Kamloops & District Chamber of Commerce News

How to Leave a Legacy in the Community You Love

#GiveWhereYouLive – from supporting the local arts community to tackling youth homelessness, a BC Interior Community Foundation (BCICF) legacy is designed around you and your passions and can be started with as little as $100.00. 

This is not your average charity, the team is small but mighty, led by Executive Director, Robert Miller, who we recently caught up with to learn about what a legacy fund is, what sets the BCICF apart and how a legacy fund directly benefits the communities we call home.

What is the BCICF most looking forward to in 2021 and beyond?
The BC Interior Community Foundation (BCICF) supports charitable agencies, not-for-profit groups and students throughout the Thompson Nicola and South Cariboo region. Our impact is high and our value model is the strongest among all types of charities. Did you know that our administrative costs are the lowest among all types of charities? Only a 1% administrative fee is charged against the annual earned interest from each fund (not from the principal or donations).  This ensures the highest value possible for your charitable giving intentions.

Photo Credit: BC Interior Community Foundation 

What is a Community Foundation and how does it differ from other charitable organizations? 
There are several unique characteristics that set community foundations apart from other charitable organizations. Perhaps the most important of these is the enduring nature of donations to these organizations. All donations become part of a large pool of permanently invested (endowed) funds that generates income to flow back into the community every year – forever. Many private and public foundations focus on a single cause, whereas community foundations support a broad range of needs, such as those related to health and welfare, youth and education, arts and culture, children and families, environment and recreation, seniors and heritage, and so much more.

What is the impact the donations have on local community; approximately how many organizations have benefited? 
Community impact is achieved in a few different ways. For example, a local charitable organization may create its own “fund” within the foundation. The individual organization may hold special fundraising events or invite their supporters to contribute to their designated fund. The investment income from all the funds that are raised in this way is returned to the organization every year, creating a guaranteed revenue source. The BCICF also distributes income from more general funds in response to emerging community issues and needs through its granting program. There are two granting cycles each year. Learn more about the guidelines and find application forms on the BCICF website

Photo Credit: BC Interior Community Foundation

The BCICF gives to so many local organizations, how do you choose who receives funds? 
The BCICF administers a large and growing number of designated endowment funds. These were created by local organizations or by individuals to provide income for a specific cause. A few examples from the long list of organizations who have done so are Kamloops Festival of the Performing ArtsKamloops Hospice Association,Boys and Girls Club of KamloopsKamloops Food Bank and McQueen Lake Environmental Education Centre. The income generated by the investments for these organizations is distributed to the organizations annually.

We also manage a large number of scholarship funds that were started by some of the SD73 schools, by individuals or by families. Many of these have been named in memory of a family member. The requirements for these varies, reach out to the BCICF if you have any questions.
In the case of grants, our volunteer granting committee receives and reviews the applications, ensures that applications meet our grant requirements and prepares a proposed allocation of the available funds for Board approval.

In 2019, more than $327,000 was distributed through grants, scholarships, and directly to organizations.

Photo Credit: BC Interior Community Foundation. 

If I wanted to donate, how much money do I need to start a legacy fund for myself? How do I get the ball rolling? 
A Community Foundation, like the BCICF, has five different types of Funds for you to choose from.  This tailored range of options provides opportunities for maximum impact.  Your Fund can be started with as little as a $100 commitment. Once your Deed of Gift has been finalized and reached a principal balance of $5,000 the annual earned interest is available for distribution according to your wishes.  We work with clients wishing to gift cash, transfer of stocks, life insurance and of course, wills and estate planning.

As we look towards the future, what type of legacy do you hope to leave in your community? Do you want to protect our rivers and streams? Do you want to create more opportunities for kids to practice ballet? Do you want to help at-risk youth find safe homes? The opportunities are endless, the legacy is yours.

To learn more, reach out to Rob and his team who are available to discuss your passions and ideas at rob@bcicf.ca, online at BC Interior Community Foundation or by phone at 1-250-434-6995. 

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The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce is situated on the traditional and unceded lands of the Tk'emlups Te Secwepemc within Secwepemc'ulucw, the traditional territory of the Secwepemc people. We are honored to live and work and play on this land and acknowledge the complicated history and humbly move forward in a spirit of collaboration and gratitude.