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Logo of Community Foundation of the North OkanaganCommunity Foundation of the North Okanagan
We are a grant-making charitable organization, dedicated to improving the lives of people in our community. We bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, a...
2 employees on Do Some Good
We're committed to giving back to the community!
View the Pledge
304 – 3402 – 27th Avenue
Vernon, British Columbia
V1T 1S1
Causes we care about

Top company causes

  • Arts & Culture

  • Health & Well-being

  • Social Services

Top employee causes

  • Environment

  • Community and Economic Development

  • Arts & Culture

  • Education

  • Gender Issues

  • Environment

  • Community and Economic Development

  • Arts & Culture

  • Education

  • Gender Issues

Social Mission
Dedicated to improving the lives of people in the North Okanagan region and to help build stronger and more resilient communities.
Some of the organizations we support
Family Resource Centre Society for the North Okanagan
Canadian Mental Health Association
North Okanagan Optimist Club
Friends of Okanagan Rail Trail (FORT)
Greater Vernon Museum and Archives
What people are saying about us
Picture of Dauna KennedyLogo of Vernon Public Art Gallery
Dauna KennedyVernon Public Art Gallery

The Community Foundation of the North Okanagan's charitable work spans all sectors of need in our community. It plays such an important role in creating sustainability through endowment funds and short term impact through their granting program. I look forward to seeing the foundation grow over time so that contributors funds can have a lasting legacy within our community. Regards, Dauna Kennedy Executive Director Vernon Public Art Gallery

Picture of Marianne DahlLogo of United Way Southern Interior BC
Marianne DahlUnited Way Southern Interior BC

Working with the Community Foundation of North Okanagan is a shining example of how working together can make an incredible impact in the community. We proudly partner with CFNO on COVID Relief, the Sustainable Recovery Grants and, frankly, anytime there's an opportunity to make a difference together in the community.

