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Logo of Community Foundation North OkanaganCommunity Foundation 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
Allan Brooks Nature Centre
Food Action Society of the North Okanagan
Archway Society for Domestic Peace
Cops for Kids Charitable Foundation
Special Olympics BC
Kal Rotary Vernon BC
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.

Debbie NurseLiteracy Society of the North Okanagan

The Community Foundation of the North Okanagan has supported various programs for the Literacy Society since 2013. Over the years, The Foundation's funding has provided hundreds of children with learning support, primarily in reading. We are grateful for the Community Foundation's continuous support in our programming.

Stories of our community involvement
Compared to the BC average, North Okanagan is home to a relatively high proportion of elderly people, single parents, and people on income assistance. In the Interior Health region, 14% of households are now experiencing food insecurity. Given the impacts of COVID-19, climate events, and soaring food costs - these low-income community members are now struggling to consistently afford and access local, fresh and nutritious foods.
“In 2020, when the pandemic was ramping up and locking us down, the Community Foundation along with many generous donors, stepped in to support low-income households by offering a monthly fresh produce box and a grocery gift card. Since that initial response, we’ve funded over 3,200 fresh food boxes and gift cards.” says Leanne Hammond, executive director of Community Foundation North Okanagan.
“We fund the Fill the Gap - Food Program, which is delivered through the Good Food Box Society. They source fresh in-season foods from local farmers and food producers and assemble and deliver the fresh food boxes with a team of dedicated community volunteers.”
The need for this program arose during the pandemic when individuals that had never accessed the services of a charity or food bank started to need a financial boost. Through our close relationships with the Archway Society for Domestic Peace, School District 22, Nexus Community Resource Centre, along with 20+ other local service organizations, CFNO was made aware that many of their clients were falling through the “cracks” and not eligible for food programs or had a barrier to accessing a food bank.
“The goal of the Good Food Box program is to help all families and individuals access healthy produce including those families that would not have been able to afford healthy produce due to financial issues,” said Donna Antonishak with the Good Food Box program. “Recently, many factors have affected food costs jumping over 10-15 percent, including inflation, rising gas prices, higher production costs, up and above the reduced ability to earn wages for many families during the pandemic.
“Families must juggle their ability to pay rent, gas, food utilities and other household costs. Some have had to choose to eat less to pay for heat or rent and to miss out on higher-cost foods including produce.”
CFNO wants to continue offering the Fill the Gap -Food Program to low-income community members and we need your support to keep this program running. Learn more at
The Community Foundation North Okanagan (CFNO) has awarded more than $300,000 to 35 local charities and not-for-profit organizations.
More than 75 guests attended the June 1st Community Grants Reception, the first in-person occasion since 2019. This event offers CFNO the opportunity to connect its donors with local causes and shine the spotlight on the charitable organizations that work hard to create a stronger, more connected North Okanagan.
Highlights from the grant recipients include:
CMHA Vernon - Peer Counselling Program, youth counselling youth. Peer educators will draw on their own experiences with mental health as a tool to show peer learners how to overcome similar challenges.
North Okanagan Cycling Society - Trail Ninjas Youth Programs, provide fun biking and coaching experiences to youth.
Powerhouse Theatre - Relaxed Performances, offer people with diverse viewing challenges to attend theatrical performances.
“CFNO wishes to recognize two special donor contributions from the Galbraith family and the Finch family. Combined, their contributions doubled the granting dollars awarded to local charities.” said executive director Leanne Hammond. “These donors are deeply connected to our community and value the importance of investing in the charitable sector to create a resilient community for us all.”
Annual grant funds were also awarded to a range of local community social services and arts programs, local food growing and youth centred programs, and diverse abilities projects, and seniors activities.
“Thank you to our local charities for supporting our community through the good and the bad times.” Leanne comments, “You help to build “community” within our neighbourhoods and warm the hearts of the people who live here.”
In addition, four local youth have each been awarded $2,000 grants to lead and implement projects in partnership with local organizations. One of the projects is in partnership with the Sqilx'w Apna Society, titled N'sis'ooloxw Youth and Medicine Project. This project will focus on connecting youth with medicine, culture, language, and plant knowledge amongst peers.
This spring, the Neighbourhood Small Grants program also allocated $20,000 to 40 local individuals to plan local projects that focus on building community and making their neighbourhoods better places to live.
Visit the CFNO website to learn more about grant recipients, ways to donate, and funding opportunities.
Attending the 2022 Smart & Caring Community Grants Reception by Community Foundation of the North Okanagan (CFNO) was inspiring! 35 projects will be receiving over $300,000 in grants thanks to 46 donors!

