180 today. More than 75% of the country’s population – 25 million people – are served by a local community foundation, and nationally, community foundations oversee assets surpassing the $3 billion mark. Community Foundations granted over $155 million to charities as of 2011.