Cal & Donna Musgrave, donors with the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan.

Collaboration Benefits Communities: How working together leverages funding for the North Okanagan

When COVID-19 hit in mid-March and we all headed home to ponder what was in store in the coming months, none of us could have predicted how things would unfold. As a community foundation, our primary concern was for the survival of the charities that rely on us for funding. After all, those charities serve the citizens of our communities – including our most vulnerable: children, seniors, low-income families and many others.

For those familiar with the endowment model, the majority of donations to the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan are retained and invested to generate a perpetual source of income for the charitable sector. In this way, our donors are able to support their chosen charities not just once, but year after year, without depleting the principal gift. What a great way to take care of our community, today, tomorrow… forever!

Exploring innovative ways to support the charitable sector

Alongside the endowment model, the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan has seen the advantage of exploring other innovative ways to support the charitable sector and to embrace evolving donor preferences to balance immediate needs with long-term needs. The beauty of diversifying revenue sources is that it has allowed us to pursue innovation without abandoning our original purpose. The key is to cultivate an “AND” versus “OR” mindset.

By exploring partnerships with other funders, including Community Foundations of Canada, the Government of Canada, community foundations in the Central and South Okanagan, United Way, private foundations, businesses, and appealing to our donors to consider a gift to out BETTER TOGETHER FUND, we’ve given the endowment time to recover, while giving out MORE grants than we ever have in the past. By this time of year we’ve usually given away $100,000 to $200,000. This year we’ve been involved in granting over $800,000 to our community with our usual December distributions still ahead!

You’ll see many announcements in the coming weeks and months detailing various granting programs we participated in. We thank you for your role in stepping up with donations to our BETTER TOGETHER FUND, and encourage you to follow our progress on our website and our Facebook which can be accessed through the website.

Is partnering with the Community Foundation right for you? Here are some questions to help you decide:

  • Do you care deeply about your community?
  • Do you currently give to one or more charitable causes?
  • Are you interested in creating a personal or family legacy?
  • Do you want to make a simple one-time gift, or find out about planned giving options?
  • Do you want to make a difference but aren’t sure where to start?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’d benefit from partnering with us at the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan. We support individuals, families, charitable organizations, and businesses from all walks of life, economic backgrounds and charitable interests with one thing in common – a desire to make a difference in our communities today and tomorrow.

Thank you and hats off to all those charities, non-profits and volunteers out there continually making our community a better place to live for all of us! To learn more, visit and call Leanne Hammond at 250.542.8655 or email


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