The Brockville Story
The Brockville Story The Brockville Community Foundation was established in 1974 by a group of community leaders: John Broome, Thomas Dailey, T.A. Lindsay, Dr. J.W. McDougall, E.R. O’Kelly, A.C. Runciman, G. Egerton Brown. The purpose of the Foundation at that time was to "provide relief to poverty, assistance to the destitute and aged, or financial aid to educational and cultural projects in the community.” Over the course of the last four decades many projects including the restoration of Sally Grant, the restoration of the Fulford Fountain, the sundial at Blockhouse Island, and Project Encore – The Brockville Arts Centre, were all funded through the Foundation.
From 1974 to the 2000, the Foundation made small grants from the investment income that was earned on the fund. In 2001, the Board of Directors decided to join the rapidly growing Canadian community foundation movement, and re-established the organization as the Brockville Community Foundation. Recognizing the area surrounding Brockville that we were supporting it was decided to change our name to the Brockville and Area Community Foundation.
The newly reborn Foundation began to grow its endowed funds, and for a number of years had a stream of revenue from a charity lottery license to increase the amount of money it was able to award in grants. Although we do not have our lottery licence anymore, our endowments and flow-through donations have increased. Since 2000, the Brockville Community Foundation has granted funds each year to local charities. To date, the Foundation has contributed over $1.1 million to support local initiatives.
Although the foundation has been existence for a number of years, it has been since 2003 that the Board of Directors decided to solidify and grow what began so simply years ago. Until that time most initiatives were of a sporadic and specific nature, and donations were of a ‘flow through nature’. Since 2003 our mandate has been to build endowment funds to provide perpetual income for years to come.
A first step was joining the Community Foundations of Canada. The model of a Community Foundation served to secure funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2003, enabling us to establish an office and hire a part time Executive Director. Over the years the Brockville and Area Community Foundation has utilized the services of Executive Directors Andy Mills and David Dargie. Currently the part time Executive Director is Joyce Ferguson.
Since that time we have had many successes and accomplishments. We currently have 15 endowment funds under the BACF umbrella (for a listing click here). Our total endowment has increased from under $20,000 in 2003 to $890,000 plus today. (Financial statements click here)
Due to our small asset base in these early years, The Brockville Community Foundation has its funds pooled with the Community Foundation of Ottawa. Ottawa has built an endowment that allows them to grant millions of dollars to their community annually.
Needs of the Community Being Addressed
When an organization has a project that requires funding in the area of arts and culture, heritage, sports and recreation, youth and seniors, education and health or the environment they must make a formal grant request to the foundation. A Grants Committee reviews these applications and makes funding recommendations to the board. Care is taken to ensure that grants are awarded equitably between all of the areas of interest as mentioned.
Governance & Operations
The Brockville and Area Community Foundation is incorporated in the Province of Ontario and has official charitable status as issued by Canada Revenue Agency. The Foundation is composed of a Board of Directors and standing committees including Fund Development, Grant Making, Nominating, and Finance. The Foundation follows the governance model laid out by Community Foundations of Canada.
Currently all committee work and many of the administrative functions are carried out by Board members and volunteers who have shown exceptional community leadership. In 2015 BACF hired Joyce Ferguson as part-time Executive Director to assist in the many functions required to ensure the smooth operation of the Foundation.