District could assist community by financing an endowment fund

Endowment fund which could be eligible for a matching grant

The District of Houston has the opportunity to assist the community by financing an endowment fund which would then be eligible for a matching grant, suggests the Bulkley Valley Community Foundation.

And it’s the income from the District’s endowment fund that would be distributed to local groups and individuals, the foundation outlined in an Aug. 17 presentation to council.

The matching grant of up to $50,000 would come from the Northern Development Initiative Trust with the endowment fund managed by the Bulkley Valley Community Foundation.

In offering its services, the community foundation noted that it has more than 30 years of experience in managing and growing endowment funds in the geographic area which runs from Topley in the east to Kitwanga in the west.

“Fund agreements will specify the purposes of the fund, and processes for investment and distribution of earnings,” read part of the presentation.

The foundation “will manage accounting and grant making. Organizations can be involved in grant award decisions if desired” and help to inform the public about the projects financed.

As of its 2020 annual report, the Bulkley Valley Community Foundation had nearly $3.2 million under management with donations flowing in that year of nearly $378,000.

In 2020 $35,000 went to graduating Grade 12 students and nearly $37,000 went to non-profit organizations, including A Rocha Canada in Houston and Houston Link to Learning.

Previous grant recipients in Houston have included the Houston Public Library which purchased new furniture and the Houston Retirement Housing Society which used money to help buy windows for its Cedar Wing.

Additionally in 2020 the foundation distributed $70,000 in federal pandemic aid money to local charities and others to relieve the impact of the COVID-19 virus in the region.

Its strategic plan to guide it up until 2026 calls for it to focus on the following themes — pandemic recovery, equity for all residents, building bridges between groups in the communities in which the foundation serves, adapting to climate change, literacy and learning and recreation and wellness.

Within its operations area, the Bulkley Valley Community Foundation also made its local endowment foundation presentation to Granisle, Hazelton, New Hazelton, Smithers, Telkwa and the rural areas from Houston through Smithers to Kitwanga.

It is the District of Houston council’s practice to listen to presentations but not to make any decisions at the time from what may be presented or requested.