Mohamad Fakih was a gemologist in his home country before he came to Canada. Today’s he’s the founder of Paramount Fine Foods, a chain of Lebanese restaurants with more than 70 locations worldwide. Through the Fakih Foundation, he’s found a way to give newcomers to this country a leg up just when they need it most.
If you think you might be in a position to establish a charitable giving foundation, Jo-Anne Ryan, Vice President, Philanthropy, TD Wealth, offers these three things to consider:
Develop a clear mission and vision for the foundation
The Fakih Foundation’s mission is to ensure “underserved and vulnerable communities are motivated and empowered for entrepreneurship, diversity, leadership and inclusion.” Think about what makes your foundation unique and who it serves. It may help you focus your efforts.
Develop a method for measuring impact
How will your organization document the outcomes of its activities? How will you measure progress year over year, so you can engage potential stakeholders and manage feedback? “Low overhead generally is not the best measure of success,” says Ryan, “Charities need to invest in their people and programs.“
Familiarize yourself with CRA foundation guidelines
The Canada Revenue Agency has rules and guidelines around allowable activities, annual spending requirements and more. “The establishment and day-to-day operations of a registered foundation can be a lot of work and may require a dedicated team of professionals to help manage,” says Ryan, who often helps clients get pointed in the right direction.