The Creston-Kootenay Foundation received a big boost recently, thanks to the donation of an asset worth more than $250,000 by a couple wanting to benefit Creston Valley non-profit groups.
“They had this one big asset worth a lot of money, and they wanted some to be given here, here and here,” said CKF treasurer Ted Hutchinson.
The foundation is keeping private the specifics of the donation to protect the anonymity of the donors, but Hutchinson could say that the asset was liquidated and the proceeds invested as the donor-advised “Romeo and Juliet” fund, one of two such funds administered by the CKF.
“That means they play a role as long as they want in deciding where grants go each year,” said Hutchinson. “We’re able to protect the donor’s anonymity not only when they make the donation, but also when the cheques are written.”
The CKF started in 2005 with investments totalling $256,000, and now holds $1.6 million of investments — from cash donations, stocks and bonds, insurance policies and bequests — spread through a variety of funds.
The earnings on some are distributed annually, with, for example, earnings on the Sonja Sommerfeld fund (created by the family of Sommerfeld, who died in a December 2004 car accident) split annually between public health nurses and the Creston Ministerial Association for optometric needs, and the Brandon Salviulo fund (created by the family of Salviulo, who died in a July 2009 ATV accident) giving annual scholarships to two firefighting trainees.
Investments in less specific funds have allowed the foundation to donate to the Creston Rotary Splash Playground, the Riondel Curling Club’s new roof, the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors, Spectrum Farms and the Therapeutic Riding Program.
And those projects of lasting benefit to the community are most often what donors are interested in contributing to.
“I think everyone inherently wants things to be better when they leave than when they got here,” said Hutchinson.