Smart & Caring Community


The Challenge

In 2017 we reached out to our supporters to ask for their help in achieving a goal with a very special one-time fundraising initiative created from a challenge by former Governor General David Johnston. In celebration of Canada’s 150th, he challenged community foundations across Canada to make this country a nation of Smart & Caring communities.

“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 in their fullest potential.”

– The Right Honourable David Johnston, former Governor General of Canada


Our Response

As a legacy gift to our community to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, we created a new fund called the Smart & Caring Community Fund. This flexible, unrestricted fund allows us to respond quickly to emerging community needs and give more money, more quickly, to projects and programs where it is needed the most.

By investing more in targeted, priority areas, we strive to meet immediate needs while creating long-term change in our community.

Our current focus areas are:

1. Emergency response and recovery – Supporting community resiliency in the event of unanticipated circumstances that affect the health, security and wellbeing of Kingston & Area residents including:

  • Mitigation: Implementing community mitigation measures to lessen the negative impact, providing immediate support to support affected people, supporting the capacity of organizations to ensure business continuity during a crisis;
  • Recovery: helping the people and service agencies recover in a timely, nimble and inclusive way.

2. Getting Started – Giving children, youth and newcomers a strong start to life in our community, by focusing on:

  • Supporting strong early childhood development (years 0-6) to ensure that children are school ready
  • Helping youth achieve strong mental health, resiliency, and success in academic, training and employment pursuits
  • Ensuring newcomers feel welcomed in and connected to our community, and helping them access employment and services needed to thrive in their new home

3. Food Security – Supporting systems-level change to reduce food insecurity in our community by:

  • Increasing access to healthy and culturally appropriate food
  • Providing opportunities for gaining food skills, learning about food choices and exploring ideas that enhance food security

4. Community Engagement – To increase our collective sense of belonging and wellbeing by inspiring everyone to be active participants in our communities, with a particular focus on:

  •  Supporting the Truth & Reconciliation process
  • Actively seeking to engage those in our community who may otherwise not have participated (for example, but not limited to Indigenous, seniors, youth, LGBTQ, the disabled, low income individuals and families)
  • Reducing social isolation
  • Encouraging organizations and groups to be (more) diverse and inclusive


Thank you to our Founding Contributors

We are very pleased with the over $1,260,000 that was raised for the Smart & Caring Fund as a result of this challenge. We would like to thank all of the Founding Contributors for their support and generosity.



Make a donation to the Smart & Caring fund, which will help support priority projects in our community through our established Community Grants program.

275 Ontario Street Suite #100
Kingston, ON K7K 2X5
Phone: 613.546.9696
Fax: 613.531.9238

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