Today’s Poll

$50K Nelson & Area Community Challenge

By Contributor
November 5th, 2014

Nelson area citizens have been handed a great opportunity to grow their Community Fund.

If locals contribute $50,000 by the end of 2014, a donor will kick in an additional $25,000. This $75K increase to our endowed fund will enable Osprey to give out more grants each year to hardworking local organizations. Donations can be made by mail or online.

The Community Fund supports local organizations that are doing great work on the front lines,” says former Osprey president Stefan Lehmann, who has personally donated $1000 to the fundraising campaign.

“Because the Fund is invested and the capital is never spent, it generates earnings that flow back to the community year after year. Your donation will make a difference for years to come.”

Board member P’nina Shames waived a retirement gift earlier this year and instead raised and matched $1000 in donations for the Community Fund from colleagues and friends.

“The Community Fund supports organizations in our own backyard that are dear to my heart,” says the former mental health clinician. “Each year, we have to turn down some groups who come to us for funding. But with a bigger fund, we’ll have more money to grant out. It’s like an apple tree that produces a new harvest every year, forever.”

Past grants from this Fund have helped organizations providing food, shelter, community kitchens and important social programs. They’ve supported local arts groups and youth theatre productions. They’ve contributed to local playgrounds, skate parks, cross-country trails, climbing gyms, education, and local initiatives such as the movie theatre. And much more.

“We know there are many other groups in the community raising funds for worthwhile causes,” says Osprey chair Tom Murray.

“We aren’t in competition with them. Our role is to support and strengthen these organizations through our grants. For donors, we act as a kind of one-stop hub for local giving.”

“When individuals donate to the Osprey Community Foundation, they are leaving a legacy that will enrich the broader community for years to come. And with this matching funding we now have available, every donation increases in value by 50 percent.”

As part of this fundraising campaign Osprey is planning a celebration November 24th to honour long-time City councillor Donna Macdonald. Save the date! Macdonald was one of those who helped launch the community foundation 14 years ago – and has been donating to the Community Fund ever since.

Her retirement from City Council after 19 years is a great opportunity for the community to come out and thank her for her years of dedicated community work, and to raise funds for the Community Fund at the same time.

“When we started Osprey, it was a leap of faith – and a tonne of work by volunteers,” says Macdonald.

“But we knew that if we built it, they would come – local people in a position to ‘give back’ would help us to grow this community nest egg. Donating to Osprey’s Community Fund is a way for each of us to share the bounty of our lives to make the Nelson area even better.”

Osprey is a public, charitable foundation, created in 2000 by and for the people of Nelson, BC and the surrounding area. Donations to Osprey are pooled in a permanently-endowed fund, generating income each year that flows back to local charities and eligible organizations.

Osprey’s overall endowment exceeds $6 million, but most of that is designated to particular local causes, while the unrestricted Community Fund for community granting has a balance of $172,000. Osprey is governed by a volunteer board of directors, and is a member of Community Foundations of Canada. For further information, please go to or call 250-352-3643.

Photo caption: Sheila and Dave Martin got the ball rolling by donating $5000 on the spot. 

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