In the fall of 2015 the Omineca Express reported a new funding source for community projects was being set up by the District of Vanderhoof and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako Rural Area F. Significant work has been done since to establish the endowment society called the ‘Vanderhoof Community Foundation’.
This year it is up and running and on a mission to provide a charitable fund that will generate investment income to serve our community for perpetuity. The Foundation’s goal is to support all kinds of initiatives that will strengthen our local economy, society, culture and ecology. The vision is to help build a strong and vibrant community that cares for all.
Non partisan, non profit
The Vanderhoof Community Foundation is a non partisan non profit organization, supporting our communities — The District of Vanderhoof, Saik’uz First Nation, Cluculz Lake and Bulkley Nechako Regional District (RDBN) Rural Area F — by partnering with donors to build permanent endowment funds for local projects and initiatives.
The Foundation is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization under the Society Act, with its own official Society Constitution and Bylaws. As the Society has not yet received its charitable status, it has partnered with the Prince George Community Foundation (PGCF) to ensure that donations will receive appropriate receipts for income tax purposes. By pooling our funds with the other Foundations that have partnered with PGCF, we are assured higher investment returns that will be directed back to our account for future granting.
The Foundation has also implemented start-up guidelines set out in the Manual published by the Community Foundations of Canada. Starting off this way enabled the Foundation to offset administrative costs, pool human and financial resources, as well as take advantage of existing best practice and access partnerships with other community foundations in the area. The Vanderhoof Community Foundation is ready now as a new entity with its own volunteer Board of Directors that make independent decisions on funding.
In the future, the Foundation will be able to communicate its terms of reference which will outline eligibility criteria for grant applications. The focus for the funds will be specific, but in a way that is all-inclusive and in touch with the changing needs of Vanderhoof and our surrounding area.
Going forward Directors are keen to build and maintain strong enthusiasm for the Foundation’s endowment fund development plan.
The Foundation’s goal is to raise $1 Million in the coming years. This will generate investment earnings to provide the financial means by which grants will be approved for projects which support a vibrant and successful community.
As funds accumulate in our investment account, the Foundation Board will determine an appropriate time to begin offering grants. The terms of reference for these grants will be communicated via their website, Facebook page and other media.
Seeking donations, bequests
Although it will be good to spread awareness so that people start remembering their community foundation in their wills, the Foundation is not going to just sit around waiting for bequests. The Foundation has already begun and will continue to demonstrate its vitality and participation in community life. Directors are sensitive to the fact that people are busy enough already, but they are determined that with persistent work the fund will be “top of mind” when considering a donation, that the Vanderhoof Community Foundation be known as a trusted way to leave a legacy, to give back to the community for generations to come.
Take action, take ownership
There are many ways to donate to the Foundation including:Making a direct donation to the Foundation Society via cheque, cash or on-line – see www.vhfcf.org for details.
You can talk to your Employer about making automatic donations from your paycheque. Why not encourage your employer to match your contributions too? If you are already making regular donations to a charity through payroll deductions, consider how much of your money is going to costly administration and how much is being returned to your community.
Work with your Accountant or Lawyer to make a donation to the Foundation as part of your estate planning.
Host your own fundraising event through your workplace, church group or with a group of friends and donate proceeds to the Foundation.
Honour a deceased loved one by developing a lasting legacy in their name that will be a constant reminder of the their devotion to our community.
Support, attend or sponsor the Foundation’s fundraising events or volunteer to be a Board Member or Committee member. We welcome your participation as we all are working as Volunteers!
The Foundation promises to be an integral part of the fabric of our community and directors want to encourage citizens to take ownership of it. Every donation to the VCF endowment fund will grow its capacity to earn investment income and literally, as the saying goes; “be a gift that keeps on giving”.
“It’s such a significant milestone for the residents of Vanderhoof to now have a Foundation in place. It’s something we have been intentional about for quite some time,” said Mayor Gerry Thiessen. “I look forward to seeing the Foundation hold a special place in the community, to realize its full potential for many years to come,” he said.
Mayor Thiessen also remarked how “We are already a very giving and generous community and I would like to recognize Jerry Petersen and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako who put into the Foundation $50,000. This contribution plus $50,000 from the District of Vanderhoof was all matched with a $100,000 grant from the Northern Development Initiative Trust. This $200,000 is a great start for our Foundation.”
Elected Chief of Saik’uz First Nation also provided a statement, namely; “I am supportive of this new foundation for the town of Vanderhoof and I will talk with the District of Vanderhoof Council to find out how we can work on it together.”
A way to support local volunteers
This Foundation in a sense marks a coming of age for our community as a whole. It signifies formally the habit we have already to nurture the local charitable sector and promote organized philanthropy.
RBDN Director Jerry Petersen said “There are a lot of volunteer organizations which are all essential for the quality of life we enjoy in this community. They are always in need of help. I can say that through the Foundation these volunteers and organizations have another source of help, and it’s so important that we do everything we can to support them.”
-Check out VCF website
Facebook page, email