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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...
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

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
North Okanagan Optimist Club
Arts Council of the North Okanagan
Greater Vernon Museum and Archives
East Hill Community Church
Local Good
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 British Columbia - Southern Interior
Marianne DahlUnited Way British Columbia - Southern Interior

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
Youth Initiative Grants - are open!
The Youth Initiative Grants is a program led by the Central Okanagan Foundation and United Way British Columbia - Southern Interior. We are proud to announce that, thanks to the success of these youth-led projects, this collaborative funding partnership has just expanded to include Community Foundation of the North Okanagan and Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen to reach all Okanagan communities. Being offered for the fourth year, now the program welcomes youth from the North, Central and South Okanagan Similkameen to apply for a grant of up to $2,000.
Young people have proven to have creative and effective ideas to implement meaningful change in their communities. The Youth Initiative Grants offer youth up to the age of 25 the chance to develop and run projects to benefit both youth and the whole community. To meet the eligibility criteria, youth must partner with a registered charity, First Nation organization, school, or church.
Last year, youth who were awarded grants led some inspirational projects that garnered thoughtful community conversation and engagement. For instance, OneWorld Youth Crew (OWYC) heard that the Okanagan Falls Legion Branch 227 issued a call to local artists requesting a mural of a female soldier. OWYC started researching and discovered Mary Greyeyes – the first Indigenous military officer. They also learned that she was a champion for diversity during her time of service.
“With the project goal of increasing inclusion and diversity through art, we believe that connecting with the Legion and influencing their choice to include a woman Indigenous soldier helps to strengthen the relationship between veterans, our local band and SOICS, an immigrant-serving settlement office.” Reports OWYC in their project evaluation.
Other youth-led projects funded last year included CRIS Adaptive Adventures youth-led Amazing Race, Penticton Overdose Response Project - a partnership with Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy and UBC Okanagan Campus Health, Okanagan Mission Secondary Composting Project, and Westside Learning Centre Farm Initiative.

To find out more and apply visit
Flexible grants up to $50,000 for Indigenous-led organizations to support initiatives that encourage community inclusiveness, belonging, and healing.
Applications are now open for the Indigenous Priorities Granting Program (IPGP) — a new initiative providing support to First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities through $750,000 in flexible, one-time grants to Indigenous-led organizations operating in the lands now known as BC. Grants of up to $50,000 will be available to encourage community inclusiveness, belonging, and healing. Applications close Nov 29th.
The IPGP is an Indigenous led-initiative committed to addressing critical funding and capacity needs of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples. The social issues affecting Indigenous communities today are deeply rooted in the historic and ongoing impacts of colonization. IPGP seeks to uplift Indigenous priorities and explore how Vancouver Foundation* and partner Community Foundations can best listen, learn, and walk alongside Indigenous partners.
• November 15, 2021: Online applications open
• November 29, 2021: Online applications close
• December 16, 2021: Funding decisions communicated

• Sign up for Online Info Sessions - Nov 17-19
• Take the Eligibility Quiz
• Find out what IPGP will fund?


*Vancouver Foundation is a provincial funder supporting communities across British Columbia. The Community Foundation North Okanagan partners with Vancouver Foundation to bring funding, programs and services to the North Okanagan region.

Art by:
It is the season where people start preparing their holiday gift lists, and many are taking a moment to reflect on what “giving” means to them.
The Community Foundation North Okanagan has created the 2021 Giving Guide, a catalogue of essential charitable organizations that offer a way to make a meaningful difference.
Rather than the traditional retail outlet gift, many locals are finding alternate ways to show their love and appreciation. Some are gifting locally made consumables to satisfy their favorite person's sweet or savory tooth. Others are giving the gift of presence by planning to spend quality time with their loved ones. Many others are choosing to make a donation as a gift in honour of a friend, colleague or family member.
Making a donation as a gift offers a unique opportunity to discover what local issues are important to those you care about. The Giving Guide provides you with a catalogue of essential charitable organizations from around the region and has the option to provide you with a Gift Certificate.
2021 Giving Guide Highlights:
Community Nourishment - Food Programs
Food Banks Canada says as of March 2021 there has been a 20 percent increase in food bank visits since March 2019. If you would like to help nourish and feed individuals and families over the holiday season, please visit page 8 in the Giving Guide.
Community Respect - North Okanagan Friendship Centre (NOFCS)
Friendship Centres have seen a rapid increase in requests for services since the start of the pandemic as they fill the need for culturally safe and appropriate support services. The North Okanagan Friendship Centre offers programs, services & support in the areas of housing, employment, mental health & addictions, and family support services. Please assist NOFCS in sustaining the services they offer to the community. Visit page 6 in the Giving Guide.
Community Creativity - Arts & Culture
The Arts & Culture sector has experienced significant economic setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions on gatherings, changes in program delivery, and severe unemployment have taken a devastating toll on this sector. If you would like to contribute to sustaining the arts and culture sector, visit page 12 of the Giving Guide.
It's an amazing feeling to give someone a gift that keeps on giving. Find a meaningful gift for everyone on your holiday list and check out the Community Foundation North Okanagan’s 2021 Giving Guide at
One of the most financially sound ways to make a charitable donation is with a gift of securities like stocks, bonds or mutual funds. When you donate these types of securities to a registered charity, you pay no capital gains tax and receive a tax receipt for the full amount of the gift. This means a great tax benefit for you and generous support for a charitable cause.

