, president of the Central Okanagan Foundation
, finds the growth of community foundations in Canada not only logical , but essential , and attributes it to three factors :.
The first is this trillion-dollar inter-generational transfer - sort of one generation being passed to another , as baby boomers begin to bequeath their fortunes.Add to that the fact of continual government cutbacks throughout the 90's.The government has now placed more on to the community , saying if community development is important to the community , then by all means we'll try to encourage you through taxation and so on , but you've got to accept the responsibility for it..The tax change in the last budget that cut in half the capital gains tax that donors would pay on gifts of publicly traded securities has been a bonanza , and community foundations are set to be big beneficiaries.
And the third , most personal factor is that approximately half of Canadians don't have a will.
So somewhere in there we've got a burgeoning need and a growing population of people who may wish to donate in their community , says Dolman
.Community foundations give them a facility by which to do it , through things like scholarship funds , memorial funds or directed funds..
In the 20-odd year history , we've returned something in the order of $1.75 million , through our grants committee , to a variety of organizations in the community and that's money that wouldn't have been available from any other source if people hadn't stepped forward..-- Alan Dolman
A community foundation is essentially an endowment fund that invests its revenues in local projects , as determined by a group of citizens.
feels the COF
has been very fortunate in finding many generous donors.In the 20-odd year history , we've returned something in the order of 1.75 million dollars , through our grants committee , to a variety of organizations in the community - continued on page 32 and that's been money that wouldn't have been available from any other source if people hadn't stepped forward..
While many corporations and individuals are attracted to high-profile fund-raising campaigns , such as famine relief , children's charities or the life-threatening diseases , community foundations tend to fund only locally based groups , and pay for projects that others eschew.
Examples of the foundation's donations abound throughout the Valley.From a community complex and skateboard park in Lake Country to bleachers at a ball park in Westbank , the grants committee will donate money to any worthwhile project.
This is not the case , says Dolman
.A community foundation is something everybody can make a contribution to.For specific community funds , people can send in a hundred dollars , two hundred dollars and get a tax receipt for it.Named family funds can be opened with as little as $5000 , which can be paid over five years.Again , it's tax deductible..
That's not to say that there aren't those whose donations to the COF
boggle the minds of most of us.
Revenue Canada changed the rules to encouragethat people who donate securities with a capital gains component , says Dolman
.The government's trying to really work with the philanthropic sector..
The Central Okanagan Foundation
donates approximately $150 , 000 a year to the community - not surprising when you look at the skills and acumen of the people behind the foundation and how hard they are working - all voluntarily.The people who make up the grants committee , the investment committee , the communications committee and the fund development committee are all experts in their fields and all contribute their time and expertise to the COF
voluntarily.They are also all committed to their community and that is why when you talk to someone who is part of the Central Okanagan Foundation
, you are immediately caught up in their passion for the foundation and its cause.
So that's something that we're extremely proud of , says Dolman
While the COF
is well recognized among other community foundations across Canada , a large part of Dolman's job is to promote it to the citizens of the Central Okanagan
loves it when he
is asked , Why should I donate my money to the COF over other worthy causes?.because a lot of those worthy causes have funds with the foundation.
The nice part about the community foundation , for instance , is that the SPCA , the Hospital , the College , the Boys and Girls clubs , Elizabeth Frye , Project Literacy - all of these people have funds with the foundation so that they have raised money in their own organization ; they have given it to the foundation to manage and return in perpetuity the income on it.As a matter of fact , we've had two or three funds in the last couple of years through the United Way..
I like to think of this as the RRSP of donating.