The Omega Foundation develops and supports initiatives that promote financial self-sufficiency through microfinance and enhancing the savings capacity and financial literacy of low-income families. In addition, the foundation supports the development of philanthropic responses to community needs using capital endowments as one way to ensure long-term solutions are found to meet pressing community needs.
Omega was originally founded to raise endowment capital to help fund the operations and programs of Calmeadow, a Canadian charity and leader in the field of microfinance.
SmartSAVER is an initiative of The Omega Foundation that seeks to strengthen low-income Canadian families' ability to save for their children's post-secondary education.
With the costs of enrolment rapidly escalating at a pace in excess of inflation, more and more low-income children and their families see the opportunity to attend college or university as an illusive dream. Yet, even a modest amount of savings set aside for education significantly increases the rate of participation.
With a three-year pilot project now under way in Toronto, the foundation is working with its partners to increase the level of awareness and participation among low-income families in the federal government's Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) program and the supplementary Canada Learning Bond.
Funding partners include the Federal Government through HRSDC, the McConnell Family Foundation, the Trillium Foundation, the George Cedric Metcalf Foundation and ScotiaBank. Program partners include the YMCA, Working Women's Community Centre, The United Way, Royal Bank, and Maytree Foundation.