Here’s an example of how it works:
Let’s say you purchased common shares in ABC Company for a cost of $1,000. If the current market value of those shares has increased to $10,000, you would have a capital gain of $9,000. If you sell those appreciated shares and donate the cash proceeds to Community Foundation North Okanagan (CFNO), you’ll owe tax on 50% of the capital gain. But when you donate and transfer the shares directly to CFNO, you owe no capital gains tax and you’re able to receive a charitable tax receipt for the full value.

Bruce R. Shepherd, a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones, has been referring his clients to CFNO over the years, comments, “I always try to understand what motivates clients to do charitable giving. When their objectives are substantial, I explain how donating appreciated securities is an underutilized and incredibly useful way to support charities. The tax-effectiveness gives them an added benefit to reduce future tax obligations!”

The Community Foundation North Okanagan has worked with hundreds of individuals and families over the years to carefully create their own personal charitable giving plan. When you make a donation of securities to CFNO you have the option to direct your gift to one or more charitable causes or organizations. CFNO offers many ways to simplify giving and maximize the impact on our community.

Caroline Fraser a donor with CFNO adds, “The donation of shares gives greater tax savings and allows a larger amount to go directly to charity. The Community Foundation allows me to make a single donation of stock electronically; they then distribute to several charities I regularly support. Thank you to CFNO for making this process so easy!”

Whether it’s setting up an endowment fund, contributing to an existing fund, or making a future gift, the Community Foundation North Okanagan works with you to meet your financial needs and your personal charitable goals.

Make the most of your giving and contact Leanne Hammond today at or call 250-542-8655.
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit." This is a quote by author, Nelson Henderson, about doing things in this life that will benefit others long after we’re gone. There is a deeper meaning that we can bring into our lives when we strive to take action for something greater than ourselves.
Many charitable organizations in the North Okanagan are dedicated to delivering essential services that support the fabric of our communities. The Community Foundation North Okanagan (CFNO) has been developing relationships with these organizations for over 45 years and understands the interconnectedness of the charitable sector in our region. As a result, CFNO has been able to leverage the donations of many people to create a bigger impact on the community and to help sustain charities for the future.
Leanne Hammond, Executive Director, Community Foundation North Okanagan, explains, “Many of our supporters work with the Community Foundation because we offer a bridge of knowledge across issue areas, rather than just information on one cause or organization. We can certainly help a person set up a fund that will reliability support one cause, but we also have the expertise to help that donor give to multiple charities or offer opportunities to participate in fund matching partnerships with our corporate supporters.”
Generosity comes in many forms and leaving a gift in ones will, can have the biggest impact for the causes that matter the most to them. A future gift can be included in a will by adding a simple one-line direction. The charitable directions are documented with CFNO and can be adjusted at any time without the effort and expense of revising the will.
“Some people worry that leaving money to a charity will diminish what they can leave to their loved ones,” says Leanne Hammond, “but because of Canada’s tax regulations, you can give money to a charity that you would otherwise give to Canada Revenue Agency in taxes.”
Every day, CFNO works closely with individuals and families, as well as with trusted financial advisors, to ensure that their charitable giving will help to build meaningful and lasting change in our communities.
To learn more about building healthy, sustainable communities in the North Okanagan, please contact Leanne Hammond today at or call 250-542-8655.
The year 2020 stormed in and shook up the Nonprofit sector causing many organizations to deliver their critical programs and services while experiencing an extreme loss of revenue and with increased stress on employees. According to Imagine Canada’s sector monitoring report, 45% of charities are now reporting that while there is an increase in demand for their services, this demand is growing faster than their capacity.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the Nonprofit sector, six local charitable partners have collaborated to create an innovative funding program called, The Sustainable Recovery Grant. The local funders include United Way Southern Interior BC, Interior Savings, Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, and Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen .
The Sustainable Recovery Grants program responds directly to the emerging and shifting needs of charities in the Southern Interior region of BC. While it is unusual for funders to work together in this way, the group recognizes that without support to specifically explore sustainable revenue models and strong internal capacity, our Nonprofits are at risk. The program provides grants for coaching and support focused on resilience and recovery in four key areas: revenue, operations, people and impact.
The 2021 Sustainability Grants have been awarded to seven charitable organizations for customized coaching and support through Purppl’s Resilience & Recovery Program, enabling recipients to focus on their specific sustainability needs and opportunities.
Canadian Mental Health Association- Vernon
The Clubhouse Farm
Connect Counselling & Therapy
Grist Mill and Gardens
Indigeneyez / Kinshift
Kelowna's Gospel Mission
Penticton Recovery Resource Society (Discovery House)

