We’re planning to establish a community foundation. Help us decide how it should operate!
The creation of a community foundation is among the elements found in the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan adopted by Council. A critical driver of the initiative is a desire by Council to provide long-term support for community challenges.
The Strategic Plan’s first goal is to “enhance community economic development to provide opportunities and sustainability for Fort St. John.” As one of the steps to help achieve that goal, a Social Policy Framework is under development that includes the establishment of a community foundation.
The Social Policy Framework is being developed based on research conducted by The Forge, a partnership between the Community Development Institute at UNBC and the City.
The goal of a community foundation is to bring resources and people together to build better places to live, work and play. The City is committed to community building, and a community foundation would serve to nurture community vitality through philanthropy. That vitality is fostered through:
- Endowment building
- Broad and effective giving
- Inclusive community leadership
In addition to supporting local non-profits, a community foundation might also fund Grants-in-Aid and permissive tax exemptions that currently come from the City’s operating budget.
While donations are a common source of revenue for community foundations, Council negotiated the Community Measures Agreement and the Regional Legacy Benefits with BC Hydro arising from its Site C dam project. These agreements are expected to provide approximately $58 million to the municipality over the next 70 years.
In September 2019, Council engaged the firm KEA Canada Ltd. to evaluate the potential for a new community foundation and, ultimately, produce a business plan that will provide:
- A review of the current philanthropic landscape in Fort St. John
- An analysis of community needs and the identification of gaps a foundation might address
- A proposed foundation structure and governance model
- A donor-development strategy
- A financial plan
KEA Canada will be engaging with various stakeholders and the public at large as part of the planning process.
Since then, work on setting up the Community Foundation has taken place and the inaugural Board of Directors for the North Peace Community Foundation announced the hiring of Susan Adams as the Executive Director on December 13, 2021.
The North Peace Community Foundation results from extensive and in-depth community consultation beginning in early 2020. Along with the inaugural Board of Directors, the Executive Director is currently working with the inaugural Board to develop the policies and procedures to establish the Foundation, working with local First Nations to create a meaningful brand identity, and readying the Foundation to transition to a community-led Board of Directors.
Further information about the North Peace Community Foundation will be released in early 2022.