The Central Okanagan Foundation has touched many of our lives in one way or another. Perhaps you have seen their name in the news, written on a big cheque going to one of your favourite charities. Or, perhaps it was on a scholarship that helped pay for your post-secondary education.
It feels good to give back to our community, but figuring out the best way to do it can be tough. We want to be sure that we are making the most of what we are able to give, which can be an onerous task. Plus, with so many charities and initiatives seeking help, just choosing one to support is often a challenge in itself. This is why organizations like the Central Okanagan Foundation exist.
Since its inception in 1977, the Central Okanagan Foundation has distributed more than $12 million to various areas of the community. The organization currently manages over $24 million in endowments, and over $6 million in other assets.
The Central Okanagan Foundation has a vision to create a vibrant, resilient and engaging community for all. They accomplish this by accepting donations and using income generated from endowment funds to support various initiatives in the community, including the arts, the environment, children and families services, education, health and community services, animal welfare and more.
This past year has been a very successful one for the Central Okanagan Foundation. Not only did the organization distribute over $2.8 million to the community, but they distributed $100,000 to 10 local organizations for Canada 150 projects including the Canada 150 for 150 Volunteer Challenge.
But how exactly does it all work, and what exactly is the benefit of supporting the Central Okanagan Foundation? The COF creates endowment funds which are permanent funds, and the capital that is put into them is actually never touched. The income generated in interest on these funds is then distributed through funding registered charities in our community every year at a minimum of 3.5% of the capital.
Since the capital is never touched, that means that this fund keeps generating money to be given back to the community… forever! Your contributions continue to make a difference even after you’re long gone, and when you think about it, that’s pretty neat.
For example, if you decided to donate $100,000 to an endowment fund, then this fund would have generated $350,000 in charitable donations after 100 years. Plus, that $100,000 you put in initially would still be there continuing to earn income for years to come!
Now, there are several different types of funds to which donors can contribute, all of which are endowment funds but end up being funnelled into different areas.
The Central Okanagan Foundation will also make ‘flow-through gift’ donations if you wish for your contribution to make an immediate impact without creating a fund, and they will work with professional advisors to help ensure that donors are able to reach their charitable goals. This includes financial planners, lawyers, accountants, notaries and more.
The COF is also registered with the Canada Revenue Agency as a tax-exempt public foundation, which means they are publicly accountable for the funds that they manage and provide tax receipts for the donations they receive.
If you want to make a significant difference in our community, consider donating through the Central Okanagan Foundation. It’s providing Kelowna residents the chance to create a legacy and have an impact that will last a lifetime and beyond!
How do you give back to the community? Let us know!
Community Foundations are charitable organizations dedicated to improving communities in specific geographical areas. Central Okanagan Foundation does this by pooling the charitable gifts of donors to create endowment funds and using the investment income to make grants.
The Central Okanagan Foundation supports registered charities within the Central Okanagan Region. This encompasses the District of Lake Country, City of Kelowna, City of West Kelowna, and District of Peachland.
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