The amount of money flowing out of the Community Foundation North Okanagan seems to get bigger and bigger each year. And that’s exactly what the Foundation’s board of directors and donors want to see continue.
According to Mike Nolan, board chair at the Community Foundation North Okanagan, “Grants to a multitude of charities that keep our non-profit sector humming along is exactly what the founders had in mind when they stepped up over 46 years ago.”
At the Foundation’s virtual Annual Community Meeting held Nov. 30 and attended by a variety of donors, community leaders and charities, participants were walked through a summary of granting programs and financial highlights from 2021 that paint an encouragingly positive picture of charitable activity.
As the Community Foundation’s executive director Leanne Hammond explains, “Philanthropy’s primary goal is to build the capacity of the organizations doing the hard work of making our communities better, and for a second year in a row, we are proud to announce that our granting programs exceeded a million dollars.”
Hammond credits her board of directors with supporting creative granting flexibility during the pandemic and fostering an innovative approach to offering donors options that suit their own charitable goals. “We are nothing without our donors, and it is up to the community foundation to be the intersection between donors who care and causes that matter. Our role is to encourage relevant, generous giving at a time when donors are looking to us to provide guidance and be knowledgeable about the needs of our community.”
Community Foundation North Okanagan stewards over 200 individual charitable funds that together drive over $20 million in assets. While the majority of those funds are endowment funds started by individuals, families, and local businesses to provide a source of charitable income year over year, the Foundation also offers easy ways for donors to provide one-time gifts of any amount, or to establish a non-endowed fund to make a more immediate impact over a specified period of time.
If all that sounds confusing, Foundation staff are available to answer questions, sit with donors and explain options, provide wording for wills, and generally demystify what can sometimes seem like an intimidating process. According to Hammond, “Once I know what a donor has in mind, I can simplify things and make things happen smoothly, whether the donor is interested in making a $100 gift, a $10,000 gift, or a million dollar gift!”
At a time of year when GIVING is on everyone’s mind – the Community Foundation has created a Giving Guide that highlights local charities that could use some support. As Hammond points out, “We weren’t able to include every charity, there are so many! As we are really a charity for all charities, we encourage gifts to any charity.”