Stories of our community involvement
Do you have a great idea to strengthen connections in your community? In partnership with the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan and the Vancouver Foundation, Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) are back! Residents in the North Okanagan are encouraged to apply for up to $500 to grow their idea and connect with their neighbours and community.
The $500 can go towards care hampers, craft and building materials, tech equipment, online hosting fees, and even honorariums. Businesses, charities, and formal groups cannot apply.
"NSG is a grassroots grantmaking program; it's just for people to apply," said Kim English, the regional NSG coordinator. "The pandemic has changed how we live and how we gather. It has also shown us just how creative people are in finding ways to connect, share, and celebrate, whether they gather online or within in their small social bubble."
Last year, neighbours gathered for online cooking demonstrations, yoga and painting classes. Small groups of neighbours focused on pandemic safe activities such as no-contact scavenger hunts, socially distanced movie-nights, and beautification projects with sign-up times.
Teens and young adults are encouraged to apply, "NSG is an excellent opportunity for young people who want to contribute to their community, and with a $500 grant, they can turn their idea into reality" added English.
As Leanne Hammond, executive director of the community foundation explains, “While we are primarily known for funding charities, this program allows us to fund good ideas at the neighbourhood level. We love being a part of that!”
Anyone with a creative idea that strengthens the community is encouraged to visit https://cfno.org/grants/neighbourhood-small-gra...
The online form asks for a project description, a budget under $500, and the applicant will need to explain how they will comply with the BC Provincial health Orders. Projects are to be delivered between July and November.
Neighbourhood Small Grants is co-funded by the Community Foundation North Okanagan and the Vancouver Foundation, and delivered in partnership with the Regional District North Okanagan.
The online application for Neighbourhood Small Grants is open until June 30, 2021.
For more information on the Neighbourhood Small Grants program and to apply online, visit https://cfno.org/grants/neighbourhood-small-gra...
Paul Nixon’s legacy lives on through his community impact.
For all of us living in the North Okanagan, we can easily recognize the landmark that is the law offices of Nixon Wenger on 30th Avenue. Paul Nixon, was instrumental in planning and constructing those offices. Sadly, Paul passed away in November 2020, he had a big community presence and an even bigger heart. Over the years, Paul had a tremendous impact on the North Okanagan, not only through his law career but also through his dedication and support to the charitable sector.
In 1975, Paul, along with other members of the Vernon Rotary Club saw the benefit of a charitable society that focused on local community needs. They fundraised that first $1,000 donation from a like-minded colleague and started what is essentially the “community savings account”. This became the beginning of the Community Foundation North Okanagan (CFNO), originally named the Vernon Benevolent Society. Paul was a founder, created the first constitution, and remained a board member for decades.
“It’s impressive that forty-six years ago, Paul and the other Community Foundation founders had the foresight to build a renewable source of funding to support the valuable charitable work in our region.” Leanne Hammond, Executive Director, CFNO, says as she reflects on the many charitable collaborations that Paul was part of over the years.
Paul Nixon was loved and respected by all who knew him. Colleagues, clients, friends, neighbours, and most of all his family were enriched by his warm heart and reliable wisdom. He had a genuine interest in the North Okanagan lifestyle. From boating, swimming, and snowmobiling with his children and grandchildren to tending the fields of his ginseng farm, Paul’s greatest pleasures in life were the moments he spent with those closest to him.
Paul’s deep sense of integrity and belief in community meant that he helped many organizations throughout his lifetime. He actively supported a variety of capital projects for charitable organizations and was especially passionate about supporting, the Boys and Girls Club, Community Futures, Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, Community Foundation North Okanagan, North Okanagan Community Life Society, and Kalamalka Rotary Club.
To continue Paul’s commitment to making a difference in our community, his family, friends, and colleagues have established the Paul Nixon Legacy Fund, at CFNO. To make a donation in memory of Paul, please visit www.cfno.org/paul-nixon.
Community Foundation North Okanagan’s 2020 Vital Signs report is a community check-up that measures the vitality of our region, identifies concerns and supports action on issues that are critical to our quality of life.
As a country, province, and regional community we are collectively living through the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have all witnessed the heavy impact this has had on our most vulnerable community members. Homelessness, secure work, and mental health are some of the challenging issues that have been magnified due to the pandemic.
The 2020 Vital Signs report is being released at an opportune time, to aid us in better understanding the communities that comprise the North Okanagan – Vernon, Coldstream, Lumby, Spallumcheen, Armstrong, and Enderby. This report provides the opportunity to identify the areas of concern, as well as initiatives and organizations that can help to make a positive difference.
Leanne Hammond, the Executive Director, Community Foundation North Okanagan, explains, “We have a growing population, close to 90,000 citizens in the North Okanagan region. As we see more people calling this area home it becomes even more important for us to understand how the increased rental and housing costs or the changing economy and workforce affects individuals and families. The Community Foundation has been leading the Vital Signs program to compile and track local data overtime and works towards convening community led organizations to inspire action around our most critical issues.”
By providing a snapshot of the North Okanagan in 10 critical issue areas plus a new section on community participation & contribution, the 2020 Vital Signs report offers a unique and accessible way to learn more about this place we all call home. It is a starting point to engage us in a meaningful conversation that will inform the Community Foundation’s giving and granting decisions and serve as a guide towards making our communities better places to live, work, and play.
We hope the 2020 Vital Signs report provides you with information that grows your awareness of the issues and significant trends in the North Okanagan. We invite funders, community leaders, and everyday philanthropists to embrace your power and the role we each play as we move forward on this journey together.
To read more about our resilient region and to view the full 2020 Vital Signs report go to, www.cfno.org.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rolls into its second-year many frontline workers are feeling physically exhausted. They put on their masks and go to work every day because they don’t have the option of working from home.
Workers in health care, law enforcement, emergency responders, care home workers, grocery store clerks, pharmacists, and many more working the front lines are experiencing the pressures of the pandemic, day after day. Along with work stresses, they face the same challenges as the rest of us, changes in household income, kids and schooling hurdles, aging parents, and personal health issues - to name a few. Due to the increased demands the pandemic has had on the personal and professional lives of frontline workers, many are feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.
The Front Line Hero Appreciation Initiative was initiated by the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan in partnership with Central Okanagan Foundation, Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen, Canadian Mental Health Association , and horse-assisted therapists across the region – as a way for the community to say thank you to frontline workers, by offering them a way to care for themselves.
Horse-assisted Therapy is a proven method for treating people who are experiencing stress and anxiety for various reasons. Clients working with a professional therapist, who is also a horse expert, can grow their own emotional awareness and transfer the learning that takes place with the horses into their everyday lives.
Annika Voeltz, an experienced Horse-assisted Therapist, explains, “Whoever you are and whatever you are experiencing being with horses offers you a new perspective to life. Horses communicate with your very core, so everything on the outside, whether it’s stress, distractions, or the layers you are putting on to protect yourself from life, simply seem to disappear and let you focus on your priorities.”
With support from the community, Horse-assisted Therapy can be offered to any frontline worker at no cost to them. None of us should be dealing with mental health on our own, especially our frontline workers.
Donations are being accepted online at www.cfno.org, every $75 donation funds one appreciation session.
Community Foundation North Okanagan announces that the annual Smart & Caring Community Grants Program is now accepting applications. This grant program welcomes charitable organizations across the North Okanagan Region to apply for funding, until March 31, 2021.

“Organizations have been adapting their programs and managing their scarce resources to keep up with the ongoing pandemic and the ever-evolving needs of the community,” says Leanne Hammond, Executive Director of the Community Foundation. She wants organizations to know, “Our granting committee will be more flexible with the project guidelines and approval criteria. We truly understand the strain the pandemic is taking on the non-profit sector and we are here to support you.”

Smart & Caring Community Grants address a wide variety of social, cultural, educational, and environmental needs, while keeping a pulse on the issue areas that are specific to the North Okanagan region. In the non-profit sector, this is called responsive grant-making, also defined as a source of flexible funding that has limited program criteria that can shift as the needs of the community evolve.

