Foundation establishes community grant program

A new initiative that will provide money to community groups in Terrace is getting larger.

A NEW initiative that will provide money to community groups is getting larger.

The City of Terrace’s community foundation, an endowment fund which will use interest from its principal amount for community-specific grants, now holds $148,800 in its general account to be used for this purpose.

And the community foundation board is looking to make that money grow by calling out for further donations, creating two new categories under which people can donate.

Those categories include the founding donor, which is for a company or group that donates more than $10,000 in the first year. Donors under this category will have permanent recognition with the foundation.

The next category is the community builder, which is a commitment to donate a minimum of $500 yearly for four years or more.

“We’re focusing here on building it,” said the foundation’s treasurer Colum O’Donnell who also works for Investors Group here in town. “We want to get more people to hear about it.”

“An interesting way of finding money is through your employer,” said O’Donnell, explaining that many businesses have charitable donations built into their budgets.

“Many companies have community support programs set up and regularly ask their employees to simply apply for it.”

O’Donnell added he asked his employer, Investors Group, and $800 was donated.

The community foundation was established in April 2012 and is run through Prince George’s community foundation and provides comes with a charitable tax receipt.

The city has provided $50,000 to the fund, an amount which was matched by Northern Development Initiative Trust for a total of $100,000 into the general account.

The city’s community forest also donated $10,000 in 2012. The city is due to add a further $10,000 in 2013 from general revenues and the community forest board will make a decision about a further contribution this spring.

Foundation board members say current efforts will be focused on bringing more people on board. “We’re approaching any of the large companies coming to town,” said O’Donnell, estimating the foundation will know how much grant money it has available come fall, when the grant application process is also estimated to start.

The foundation plans to grant all of its interest income in this first year of operations to build its name, and then will use a stabilization method in the future.

What that means is a set amount to distribute will be determined in future years. Anything above that amount will be tucked away in a stabilization account. It will then act as a cushion should interest income fluctuate because of changing investment conditions.