Sport can transform lives and our communities.

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”
– Nelson Mandela

This permanent endowment fund currently provides financial and human resource support to neighbourhood-based organizations in under-serviced communities that nurture the physical, social and emotional well-being of program leaders and their participants through quality sport programming.

“Improved health and fitness, along with coaching and leadership training, contribute to youth social productivity – their ability to lead lives that make a net contribution to community. Counter to current trends that exacerbate the divide between rich and poor, sport for development is about creating a society where differences in income, race, and religion do not prevent social cohesion and mobility. It makes our communities more inclusive and resilient.”
– John Cawley & Stephen Huddart, from GOOD SPORT, a J.W. McConnell Family Foundation Publication, 2013

Our Approach –

  • We recognize the value of quality sport and use sport as a primary vehicle to support organizations that engage community children and youth in physical activities that are welcoming, safe, fun, enhance their physical literacy, develop transferable skills and create a positive sense of belonging.
  • We support organizations that identify and support the unique barriers such as socio-economic, lack of local sport opportunities, access to coaches, access to proper clothing and equipment, etc. that prevent some children and youth from experiencing the many health benefits of fully participating in sport and physical activity.
  • We value collaboration and strive for a meaningful and sustainable impact.

Why the Toronto Foundation –

  • The Toronto Foundation has the expertise we need as they administer more than $400 million in assets from more than 500 individual, family and organizational funds.
  • As an endowment fund, only the investment income, not the principal sum, will be expended. This means that each donation will continue to contribute year after year.
  • The Toronto Foundation provides the necessary administrative support so that we can focus on what we do best – contribute to positive change in people and places.

Our Process –

  • We identify values-based organizations that are welcoming to the diverse peoples of our country, and are inspired to make the sport system in Canada more equitable.
  • We establish an Advisory Group each year that will recommend the allocation of funds for approval and disbursement by the Toronto Foundation.
  • We act as a conduit to the Toronto Foundation and provide personal support to organizations in their attempt to secure funding for community activations.

In order to complement the support provided by other organizations in the ‘Sport for Development’ sector, this Fund focuses on addressing locally identified ‘service gaps’ to facilitate social change and make sport a positive and developmentally appropriate experience for more people.

The inaugural grant from the Sport for Development Fund was provided to Team Unbreakable in November 2020 for providing a virtual self-directed 5km event opportunity during COVID to students involved in the Lawrence Heights Sports, Wellness and Achievement Network (SWAN). Additional funds have been granted to the Toronto Accessible Sports Council (TASC) for their support of Able Sail Toronto in March 2023 and to the Doug Philpot Inner-City Children’s Tennis Fund in April 2023.  

Track & Field program at the Lawrence Heights  Sports, Wellness and Achievement Network  (SWAN). The SWAN initiative is operated by the Toronto District School Board.


This fund was initiated by Jeff Carmichael after an insightful 30 year career in municipal recreation and sport development with the City of Toronto. Jeff is a past Executive Director of the Toronto Sports Council and has served on several Boards. He continues to work on innovative projects where collaboration is forefront. His work in under-serviced communities focuses on providing support to local champions that use sport as a tool to build healthier neighbourhoods and to bring about positive social change. To learn more about how your organization can receive support from the fund and to discuss how your donation makes a difference, please email or call 416-224-2216


This Fund’s granting purpose is subject to change at the request of the Donor Advisor.
To enable the Donor Advisor to properly recognize donors for their contributions, Toronto Foundation will share your contact information and donation amount with the Donor Advisor unless you have checked the anonymous box on the donation form.