About the Community Foundation

What does the Community Foundation do?

  • Pools the charitable gifts of many donors into a permanent, income-earning endowment that benefits the people of the Columbia Valley, and fulfills the philanthropic objectives of individual donors, families or organizations;
  • Makes grants from the earnings of these funds to support a broad variety of initiatives, from health, education and social services, to arts, culture and the environment;
  • Offers neutral advice and support to all kinds of individuals and organizations working to make philanthropic decisions;
  • Provides leadership as a community convenor, bringing people together from all sections to identify and address issues and leverage opportunities in the region.

What is the Community Foundation Charitable Registration number?

The Columbia Valley Community Foundation’s Charitable Registration Number is 88261 8713 RR0001

Who runs it?

The Community Foundation is independent, autonomous and accountable to the community as a whole. The governing body is made up a Board of Directors. Until very recently most of the work of the organization has been completed by the volunteer board of directors.  The members of Board are chosen for their integrity, expertise and ability to serve the Community Foundation without compensation.

Does the Community Foundation receive government funding?

No. All of the funds under the Community Foundation’s care have been established and have grown thanks to donations, both large and small.

Where does the money go?

The Community Foundation itself is not the object of donor’s philanthropy, but is the vehicle by which donors can fulfill their charitable objectives. Through its grantmaking programs, the Community Foundation is committed to seeding, nurturing, supporting and strengthening our Valley communities. Grants are made to not-for-profit organizations recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency as registered charities or qualifed donees.

Grants are made in support of arts and culture, children and youth, community facilities, education, health and safety, literacy, recreation, social services, student scholarships and the environment within the Columbia Valley. The annual earnings of many of the funds under the Community Foundation’s care are disbursed according to the advice from the donors of those funds.

Giving

Who gives?

Individuals, families, clubs, corporations and other charities contribute. The Community Foundation makes it easy for people of all means to participate. Individuals and families often establish an advised fund within the Community Foundation instead of establishing their own private foundation. This adds to administrative efficiency and reduces expenses.

 

The largest Community Foundations in Canada – Vancouver, Toronto, for example – manage endowment funds for smaller Community Foundations in order to ensure their financial viability, preserve their endowments in perpetuity, and benefit from ongoing professional endowment management expertise. The Vancouver Foundation manages endowment funds for the Columbia Valley Community Foundation.

What do they give?

The Community Foundation accepts nearly every kind of asset. Most non-cash gifts are liquidated immediately and the proceeds transferred to the investment portfolio.

Where does the money go?

The Community Foundation itself is not the object of donor’s philanthropy, but is the vehicle by which donors can fulfill their charitable objectives. Through its grantmaking programs, the Community Foundation is committed to seeding, nurturing, supporting and strengthening our Valley communities. Grants are made to not-for-profit organizations recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency as registered charities or qualifed donees.

Grants are made in support of arts and culture, children and youth, community facilities, education, health and safety, literacy, recreation, social services, student scholarships and the environment within the Columbia Valley. The annual earnings of many of the funds under the Community Foundation’s care are disbursed according to the advice from the donors of those funds.

Why use the Community Foundation?

  • The Community Foundation prides itself on flexibility, providing a range of services to help donors realize their charitable objectives. Donors can have as much or little involvement as they wish in how the money is disbursed.
  • The Community Foundation can assist people who want to enjoy the tax saving advantages of charitable contributions in a particular year but are uncertain as to which charities they would like to support. They can establish a fund in a tight time frame, obtain a tax receipt from the contributed amount, and then decide later where to focus their giving from the fund.

What kinds of funds can be established?

Donations to the Community Foundation are generally used to establish one or more of several types of funds, any of which can bear the name of an individual, family, corporation or charitable cause; or the fund can be anonymous.

How much must I contribute to establish a fund?

With one exception, a named fund can be established for as little as $5,000, and a donor-advised fund for a $10,000 minimum contribution. In either case, the money can be contributed over time, through annual contributions, or added to with a deferred gift, such as life insurance or a bequest.

What is an endowment fund?

