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Ivey Foundation, Canada's sixth oldest private family foundation, announced today that it will wind up operations by the end of 2027 and distribute its full $100 million endowment over the next five years, beginning in 2023.
This decision comes as the Foundation marks its 75th anniversary with over $100 million donated to charities since 1947 to improve the well-being of Canadians and Canada's natural environment. The majority of the additional $100 million in funding announced today will be used to enhance the Foundation's efforts to address climate change and advance Canada's low-carbon economy. This will double the Foundation's lifetime grantmaking and increase the capabilities of the Foundation's core partners on the front lines of Canada's climate and energy transition.
After careful consideration, Ivey Foundation's board of directors reached their decision based on the recognition that foundations need not continue in perpetuity for perpetuity's sake. There is a strong argument that their philanthropic resources can, and in some cases should, be fully utilized for the most critical issues we face today. For example, Ivey Foundation's singular focus on a current, urgent issue of vital importance to Canadians – climate change – makes it well-suited to a timely capital distribution to achieve maximum impact.
The board of directors makes this decision with confidence in the expertise of Foundation staff to execute a highly rigorous and strategic approach to granting, and with the hope of inspiring other private funders to join the growing number of those with increased disbursement quotas and limited life terms.
"Ivey Foundation's board of directors is committed to disbursing the Foundation's endowment for the benefit of the current generation, at a time when progress to secure a livable planet and a prosperous decarbonized economy is urgently needed and still within reach," said Rosamond Ivey, Board Chair, Ivey Foundation. "Now is the time to apply our assets, experience, talented staff, and well-positioned network of grantees and partners, to the task of helping position Canada for success."
The Foundation's announcement comes at a moment when Canada has less than 30 years to achieve net-zero and only eight years to meet ambitious 2030 climate targets. At the same time, the strong economy and jobs that Canadians depend upon are at risk, with global competitors vying for dominance in critical sectors where Canada is well positioned to lead, such as zero-emission vehicles, modernizing and expanding electricity systems, low-carbon buildings, and the hydrogen economy.
"Addressing climate change and securing Canada's long-term economic competitiveness in a decarbonized global economy are intertwined problems that require in-depth understanding, coordination, and action today," said Dr. Bruce Lourie, President, Ivey Foundation. "By focusing all of the Foundation's resources on the clearest solutions to net-zero, we expect to have the greatest impact on helping Canada address climate change over the crucial five-year period to come."
Ivey Foundation will continue granting through its Economy and Environment Program to support initiatives that accelerate a prosperous future. These initiatives, in partnership with governments, NGOs, academics, and industry, are designed to set Canada up for success as the world moves to decarbonize.
Funding will be dedicated to the strong partner organizations the Foundation has been working with, including The Transition Accelerator, Canadian Climate Institute, Efficiency Canada, and Farmers for Climate Solutions, to name a few. The Foundation will only review grant proposals invited by staff and will not be accepting unsolicited proposals.
A detailed wind down business plan is under development, with additional updates to be posted on the Ivey Foundation website as they become available.
About Ivey Foundation
Ivey Foundation is a private charitable foundation with a long history rooted in excellence, accountability and transparency. It has evolved to become focused on the intersection of climate change and economic prosperity for all Canadians.
The Foundation is dedicated to supporting Canada's transition to a low-carbon future while ensuring the country's long-term economic competitiveness. To support this transition, Ivey Foundation collaborates with non-government organizations, leaders in academia, governments, and industry, and supports initiatives that accelerate Canada's low-carbon economy through its Economy and Environment granting program. The funding it provides supports information gathering and rigorous analysis, organizational capacity for policy research, the creation of collaborative networks and public communications methods to advance practical solutions at scale.
Since 2014, the Foundation has helped establish a number of bespoke institutions and collaborations designed to fill gaps in Canada's capacity to research, understand, communicate, and overcome fundamental barriers to transitioning the economy. These organizations include The Transition Accelerator, Canadian Climate Institute, Institute for Sustainable Finance, Canada's Ecofiscal Commission (which has completed its mandate), Efficiency Canada, Canadian Centre for Energy Information, Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery, Canada Climate Law Initiative, Accelerate, Electrifying Canada, Farmers for Climate Solutions, and Clean Economy Fund.
Click here to access Ivey Foundation's Media Centre, which features a list of subject matter experts, their contact information and the latest net-zero economy-focused news, releases and events.