Established in 1994, as a bridge between contributors, charities and community, Durham Community Foundation (DCF) is more than a grant maker. DCF is the charity’s charity – their voice in the Region of Durham and beyond. DCF has invested $4 Million in 200+ charities, contributing to Durham’s significant growth. DCF is part of a network of 191 community foundations in Canada with assets of $6.2 billion, allowing it to scale and leverage innovation.

Our Strategic Foci:


DCF develops powerful relationships with donors, including individuals, families, businesses, organizations, education, and government. We enable them to activate philanthropy to solve Durham’s greatest challenges and build community. DCF serves as a nexus in the philanthropic world of Durham, connecting donors and volunteers, keeping apace of community developments and needs, as well as identifying the most effective ways of addressing them through the benefit of the research and resources of the greater community foundation movement, which allows DCF to share with the community.


DCF connects philanthropic, charitable, and community leaders to collaborate and catalyze innovation, partnership, and solutions. DCF facilitates learning and networking for charities’ performance and impact. Our network in the Region is large, diverse, and collaborative. Connecting with the Region’s charitable sector through regular correspondence, collaborative fundraising, and skill building and training, DCF is at the heart of the charitable world in Durham.  DCF is on the leading edge of trends, developments, concerns, and opportunities in philanthropy and among charities, their volunteers, and donors.  In this role, DCF can affect change for good to help sustain a vibrant and thriving charitable sector in Durham.


DCF builds philanthropy platforms, facilitating donors to invest, strengthen the community, and bring it closer to together, including shelter, mental and physical health, recreation, arts, culture, and environment. Since inception DCF has enriched the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals in Durham. 

We Are The Heart of Durham Charities

DCF is a legacy funder in Durham Region. Our philanthropic history goes back 26 years, giving the Foundation a deep and rich knowledge of how to make high impact contributions that enable the individual, organizational, and economic well-being of our community. Our aim goes beyond grantmaking. We strengthen, optimize, and empower the work of Durham’s charities through advocacy, sharing expertise, and organizing initiatives. 


We are the voice of charities at the local, provincial and national levels. DCF shares their strengths and challenges with change-makers and leverages important relationships with the community and sector leaders to ensure the pivotal  work of the charitable sector continues in our Region.

Crisis Support for Charities

DCF steps up when charities are struggling. Our Executive Director shares direct experience in crisis management and as well as Community Foundations of Canada’s national leadership provides powerful support to charities when they need it most, whether it be unanticipated loss of revenue or organizational challenges.

Bridging to Resilience

DCF makes mental wellness a priority for the Region’s charities. Every day, they rise to the challenge of keeping the community healthy, strong, and inspired in the face of increasing demand and diminishing resources. Someone needs to have their back too!

DCF offers a landmark workshop series in mental and emotional health and resilience for charity leaders, led by a psychotherapist with experience in the sector. This series is in high demand to help leaders navigate their organizations through the pandemic.

ED Connect

When charitable leaders work with other leaders, big things happen through collaboration, shared insights, and deepening understanding of the community. DCF facilitates a monthly chat to help Executive Directors share what’s keeping them up at night and find real solutions to their concerns through a peer-to-peer support group.


We partner with CanadaHelps to champion #DurhamGivesBack on GivingTuesday, a giving movement driven by individuals, charities, and businesses across Canada to support the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live. Held during DCF’s annual Community Breakfast the event also raises the profile of local charities and inspires philanthropy throughout the Region of Durham.

Philanthropy Forum

DCF organizes a full day leadership development and networking conference to support charity leaders to be their best so they can enable Durham Region to reach its full potential. When charities succeed, the community succeeds!

Walk for YOUR Cause

Every year, DCF gets Durham walking. DCF develops a platform for charities, nonprofits, businesses and individuals to raise funds for their respective organizations and the causes they care about.

We Are 1 of 191 Community Foundations

Community Foundations are all about people giving back...

Community Foundations also have established roots and are growing legacies in communities across Canada. Standing apart in the field of charitable giving, they are dedicated to enriching the quality of community life in specific geographical areas. Community Foundations are not charities supporting their own programs, nor do they compete with other agencies for funds. Rather, they pool the charitable gifts of many donors to cultivate and grow permanently endowed legacy funds to provide lasting support for local priorities. Income earned by the permanent endowments is distributed to support a broad range of community agencies and post-secondary schools, while the original investment is left to grow over time.

The three principle roles of a community foundation are to:

  1. Cultivate and grow permanently endowed legacy funds which are invested wisely for the long term benefit of the community
  2. Share the legacies by making effective grants from the investment earnings to seed, nurture and support a broad range of community initiatives 
  3. Provide leadership in their communities by encouraging collaboration among charitable agencies, facilitating learning and convening opportunities for all

Join Our Giving Movement!

Please contact our Executive Director, Vivian Curl, by telephone at 905-430-6507, or email at to find out how you can join our giving movement.

Find us

Charity Reg. #: 898797931RR0001
2-157 Harwood Avenue North
Box 250
Ajax, Ontario
L1Z 0B6

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