September is Community Foundations Month in B.C.
The initiative aims to educate British Columbians about the role these foundations play in supporting non-profits and charities in their community.
“We want to bring this top of mind because community foundations allow people to give where they live,” said Gary Smith, president of the Phoenix Foundation of the Boundary Communities based in Grand Forks, and the initiative’s lead organizer.
Unlike charities, who collect donations for a particular cause, community foundations collect and invest endowments, then disperse the dividends as grants to local charities and non-profit organizations.
For example, the Phoenix Foundation set up the Path Home Fund in 2018 to help people affected by the devastating flooding in Grand Forks that year. Other grant recipients include food banks, childcare groups, museum societies and hobby clubs.
B.C. is home to 52 of Canada’s 191 community foundation.
On Sept. 26, On the Table, a program sponsored by the Vancouver Foundation, will bring people together to talk about community issues such as poverty, housing, and public safety, in a bid to help others connect and feel less socially isolated.