Community Foundation anticipates a brighter future

Darryl Willoughby, chairman of the Revelstoke Community Foundation, says the organization has managed to weather the economic downturn. He anticipates a bright future for it. David F. Rooney photo

By David F. Rooney

It has been a tough few years for the Revelstoke Community Foundation. It saw the value of its endowment decline during the stock market crash of 2008 and its recovery has been slower than anticipated. But the situation is easing up and the next five or six years should see some real growth, says its chairman, Darryl Willoughby.

“Currently our endowment fund sits at just over $1.4 million,” he said in an interview to mark Foundation Month. “The markets are up so we’re about $80,000 ahead. “I’m confident that we’ll be at $1.5 million by year’s end.”

The Foundation, which was begin a decade ago, uses the interest on money donated to it by citizens, companies and other organizations to provide support where it is needed in the community.

This year is dispersed $28,000 in grants and $17,000 in scholarships, that’s down from the pre-2008 era, but Willoughby anticipates it will improve.

“By 2020 we should have somewhere between $2.8 million and $3 million in the endowment fund with $50,000 or $60,000 in grants,” he said. “Those goals are quite achievable.

“In my opinion the foundation will be one of the more enduring organizations in the city. It’s a perpetually evolving organization.”

One sign of that evolution is the Foundation’s dedication to finding new ways to benefit the community as a whole. Just last year it initiated a new Environmental Fund that has about $22,000 in it. That’s a little shy of its $50,000 goal, but Willoughby isn’t worried about that. “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” he shrugged.

Reaching out to youth is a real priority for the Foundation and it would like to  see some young people sitting on its board. They are, after all, the future, and while the current crop of directors are active and committed men and women, they are aging. Most directors are probably in their 50s or sixties and a few are looking forward to well-earned retirements. So looking for younger directors now is a smart move.

If you are interested in learning more about the Revelstoke Community Foundation and possibly sitting on its board, please drop by its table at the Revelstoke Crime Stoppers’ No Host Bazaar at the Community Centre on December 2.

Current publisher, editor, reporter, photographer and all-around jack-of-all-media-trades David F. Rooney is a Community Foundation director