As students prepare to head back to school, Community Foundations across the region are reminding students and parents to take a look at the scholarships and other financial supports available.
Lynnette Wray of the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies (CFKR) said that almost every Foundation across the Columbia Basin region has scholarships available for local students heading to post-secondary education, along with other funding for education-related projects.
“From scholarships focused on specific areas of study like trades or health care, to general funds to help those in need, scholarships are a core part of almost every Community Foundation,” Wray explained.
Wray noted that while grant recipients should think about their local Community Foundation, when looking for some financial help, potential donors to those funds are even more important.
“When people are passionate about a cause, a donation through your local Community Foundation is a great way to give back, right where you live,” she said.
Community Foundations are registered charities that manage donations for a wide range of specific causes. Donors can give to existing funds (for example, a fund that provides scholarships for local students), or create their own fund that in turn generates an ongoing donation to a charity of their choice, or they can give an unrestricted gift that the Foundation will allocate to areas of greatest need and priority.
“Your local Community Foundation uses expert managers to pool and invest the funds, generating ongoing financial returns that get allocated each year,” Wray explained. “The donor gets the charitable tax receipt, and we take care of all the administrative burden.”
For example, in Cranbrook, the CFKR highlighted the endowment of the Cranbrook Past and Present Teachers’ Legacy Fund. This fund was started by Don and Linda Holt - both retired teachers - who wanted to establish a fund to celebrate teachers’ positive and lasting impact in our community.
Donations to establish this new fund included in-memoriam donations for teachers who have passed away, in-honour donations to celebrate current and retired teachers in our community, and other general donations. The purpose of the fund is to support student success and wellness in Cranbrook’s public schools, as recommended by the Cranbrook Retired Teachers’ Association and the Cranbrook District Teachers’ Association.
You can find your local Community Foundation by going here: https://www.communityfoundations.ca/find-a-community-foundation/