The Quesnel Community Foundation is kicking off its annual donation drive, and hoping to see plenty of generous local citizens step forward.
The donation drive runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 7, and one anonymous donor has promised to match donations received up to $50,000.
Foundation president Mary Sjostrom says they want to take advantage of and even exceed that amount.
“This year is our fourth year with a donor matching funds. It’s pretty phenomenal,” says Sjostrom.
The QCF funds a variety of local projects, and last year gave out $68,000 in grants to 15 projects, as well as $10,000 in bursaries and scholarships and $3,900 through an agency fund.
“We fund a vast variety of projects in the community,” says Sjostrom, adding that the Foundation’s fundraising in 2017 exceeded $189,000, to bring the total endowment fund to $2.7 million.
“We started with just $50,000 in 2000 from hosting the BC Winter Games, so it’s really important to thank Quesnel,” she says.
Funding is allocated via an application process, and Sjostrom explains the funds given out are from the interest on the principal balance – so that balance is never spent. Registered charities in the area are eligible for grants.
Funded activities provide a direct service to the community, or take an innovative approach to addressing changing needs and concerns within the North Cariboo region. In 2017, the Foundation gave grants to the Back Country Horsemen, Cariboo Ski Touring Club, Lightning Creek Ski Club, North Cariboo Aboriginal Family Care Program, Quesnel & District Community Arts Council, Quesnel Elks, Quesnel Outback Quadders, Quesnel Special Olympics, Baker Creek Enhancement Society, Jam Camp North, New Life Church, Old Age Pensioners Golden Centre, Quesnel & District Lawn Bowling Society, Quesnel Motocross Association, Quesnel SkyFest Society and St. John’s Community Hall.
Sjostrom notes that the Foundation has set up a committee to meet with community stakeholders to find out how people feel about the grant allocations, a project that will start this fall.
“We want to determine whether we are hitting the mark with the money we are giving out. You are not going to please everyone, but it will be a good identification of the needs in the community… We can always give out money, but we want to make sure it’s balanced,” she says.
Donations can be made online through the Foundation’s website at www.quesnelfoundation.ca, or cheques can be mailed to Box 4158, Quesnel, B.C., V2J 3J2. Anyone donating more than $25 will receive a tax receipt.