For more information visit,
A world pandemic combined with economic, environmental and social devastations over the past year and a half has many of us pausing to reflect on the impact our lives are making on the world we live in.
The quick response and actions of the North Okanagan charitable sector throughout the past year’s events have been a literal lifesaver for many. This has caused many of us to recognize and appreciate the true value of community and the deep importance of the charitable sector.
Because if the charitable sector ceased to exist, who would be there to take care of seniors in need, what would recreation look like without volunteers and what might happen without foodbanks, daycares and non-profit housing?
Mike Nolan, Board Chair, Community Foundation North Okanagan (CFNO), explains, “What a wake-up call Covid-19 has been, there has never been a stronger demonstration of the importance of the non-profit sector and how much we rely on the services provided by volunteers and charities”.
Community Foundations play an increasing role in providing reliable funding to charitable organizations for essential programming, as well as basic operating needs.
The Community Foundation North Okanagan has experienced an increased demand for grants, as well as information requests from donors on how they can help ensure the charitable sector continues to thrive. According to Leanne Hammond, Executive Director, CFNO, “Donors want to ensure local programs and services continue, they want to know how they can help by donating now, or in the future.”
Future Giving Made Easy - Generosity comes in many forms and leaving a gift in your will can have the biggest impact for the causes that matter the most to you.
• Establish a named fund today or through your will.
• Your fund can make charitable grants in perpetuity or for a specified period of time.
• Add a simple one-line direction to your will.
• Choose a charity, or list of charities you wish to benefit.
• Your charitable wishes are recorded with CFNO, allowing you to easily change them without the effort and expense of revising your will.
Make the most of your giving. Contact Leanne today at or at 250-542-8655.
This year like never before, we have needed the Okanagan Rail Trail. The open spaces allow us to stay active while practising social distancing and provide an essential connection to nature.
The Community Foundation North Okanagan has awarded $72,000 to the Okanagan Rail Trail’s Kilometre Zero project with a grant from the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative. The Government of Canada, alongside Community Foundations of Canada, has deployed $31 million in funding through the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative. This program is helping communities across Canada adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19 to build safer spaces and ensure a higher quality of life for people across the country.
Here in the North Okanagan, the popular 50 km Rail Trail spanning from Coldstream to Kelowna has limited access points. By developing the trailhead at Kilometer Zero in Coldstream this project will create a safe and spacious trailhead, with a plaza gathering space, a Hilltop viewpoint, and interpretative installations that will reflect and celebrate the history of the Sylix people and the rich cultural values of the northern (Kalamalka) trail section.
“As summer begins and we feel the increased desire to connect with each other, these projects from the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative will help our community to connect safely and will benefit the mental and physical well-being of our residents.” Leanne Hammond, Executive Director, Community Foundation North Okanagan, comments, “We are incredibly proud to be able to support the Okanagan Rail Trail in their campaign to develop the Northern Gateway into a beautiful trailhead and a unique public space close to Kalamalka Beach.”
Last year, trail supporters raised funds to naturalize the old rail yard as the first phase of the trailhead development. This year Friends of Okanagan Rail Trail (FORT) have just launched the Sunflower Campaign which will finalize the design and create a signature trailhead with a plaza gathering space, distinctive gateway feature and interpretive signage.
Friends of the Okanagan Rail Trail are still aiming to raise another $100,000 to complete the trailhead development by 2022. Even with current grants and future potential awards, support from the public is still needed to complete the North Okanagan community’s signature Rail Trail gateway.
Learn more:
Small amounts of money have the potential to bring powerful changes to our local communities. It can be in the form of new relationships, increased self-confidence, leadership development, a stronger sense of place and the creation of local traditions.
This is why the Community Foundation North Okanagan is participating in the Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants program, which offers small grants of up to $500 - to individuals - for projects that connect people socially or involve sharing skills or talents. Projects can take place online or in-person, as long as they stay within the local guidelines for physical distancing.
Last year, project leaders delivered care packages to neighbours, taught fire smart classes, organized outdoor dance classes, hosted virtual art shows and even held an online karaoke party.
“There is no single right way to build community.” Lisa Deargle, Communications Director at the Community Foundation North Okanagan, comments, “This unique program offering allows us to take a more grass-roots granting approach and get neighbours connecting, creating and making lasting memories. We have $10,000 to give away this year - so please apply with your idea!”
Last year over half of the projects were held using online platforms like Zoom, Skype or Facetime. The other projects were held outdoors in public parks, church parking lots, and on neighbourhood streets. The only major challenges reported by the project leaders were learning and guiding others through using Zoom.
“I think the most memorable part of this experience was just seeing the looks on everyone's faces as they worked on their projects and the big smiles at the end of the class. It is amazing how you can connect with people you don't know through the power of creativity and a shared project.” An NSG Project Leader describes the most memorable experience of leading a project.
Another project leader describes their experience, “Participants were overjoyed to be able to share their culture over a calming cup of tea. We learned a lot about friendship and storying telling through different traditions.”
The Neighbourhood Small Grants program unites neighbours and sparks creativity. Some of the projects are a one-time experience and some are the beginning of an annual community program that will continue to grow.
Everyone is encouraged to apply for up to $500 to bring their project or event to life! Find out more and apply at
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
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
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