Edith Point. Photo by Rob Underhill.

Edith Point. Photo by Rob Underhill.

By Malcolm Inglis, May 2016

Mayne Island Conservancy is pleased to announce the creation of The Mayne Island Conservancy Endowment Fund, managed by the Victoria Foundation. This registered charity accepts directed donations and bequests from donors to support a specific charity—like ours— with a permanent, secure income-generating endowment..

Effective conservation work requires long-term planning and commitment. The restoration work we have undertaken over the past decade will continue for years. Ongoing maintenance and monitoring of restored lands,, counselling local landowners on stewardship of their properties, spreading knowledge and building environmental consciousness in our community and among future generations in our local school— these vital activities have no end.

Historically, the Conservancy has been about 90% funded by grants from a variety of institutional and governmental sources. Some years, grant writing is more successful than others. Moreover, very few granters offer funds to cover ongoing operating costs, and most prefer to fund startup projects—their thinking is that if a community values an initiative, the community will support its continuing existence. As a mature organization, much of the Conservancy’s work that started out as projects has transformed into ongoing programs. Following some recent lean years that challenged our ability to keep such programs functioning, we began seeking other approaches to secure long-term, stable financing of operations. One stratagem employed by other financially stable non-profits is to establish an endowment.

Mayne Island Conservancy’s fiscally conservative board approached the idea of an endowment carefully: we sought advice from leaders of other environmental non-profits, and researched two large charitable foundations in BC. We chose the Victoria Foundation for several reasons, including its long and positive track record and its dedication to this region. We seeded our endowment with a significant contribution of our own funds, to which the foundation added a generous startup donation. In time, as our endowment grows, it will play a key role in ensuring that our work continues in the decades to come.

If you are interested in helping Mayne Island Conservancy to continue its good works in the community for the long term, please feel free to talk to us. We will be happy to discuss any aspect of how we see the endowment becoming an important part of our future. Of course, we encourage you to seek your own independent financial advice before making any significant financial decisions.

The Victoria Foundation, started in 1936, is the second oldest of Canada’s 191 community foundations. It manages endowments for well over 100 charities, mainly in our region but also throughout BC and Canada. As well as providing donors the confidence that their gifts will be managed responsibly in perpetuity, the Foundation can be an important tool in your own tax and estate planning. Check them out online to see the wide range of their beneficial activities in our region.. We are proud to be their partner.


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