BANFF – The Banff Canmore Community Foundation (BCCF) is issuing a challenge to Bow Valley residents and businesses to help it raise $2 million over the next 18 months.
The fundraising initiative would create two new endowment funds – one supported by 1,000 individuals through $1,000 donations and the other for 100 Bow Valley businesses to donate $10,000 each toward.
The first fund is called Future Proof the Bow Valley – 1,000 Voices for a Sustainable and Resilient Future. The foundation said it would accept one-time donations of $1,000 from individuals, or montly donations of $84 for one year.
“We believe that the power of many makes this goal achievable,” said executive director Bill Fisher in a press release. “There is a perception that only rich people can be philanthropists, however we disagree with that notion. People with modest income can indeed build a legacy for future generations to benefit from.”
The second fund targeted at businesses is called Funding the Future of the Bow Valley. Fisher said the foundation recognizes local businesses are already approached to fund a variety of charities and organizations on a regular basis.
"The Foundation is not trying to compete with local groups, in fact we already support a wide variety of community organizations through our community grants, scholarships and donor directed funds," he said. "By working at the grass-roots level with many organizations, we can ensure business donors that the greatest community needs are being addressed with their donation."
A minimum of $850,000 from each fund will be permanently endowed to ensure the donations are invested and an annual distribution of at least $30,000 will be available to charities in the valley for future projects.
“We cannot predict what the future will hold but we can help our children and grand-children address future issues in the Bow Valley by having a permanent source of funds that can be used 10, 25, 50 or 100 years from now,” said BCCF board chair Karen Antrobus.
The foundation will also use $150,000 from each fund immediately to tackle issues Bow Valley residents have deemed to be a high priority. The foundation's Vital Signs report released earlier this year identified three priorities: answering the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action; diversifying the economy and enhancing affordability; and supporting the protecion, resortation and management of the local natural environment – and specifically resilience and mitigation in a time of climate change.