Big support from foundation

Community Foundation of the North Okanagan 2014 grants total more than $400,000

The Community Foundation of the North Okanagan is delivering support in the hundreds of thousands.

The foundation has announced that the 2014 grants distribution to the community will total just over $400,000. Discretionary funds will be distributed at a cheque presentation ceremony at the Performing Arts Centre, June 4 at 11 a.m. The public is welcome to attend.

The funds represent earnings on the over 150 endowments managed by the foundation as well as the Smart and Caring Community Fund.

“We’re always proud to be able to assist in the distribution of these funds,” said Foundation President Michael Tindall. “Approximately 80 per cent of the grant money each year is directed funds, where the donor has specified the recipients, with the balance being discretionary funds where the donor has allowed the foundation to choose the recipients.

“We’re working hard to increase the discretionary funds,” said Tindall, “because that’s where our board and grants committee can react to immediate community needs.”

Fund Development Officer Leanne Hammond explained that the foundation has created the Smart and Caring Community Fund in concert with other community foundations across Canada to help increase the discretionary funds available each year.

“We’re starting to see donations coming in to the foundation specifically for the Smart and Caring fund,” said Hammond, “a trend we certainly wish to encourage.”

Donations can be made to this fund by visiting and clicking on the red ‘Donate Now’ button on the home page. Charitable tax receipts are also issued.

“No amount is too small,” said Hammond.

The Foundation’s Vital Signs survey, conducted every two years, helps identify key areas of need within the community and is used by the foundation grants committee when reviewing applicants.

“Vital Signs certainly helps our committee as it reviews applications,” said Brad Marsh, director and grants committee chair.

This year the committee awarded 21 grants out of a total of 38 applications, with total discretionary grants equaling $87,300 of the $317,000 requested.

“The foundation service area is roughly the size of the regional district,” said Marsh, “and as a board we recognize the sizeable and diversified needs throughout that area. It’s this demonstrated community need that’s really driving the foundation to build the Smart and Caring Community Fund. And it’s certainly become an important focus of our activities.”