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Vancouver Foundation: Fulfilling a Dream

Vancouver Foundation eases the pressure of administering a fund after a spouse passes on

When Susan Eyford’s husband, Don, died in 2015, she faced the complexity of running a private foundation he had established to dispense funds for animal welfare, as well as environmental protection in B.C.

Despite a deep desire to contribute to these causes, Susan feared that administering the fund would take up all of her spare time at a point where she wanted life to be meaningful, not occupied by legalities. “All I could think of was the pressure of endless reporting, filings, and expense required to keep the foundation compliant and functional,” she says.

Fortunately, Susan’s lawyer, George Cadman, had a solution: dismantle the foundation and transfer the money supporting it to a Vancouver Foundation Donor Advised Fund, where it would be managed by professionals and developed to last in perpetuity.

Cadman, shareholder at Boughton Law Corporation, says, “Vancouver Foundation’s strong administrative capabilities and effective handling of funds is well understood to the legal and accounting professions.”

The transfer was completed last year. “It was a long process, but if I had to do it all over again I would jump at the chance,” Susan says.

Donor advised funds

A Donor Advised Fund enables individuals and families to establish a charitable endowment fund, receive a donation tax receipt, and then recommend grants over time to the charities of their choosing.

Options are also available for the fund’s long-term planning, with naming friends or family members as successors to the fund.

Susan says Vancouver Foundation has given her a profound sense of relief. “The organization takes care of everything, and they let me know several times a year how much money I have available to grant— and I grant it to whoever I want.”

As for her fund being in perpetuity, Susan says, “After my passing, Vancouver Foundation will invest the money and property I have left them in my will to ensure a steady rate of return, and these returns will continue to benefit animals and the environment.”

Calvin Fong, director, donor services at Vancouver Foundation, points out, “We have nearly 900 donor advised funds but more importantly we’ve been doing this for over 75 years. That means we give donors a sense of security and longevity.”

Fong adds: “It’s been said that making money is easy but giving it away is difficult. We make it easy for charitable people like Susan.”

Living with peace of mind

Now 77, Susan enjoys life with friends and her daughter and loves nothing better than granting funds to different organizations (a donkey refuge in Chase, B.C. was a recent recipient). Moreover, she derives great satisfaction knowing her long-standing desire to give back will continue long after she’s gone.

“If my husband were still alive today, he would be thrilled to know our good fortune is helping others and will continue to do so well into the future,” she says.

Learn more about Vancouver Foundation at

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