Dufferin Community Foundation uses ‘power of many’ approach to fund local charities

March 14, 2024   ·   0 Comments


The Dufferin Community Foundation brings the power of many to charitable work.

There are a number of organizations that contribute to important endeavours throughout the county. But those efforts can be hampered at times by staff and volunteer hours spent raising funds and various administrative tasks.

That’s where the Dufferin Community Foundation (DCF) and its “power of many” approach comes in.

From the DCF website: “Creating a local community foundation was a way to help support local charitable work in a more sustainable way. The benefit of a community foundation is that they support the charitable efforts in a community for the long term by setting up and administering endowment funds. The investment income is then dispersed as grants for projects and services that enrich the community forever.”

Mono council heard during its regular meeting on March 12 that the DCF is dubbed the forever fund of Dufferin County, tasked with funding charities and building communities forever.

The DCF is part of a network of more than 200 such foundations across Canada that, as of 2020, were managing endowed assets of about $6.3-billion, said Shirley Boxem, the group’s vice-chairperson.

“A little bit of that is in Dufferin County,” she said of the managed assets.

The group’s goal is to generate $10 million in its first decade of operation. That’s about $450,000 annually for local charities.

“A lofty goal initially, but it’s actually slowly becoming a reality,” Boxem said. “Seemed unattainable almost at times but, in fact, we are over $3.5-million on deposit as of this year.”

Of that purse, $35,000 was distributed in 2022. They doled out $54,000 last year and expect to deliver $75,000 this year. They’re looking towards $115,000 next year.

“It’s really exciting for us,” she said.

As a local community foundation, the DCF is entrusted to locally distribute funds for the government and grants from national corporate programs. Those funds are distributed to more than 150 non-profit organizations that serve Dufferin County. They range from food banks, sports groups, child development efforts, environmental causes, and mental health groups.

“They’re just pivotal to our quality of life here,” said Michele Fisher, the foundation’s executive director. “A lot of people don’t know that they’re also a major contributor to our economy.”

That’s a contribution to the tune of $65 billion, or about eight per cent of the province’s gross domestic product from its non-profit sector.

“That is more than a lot of industry sectors,” Fisher said.

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