As the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation (PRRCF) has grown, so has the benefits it provides to the North Coast.
“Community foundations have become a very powerful, unique and respected resource when it comes to identifying community needs and then, subsequently, financially tackling those needs,” said Doug Kydd, chair of the PRRCF.
“Our foundation’s mission is improving the quality of life for Prince Rupert and area residents.”
There are 191 community foundations across Canada with approximately $3.3 billion in assets, helping Canadians invest in building strong and resilient communities to live, work and play in.
In May of 2011, the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation was chartered as the 120th foundation in the country, starting with seed money of just over $30,000.
Today, the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation’s capital fund, held by the Vancouver Foundation, has grown to approximately $435,000. About $280,000 of that came from fundraising events in the community, with the remaining amount coming from corporate and individual donations.
The Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation has been affiliated with the Vancouver Foundation, the largest in Canada, since its inception in 2001. Kydd said the relationship has been extremely beneficial, with the group receiving plenty of advice from its Vancouver-counterparts over the years.
The PRRCF will always be able to donate money, as the principal funds in its account are never touched and will only continue to grow; the foundation’s annual grants are generated from investment returns.
“The money is in an endowment fund, so we can never touch the principal. We just get the benefit of the interest paid yearly back to us. We reinvest an additional 20 per cent from our interest [into the principal fund], plus any money we fundraise throughout the year,” explained Karen Basso, who sits on the PRRCF board of directors and chairs the group’s grant committee.
In order to grow its principal fund, the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation holds fundraising events every year.
Past fundraisers have included the Marasportsathon, which consisted of 24 athletes playing 11 different sports over 24 hours, and celebrity dinners that have included former Rupertites like Gloria Macarenko, Iona Campagnolo and Chris Hebb as guest speakers, as well as big names like Rick Hansen and John Furlong.
This year the foundation is sponsoring a performance by ABBA-tribute group ARRIVAL for its main fundraiser, scheduled for Seafest Saturday. One of the group’s members, Tracy Mason, is a former Prince Rupert resident.
The foundation started providing grants in 2003 and by 2014 it has handed out more than 70 grants totalling $97,000.
Some of the local entities Prince Rupert’s foundation has supported over the years include the Hospice Society, Seniors Centre Association, Kaien Anti Poverty Society, the Prince Rupert Library, Dragon Boat Society, Prince Rupert Community Arts Council, Port Edward Historical Society, Prince Rupert Archives, Harbour Theatre Society, North Coast Transition Society, and much more.
Last year the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation was able to donate $11,000 to the Golf Club, Special Events Society, Curling Club and Northwest chapter of the Canadian Institute for the Blind.
In 2015, the foundation will be able to supply $12,000 to local groups, and by March’s end, the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation will have given out a total of $109,000 in grants.
The Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation is currently accepting applications for its 2015 grants. The group will only consider applications from registered societies seeking assistance in paying for the acquisition or repairs of assets. The group is not permitted to fund ongoing programs or general operating expenses.
Grant application forms are available at the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation’s website, prfoundation.ca.
Because the amount of money the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation hands out each year depends on the size of its endowment fund, individuals, businesses and groups have the ability to help boost the value of annual grants by donating to the foundation. Those who contribute to the organization receive a tax receipt for the full amount of their donation.
Kydd noted some of the biggest financial contributors to community foundations across Canada have been individuals who bequeathed foundations in their wills.
The PRRCF doesn’t have any paid staff members, with the 13 people who make up its board of directors all volunteering their time to the organization.
While the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation isn’t looking for any new board members at this time, individuals are needed for its organizing committees and to assist with the events it holds. Anyone interested in lending a hand is encouraged to contact Doug Kydd at 250-624-2617.