Smart & Caring Community

Jun. 29, 2012

"...Join me in imagining our country as it could be... a smart and caring nation, where all Canadians can succeed, contribute, and develop their talents to their fullest potential."

David Johnston, Governor General of Canada
Patron, Community Foundations of Canada


As we approach our country’s 150th birthday, Canada’s Governor General, the Right Honourable David Johnston, has challenged Canadians to imagine our country as it could be – a smart and caring nation that holds promise for all. The Governor General’s call to service has special meaning for community foundations, since he is the patron of our network, Community Foundations of Canada. But more importantly, his aspirations for our country mirror those of community foundations from coast to coast to coast.

Our Contribution to a Smart & Caring Nation

For more than 90 years, Canada’s community foundations have dedicated themselves to building better places to live, work, and play. We are ‘barn-raisers’ by nature, bringing people and resources together to achieve a greater good. So when we considered our contribution to a ‘smart and caring nation’ the answer was clear: we can build smart and caring communities.SMART & CARING COMMUNITIES unites our movement in a nation-wide call to service, an opportunity for the more than 180 community foundations across Canada to mobilize people, organizations, and resources in a shared effort to build a smarter and more caring nation. Together we can leverage this unique moment in time to engage Canadians in their community foundation in a new way. We can determine what a ‘smart and caring’ community means to them and how community foundations can seed and support that vision.

Our Commitment to Canadians

SMART & CARING COMMUNITIES is a landmark effort for Canada’s community foundation movement – rallying our entire network in pursuit of two goals: 

Having access to a community foundation means having a network of people, organizations, and resources dedicated to building ‘smart and caring’ communities each and every day. While many communities are home to a community foundation now, we know there are gaps and through SMART & CARING COMMUNITIES we plan to reach more communities than ever before. We dream of a Canada where every Canadian community is served by a community foundation by 2017.

n 1967 Canadians celebrated our Centennial Year by building arenas and community centres to foster our nation’s growing sense of community. Leading up to 2017, community foundations across Canada will connect the country by establishing SMART & CARING COMMUNITY FUNDS from coast to coast to coast. The funds will give communities the flexibility they need to take advantage of local oportunities and help make them the smart and caring places we know they can be.Each fund will be unique to its community, but every one will share similar values and a ‘smart and caring’ goal. Together they will establish a nationwide legacy for our 150th birthday – a permanent asset that will serve Canadian communities for generations to come.

National community foundation programs like Vital Signs have shown our movement the power of working together. SMART & CARING COMMUNITIES gives us an even bigger opportunity to show Canadians the truly national impact that our network can have.