About Us

Today, at a time when not-for-profit organisations and donors are more stretched than ever, Bermuda has an unprecedented opportunity to build a sustainable source of support for its civic sector. Bermuda Community Foundation is the first of its kind to mobilise and funnel resources strategically, while sustaining a focus on the continuing and changing needs of Bermuda.

What is a Community Foundation?

Boys with binoculars.A community foundation is a grant-making organisation made up of funds that have been established by individuals, families and businesses. It is designed to pool, steward and deploy donations from unrelated donors, dedicated to the improvement of a given place. 

A community foundation invests the assets it holds, generating income which is distributed to bona fide charities and community organisations according to donors’ suggestions, areas of interest or through competitive grants made by the foundation itself. 

For donors, community foundations offer a one-stop shop for contributing to a community they care about. For communities, they ensure informed, strategic, and sustained support for the third sector. For smaller nonprofits, new or emerging charities and community groups, they offer potential extra funding support from one place and for larger nonprofits, an opportunity to develop a passive income source by establishing their own endowment that is professionally managed.

What is the Bermuda Community Foundation?

Established in early 2013 as a company limited by guarantee with charitable and philanthropic objects, the Bermuda Community Foundation is a registered Bermuda charity (948), company limited-by-guarantee and segregated accounts company registered under the SAC Act 2000. Its purpose is to act as a grant-making organisation, facilitating and cultivating gifts from donors to non-profits, causes and public institutions, from arts and education to health and community services that serve the Island’s residents. The foundation provides donors with a simple, convenient and flexible way to make an impact—now and forever.

BCF also enables corporations, individuals and families to establish customized charitable funds without the burden of tax liabilities or administrative tasks such as setting up private foundations, or trusts or distributing grants. 

We work directly with donors to understand their philanthropic vision and create funds to support causes that are most important to them. Funds from different donors are aggregated, invested and managed to achieve greater returns for Bermuda’s civic sector.

To fulfill our mission to create an enduring source of funds forever dedicated to the good of Bermuda, we direct our efforts and dollars into long-term solutions focused on priority issues for the community.

Why do we need a community foundation for Bermuda?

Today, at a time when not-for-profit organisations and donors are more stretched than ever, Bermuda has an unprecedented opportunity to build a sustainable source of support for its civic sector. 

Atlantic Philanthropies, an independent foundation that has invested almost $20 million in Bermuda since 2004, ceased local independent grant-making in 2013. As it wound down, it proposed to establish the Bermuda Community Foundation (BCF) in partnership with a group of leading funders if there was adequate evidence such an entity would be of value to the community. With lead matching gifts from RenaissanceRe, the Buchanan Charitable Fund and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and smaller contributions from other local donors, BCF became the first of its kind to mobilise and funnel resources strategically, while sustaining a focus on the continuing and changing needs of Bermuda.

Over 1,800 community foundations operate successfully all over the world, with more than 800 in the US alone. They adapt to the needs of each community—and that is their strength. Additionally, a community foundation provides the environment for thoughtful and strategic philanthropy, unlike charitable giving, which tends to be short-term and transactional.

Is BCF a new kind of charity?

No, but it is the first of its kind in Bermuda. In fact, the first community foundation was established in Cleveland in 1914, and today there are approximately 1,800 community foundations worldwide. 

Compared to independent, operating and corporate foundations, community foundations are one of the fastest growing forms of philanthropy in the US. The BCF was established in 2013 with seed capital from lead sponsors The Atlantic Philanthropies, the Buchanan Charitable Fund and RenaissanceRe, along with contributions from Bloomberg Philanthropies, XL Foundation and now, the Hemera Foundation and Meritus Trust. In addition, support has been provided by a number of individuals and families setting up their own philanthropic funds of various amounts.