Community 04:28 PM by Chris Halliday Orangeville Banner

PROBLEM NO. 1: Too many charities in our communities depend on public fundraising initiatives or grants from municipalities or other levels of government to break even.

PROBLEM NO. 2: Too much of these charities’ time is devoted to fundraising rather than the integral services they provide to those in their communities.

SOLUTION? There is a fundraising paradigm shift beginning to take shape within Orangeville, Shelburne and the rest of Dufferin County.

It’s a charitable model where donations from local individuals are pooled and invested into a community endowment fund. Earnings are then distributed to eligible charities every year.

All right, you’ve got my attention. What is this? Tell me more.

The What

The Dufferin Community Fund is a registered charity created by and for the people of Orangeville, Shelburne, Mono, Grand Valley, Mulmur, Melancthon, Amaranth and East Garafraxa. Its goal is to help local charities by creating new sources of funding for them.

“We encourage philanthropy of all kinds in Dufferin,” the foundation’s website states. “We act as champions for issues that matter and direct grants to everything from shelter, education, care for those in need, the environment, recreation and the arts, and more.”

The Why

There are more than 80 organizations fundraising to support their social and community services work in Dufferin County. That doesn’t even include any churches or sports associations.

The result of these scattered efforts — just think fundraising in silos — is that many worthy causes go unfunded in Dufferin. Many vital programs also remain underfunded or extremely difficult to run.

“Traditional forms of fundraising are experiencing diminished returns for all but the very high-profile organizations, in need, the environment, recreation and the arts, and more,” Gord Gallaugher, chair of the foundation’s board, said in a statement obtained by the Banner.

“Community foundations level the playing field, offering equal access to a new pool of funds for all charitable work — for large and small charities, established or startup — for so long as there is a need.”

 

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