A community should have the basic resources needed to be able to face such problems as poverty, unemployment, hunger, a lack of decent lodging and clean air and decent water to drink. Every citizen should have the right to enjoy the best of what the immediate community offers: arts, recreational activities, health care, education, welcoming and safe neighbourhoods and a healthy environment. Inclusive. Progressive. Just. Creative. Safe. Green. Agreeable. While words are not missing to describe the vision for our communities in the Eastern Townships, they can all be summarized into a single uttering: vitality. This is a fundamental notion that we take to heart. A community enjoys its vitality when when its members are convinced that each of its members has a chance. This vitality can unfold to the degree that its members enjoy even the basic needs – subsistence, lodging, health care, security, – and extend to those who promote the quality of life – a structure that helps us learn, play and create.
Community foundations are local public foundations that gather and invest endowment funds in support of various local non-profit organizations and their particular community priorities. In doing, so they help the donors attain their philanthropic objectives by supporting a wide range of community activities. They are known for the quality of their management and their safe investment practices.
All community foundations are based on the same principle. They receive philanthropic donations, group them into a single investment portfolio and then use the revenues generated to support projects related to charitable causes or the benefit of the community.
Community foundations group together people who feel passionate about their community. They represent non-profit organizations, managed by volunteers, who work to strengthen their community by facilitating the practice of philanthropy by establishing endowment funds for the purpose of supporting community projects and exercising their leadership in terms of showing concrete interest in the welfare of their community.
Focusing on the confidence they inspire, community foundations place their faith in and assist donors who would like to invest their financial resources in endowment funds to support – now and in the future – their community. They also contribute to reinforcing the social fabric – the “social capital”, as the specialists would say -, by building bridges between various segments of the community, by developing support networks and favouring a spirit of solidarity.
Community foundations make grants solely to recognized Canadian charitable organizations. A community foundation supports three distinct class of clients: donors, recognized charities and the entire community.
The field of activity of a community foundation can extend to the following sectors: social services, education, health, the environment and land conservation, culture, the arts and sports.