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Powell River Community Foundation makes positive impact

"We are working diligently to ensure that money is well distributed and making a difference in the community," ~ Dave Hodgins
REGION’S PIGGYBANK: Powell River Community Foundation president Dave Hodgins and his board are working hard to make a difference in the region through various streams of funding available to be distributed throughout the community. The latest project is a $175,000 prosperity fund from the province to help fund poverty reduction and social inclusion projects in the region.

Under new leadership, Powell River Community Foundation is working to reach out to the community to have a lasting positive impact.

“With our new brochures and website and Facebook page, plus a new sign at Crossroads Village, we are getting the message out that we are the region’s piggy bank,” said new president Dave Hodgins. “Our money is invested and we don’t spend the principal. All the money raised from the interest on the principal goes back yearly into the community.”

Hodgins said he became involved three years ago to establish a fund within the foundation dealing with aphasia and mobility issues, and his interest in the foundation grew into finding out the internal workings of the organization. He said the foundation has since undergone change and has new perspectives from new people on the board.

The foundation, going into its 25th year, has a $1.5 million endowment fund from the investments made into the foundation. Hodgins said the foundation is up to $750,000 that it has put back into the community. Part of that is this year; the foundation is receiving $175,000 from the province in a prosperity fund that will go back into charitable organizations in the qathet region.

“That’s a big dollar value,” said Hodgins. “Our new board and myself are trying to get our image out into the public and raise more sponsorship because the more donors and sponsors we have, the more money we can return to the community.”

In terms of the new prosperity fund, Hodgins said the community foundation started negotiations with the province in October 2023.

“It’s taken a lot of meetings, a lot of back and forth,” said Hodgins. “We had the option of running a whole program ourselves, or allowing the Vancouver Foundation, which has about 80 people in staff and $1.5 billion in assets, to help. We don’t have the capacity and they have it. So, we’re working with them.”

Hodgins said the Vancouver Foundation accepts the application and does a quick scrutiny to make sure all the questions are answered.

“They come back to us and we have a committee, which we are just in the process of setting up,” said Hodgins. “Our community opened up the portal for applications on May 24. It closes on June 24, so there has been a lot of scrambling going on in the community. I’ve been getting lots of questions.”

In July, Vancouver Foundation will package the applications and they will be sent to Powell River Community Foundation for review and decision making.

“Hopefully, the money will start rolling back into local charities for the middle of September,” said Hodgins. “We have the money now in our bank account.”

Hodgins said the money is earmarked for projects featuring poverty reduction and social inclusion.

“Poverty reduction and social inclusion covers a huge spectrum,” said Hodgins. “This is going to be a huge win for our community. We are working diligently to ensure that money is well distributed and making a difference in the community. We’ve got lots of projects that we are working on.”

Hodgins said in simple terms, any amount donated to the community foundation will benefit the people of Powell River forever, because the donations will generate interest in perpetuity. Gifts can be made to Powell River Community Foundation through online donations or mailed cheques, cash, stocks or bonds, pledges, real property, charitable bequests, life insurance, gifts in memory and a variety of general or personalized funds. The foundation is a registered charity and tax receipts are issued.

One of the easiest ways to donate is online at Hodgins said the foundation is tied to an organization that receives the donor’s money and returns it to the charities free.

“There’s no cost to anybody,” said Hodgins. “It’s a win for the donor and the foundation.”

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