All of these organizations exist to provide valuable assistance to worthy causes but there are differences that dictate how and to whom their funds are disbursed.

Private Foundations are nongovernmental, non-profit organizations that have been usually established with funds from a single source. This could be an individual, family or a corporation.

In many cases these foundations are focused on providing assistance to specific causes or interests. They do this by either providing grants to various groups or are focused on a single initiative. One such organization in BC is the Steve Nash Foundation, established by basketball star Nash and his family. The focus of this foundation is dedicated to assisting underserved children in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment of life.

Charitable Organizations, in many cases, are also dedicated to supporting a specific cause. They are primarily funded by the general public and the monies collected are used on an on-going basis to support their initiatives and programs.

These charitable organizations’ missions range from animal welfare to religious concerns, from supporting educational institutions to providing financial assistance for hospitals, research groups and a host of other special interest situations. Examples of these organizations locally would be YANA and MARS.

Community Foundations such as the Comox Valley Community Foundation are quite different as they are designed to provide an on-going source of funding for a broader base of charitable organizations throughout the community.

As an independent organization, the money raised comes from a variety of sources including individuals, community groups and local businesses. The major difference is that these monies are held in a variety of funds in perpetuity. Some are dedicated for specific use but the majority are made available to support many different local community charities. Another big difference is that only the interest earned on these pooled funds is disbursed to local charities through an annual granting process.

Currently the Comox Valley Community Foundation holds and administers over 70 individual charitable and pooled funds. Since 1998 the Foundation has disbursed over $1.2 million in grants to support local charitable organizations.

To find out more about the Foundation and how you can help provide our community with funding for the future, visit the website at www.cvcfoundation.org