The definition of a fund is an invested sum, whose income is devoted to a specific object. An endowment is defined as the act of bestowing a permanent provision for support. Together, the term endowment fund means an invested sum of money which is permanently invested and whose income is devoted to a specific cause.

What is the Rate of Return on investments?

Investment performance (Vancouver Foundation)

1 Year 8.79%
3 Year 11.63%
5 Year 8.97%
10 Year 6.31%

Why establish a donor-advised fund instead of a private foundation?

Starting up a private foundation requires the creation of a new organization, establishment of a board of trustees, obtaining registered charitable status from Canada Revenue Agency, and the provision of regular financial reports. A fund at a Community Foundation is far easier and faster to establish and entails no start-up costs.

How much does it cost?

The Columbia Valley Community Foundation fee policy assigns an annual administration fee of 1% on Regular Endowed Funds and 0.5% on Designated Endowment Funds.

Which charitable causes or organizations does the Community Foundation support?

The Community Foundation is able to support any organization or cause that a donor advises as long as it has charitable or qualified donee status with the Canada Revenue Agency. If preferred, donors may specify a broad field of interest or make no recommendations at all, in which case funds are used to support the most pressing needs in the community.

How do I make an online donation?

Online donations may now be made through the CanadaHelps.org system, providing a safe and secure environment through which donors may make a donation. Simply click on the Donate Now button that appears on each page. This will open the Columbia Valley Community Foundation customized portal on the CanadaHelps.org system. You will be provided with a choice of funds from the drop-down menu, including the general Community Foundation fund. You will be prompted through the donation process, and the receipt will be provided to you immediately.

What is the minimum tax receiptable amount for donations?

The minimum amount of a donation to receive a tax receipt is $20. For online donations, electronic receipts will be provided by email. Donors who make monthly donations will receive a receipt for the full amount at the end of the year.

Granting

When are the deadlines to apply for a grant or student award?

The deadlines for the Community Foundation’s grants programs and student awards are as follows. The applications must be received to our office by the dates below (NOT postmarked that date/time).

  • Community Grants – October 31st at 12 noon
  • Student Awards – April 30th at 12 noon

Are proposals accepted at any time?

The grant applications are received during the month of the deadline date. Please submit student award and grant applications as follows:

  • Community Grants October 1st through October 31st
  • Student Awards April 1st through April 30th

What happens to my request after I send it in?

You will receive an acknowledgement of your request within one week. Community Foundation staff and committees review each application to determine if the proposal meets the basic guidelines and granting criteria. If your project does not meet the criteria, or if additional information is required, you will be notified immediately. All grants are reviewed and approved by the Community Foundation’s Grant Committee, and all decisions are final. Notification of the results will be announced 6 weeks after the deadline dates.

How long before a decision is made?

All grants are reviewed and approved by the Community Foundation’s Grant Committee, and all decisions are final. Notification of the results will be announced 6 weeks after the deadline dates.

Can I meet with someone before submitting an application?

The Community Foundation operates with a relatively small staff and mostly through the work of volunteer directors and is therefore not able to meet with all applicants. If you have questions, please contact us by email at info@valleyfoundation.ca. If more information is required in order to process your submitted application, you will be contacted and, if necessary, a meeting may be arranged at that time.

If I am confident that my project will be approved, can I get started on the project?

The Community Foundation is not always able to fund all the requests it receives from applicants. You are not advised to start a project for which you do not have confirmation of funding. The Community Foundation will not fund retroactive expenses.

Can an individual (artist, researcher, community worker, etc) receive a grant from the Community Foundation?

No. The Community Foundation can only issue grants to registered Canadian charities and qualified donees.

Can I submit my application by email?

Yes. Your application may be submitted by email to online@valleyfoundation.ca See the section on how to Apply for a Grant for further details.

Do I need to have other sources of funding for my request?

The Community Foundation prefers not to be the sole funder. From time to time, the Community Foundation will provide full funding for a project but only when it is evident that there are no other avenues for funding and the project is seen as a high priority to the community-at-large.