As time passes communities grow and change. And so do the giving habits of donors. The Community Foundation North Okanagan cultivates responsive grant-making through their Smart & Caring Community Fund and Granting Program as a way to unite donors with organizations responding to the most important needs of the local community. Many donors are now choosing to invest in the future of their community by supporting responsive grant making programs rather than specific causes.

The Smart & Caring Communities Movement was set in motion, in 2017, by the former Governor General of Canada, David Johnston; declaring that every community across Canada will be served by a Community Foundation and that Smart & Caring Communities Funds will be established at Community Foundations from coast to coast to coast.

Organizations interested in submitting an application are encouraged to visit www.cfno.org. Applications for the Smart & Caring Community Grants Program are being accepted until March 31, 2021.
Every young person deserves a comfortable, safe, and affordable home.
For youth in foster care, an eighteenth birthday means leaving your home and familiar support network behind. Ready or not these youth are pushed into adulthood and expected to find housing, get a job, go to school, and begin to navigate a new system of scarce resources.
To ease some of the stress young people experience by aging out of the foster care system, the Vernon Native Housing Society (VNHS) has provided five studio apartments for youth leaving care. In partnership with a grant from the Community Foundation, VNHS has been able to fully furnish the suites and welcome youth into comfortable new homes of their own. The suites have been outfitted with all the essentials - a bed, couch, dining table set, and kitchen cooking essentials.
The apartments are located in Thunderbird Manor, a brand new affordable housing complex operated by VNHS in downtown Vernon. The building has 37 low-income units, five of which are for youth aging out of the foster care system. Providing young people with stable housing enables them to succeed in their future plans of going to school or getting a job.
To find out how you can support projects like this, contact Leanne Hammond at 250-542-8655 or Leanne@cfno.org.

#OkanaganGrants
Check out the testimonial Dauna Kennedy from Vernon Public Art Gallery wrote for Community Foundation of the North Okanagan! https://dosomegood.ca/business/community-founda...
Community Foundation North Okanagan has partnered with six other Southern BC Community Foundations to provide $1,562,140 to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19.
This funding is part of the Government of Canada’s new $31 million Healthy Communities Initiative. This investment by the federal government will support community-led organizations in developing local, small-scale infrastructure projects that respond to the immediate needs arising from COVID-19, while building towards a more pandemic-resilient future.
The Healthy Communities Initiative will fund eligible projects that fall under three main themes:
- creating safe and vibrant public spaces
- improving mobility options
- digital solutions
The goal is to fund projects that can quickly help communities adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19 as they continue to navigate the pandemic.
Organizations interested in submitting an application are encouraged to visit www.cfno.org/chci to learn more about the program, eligibility criteria and how to apply. Organizations can also register to attend information sessions on the program.
The application period for the first round of funding closes on March 9, 2021 at 5:00PM PST. A second application period for funding will take place starting in May 2021.
Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen
Central Okanagan Foundation
Filling the Gap - Help us Feed Families in the North Okanagan
SilverStar Mountain Resort in partnership with the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan is excited to announce support for an incredible community initiative that helps feed local families in need. We are excited to announce SilverStar's Play It Forward Fund will match all donation's made to the cause, up to $7,500.
Filling the Gap helps to feed those who have been financially affected as a result of being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program allows families, seniors and individuals to have access to groceries and produce when times are tough.
Funds raised will provide these families, seniors and individuals with a locally made Good Food Box filled with nourishing groceries, such as fruits and vegetables.
A $25 donation feeds a family of three and $15 feeds an individual or senior.
If you have the ability please help us in feeding those in need throughout our community.
You can donate here: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/59015
Read more about SilverStar's Play It Forward Fund here: https://www.skisilverstar.com/about/play-it-for...
The North Okanagan Community Foundation offers a way to honour and celebrate the memory of a loved one, by carrying on their spirit through charitable giving. To dedicate and celebrate the kindness and empathy Emily Dahl gave to others in her short time here, her family and friends created The Emily Dahl Foundation.

Care, compassion, and love is at the core of the Emily Dahl Foundation and will provide granting support to mental health initiatives for people of all ages.

“Emily taught us that all along there was something tremendous within us, and we did not realize it.”

To find out more, visit: https://emilydahl.foundation
To learn more about setting up a memorial fund, contact Leanne Hammond at 250-542-8655 or Leanne@cfno.org.
We're committed to giving back to the community!
View the Pledge
304 – 3402 – 27th Avenue
Vernon, British Columbia
V1T 1S1
Causes we care about

Top company causes

  • Arts & Culture

  • Health & Well-being

  • Social Services

Top employee causes

  • Environment

  • Community and Economic Development

  • Arts & Culture

  • Education

  • Gender Issues

  • Environment

  • Community and Economic Development

  • Arts & Culture

  • Education

  • Gender Issues

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