Aaron McRann (middle), executive director of the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan-Similkameen said more than $380,000 was granted to 50 charities within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen in 2019.                                Western News file photo

Aaron McRann (middle), executive director of the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan-Similkameen said more than $380,000 was granted to 50 charities within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen in 2019. Western News file photo

50 charities receive grants within the South Okanagan-Similkameen

Community Foundation of the South Okanagan-Similkameen has approved granting of over $380,000

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan-Similkameen has approved granting of more than $380,000 to over 50 charities in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen for 2019.

“Grants were approved for projects working with youth, arts, environment, housing and many other areas of need,” said Aaron McRann, executive director of the foundation. “We utilized our 2015 and 2018 Vital Signs reports to help guide us in our funding priorities. Housing, youth and mental health were issues that were very apparent in the latest report and consideration of those findings was an important part of the process in choosing which projects to fund.”

Related: Vital Signs identifies housing and work as problem areas in the region

With the 2019 grants of more than $380,000, CFSOS’s total granting in the history of the organization is now almost $4 million.

“More than 25 volunteers, who represented communities throughout the South Okanagan-Similkameen, provided valuable feedback on applications from their community,” said Sarah Trudeau, manager of grants and community initiatives. “Applications are reviewed first by staff, then by local community committees, and lastly by our grants committee, made up of representatives from the community and our board of directors.”

This has happened all while preserving the original capital that many people have generously donated over the years to build the endowment fund to more than $13 million.

“A big thank you to all of our volunteers who put in their personal time in reviewing and rating the applications,” said Trudeau. “It’s an extensive process which takes a lot of time. This has happened all while preserving the original capital that many people have generously donated over the years to build the endowment fund to more than $13 million.”

Half of the $380,000 granted this year was pre-designated by donors who have already determined who they want to support from their fund. The other half of the grant money is distributed through the foundation’s annual grant process.

“The requests totaled more than $600,000, which was significantly higher than in previous years. This speaks to the significant amount of funding that is needed in our region,” said McRann.

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