It was exciting to see many 'friends' of Glohaven attending the event to support the recipients, and as recipients themselves! Congratulations to: HOPE Outreach/ Jewels of HOPE, CRIS Adaptive Adventures, Historic O'Keefe Ranch & Interior Heritage Society, Caetani Cultural Centre, Caravan Farm Theatre and all of the rest of the recipients:

And, a special congratulations to the CFNO Team, especially Leanne Hammond (who was Angela Case’s (CSM) talented former piano teacher when she was 8 & 9 years old)! It was lovely to see her in person again, after re-connecting this past September through email and phone.

Leanne was helpful and resourceful when Glohaven started our fundraising platform through the Globox™ tourism gift box. We've been thrilled to contribute to our commUNITY approx. $37,000 in funds for schools and wildfire relief, while also directly supporting tourism-based businesses in our commUNITY by purchasing approx. $10,000 in products and experiences for 3 raffles and 1 silent auction.

On the radar for Glohaven, we are further developing the social enterprise side of our business in a way we can scale sustainably, so it was wonderful to bump shoulders at the event with Jude Brunt from Purppl who has been assisting Angela with a grant application!

It's a brighter future for our entire commUNITY because of CFNO… because so many individuals strive to make it a better place in their capacities!

If you'd like to contribute, visit: and use the FUND dropdown list to support any fund at CFNO. Whether it's a small one-time donation, monthly support, or creating an endowment fund, every dollar is appreciated!

"Your generosity is helping to build healthy, vibrant and livable communities in the North Okanagan region." ~ CFNO
For over 60 years, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra (OSO) has been shaping and contributing to the arts & culture community in the Okanagan. Although they have a rich history, the past two years have been a struggle for the OSO. Like most arts organizations, the OSO was forced to cancel and postpone all live performances, events, and programs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now that the OSO has come through the COVID-19 maelstrom - you are whole-heartedly invited back to their live performances. We’re also asking for your help to protect the long-term future of the OSO by contributing to their endowment matching campaign - which triples your gift!

For every $1.00 you invest in the OSO through your community foundation May 13 – June 30, 2022, your investment will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $50,000 by a generous OSO donor. Then, later in the year, the OSO will apply for a Canadian Heritage matching grant to triple these funds to $150,000.

Your contribution to this campaign will help guarantee that the OSO can continue to be an employer of talented professional local musicians, teach music, and mentor youth throughout the Okanagan and across the province.

The OSO’s endowment matching campaign will help secure a source of future income to ensure they can continue to share the power of live orchestral music long into the future. Donors to this campaign will contribute to an endowment fund - an invested sum of money that will grow over time and provide reliable future income for the OSO.

We encourage you to donate now to benefit the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra forever. Call or email us to find out more about leaving a planned gift (future gift from a will, RRSP/RRIF/TFSA or insurance policy) or gifts of appreciated stock or real estate. The Community Foundation handles investment management and administrative responsibilities for the endowment so the OSO’s staff can concentrate on generating funding for their current needs.

Invest in the OSO today for a richer Okanagan tomorrow by making an online donation here:

Make the most of your giving & contact Leanne today.
Leanne Hammond
Community Foundation North Okanagan
Small amounts of money have the potential to bring powerful changes into local communities. Last year, Project Leaders of the Neighbourhood Small Grants program, used their $500 grants to host an educational farm movie night, plan an interactive seminar to re-think waste disposal, deliver care packages to those negatively affected by the pandemic, along with many more creative ideas that fostered local connections.
The Community Foundation North Okanagan is leading the Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) program for the North Okanagan region, which offers small grants up to $500 to individuals for projects that connect people socially or involve sharing skills or talents.
Lisa Deargle, communications director at the Community Foundation says, “A small grant of $500, can kickstart people’s imagination and wiliness to start a project.”
“In a year where so many of our local citizens experienced hardships and all of us saw divisive topics driving wedges between our relationships, we’re hoping this program will start bringing neighbours together through their common desire to make the world a better place. A small grant has the potential to be a beautiful start to something huge.”
There is no single right way to build community connection, and this unique program is taking a more grassroots granting approach to get neighbours connecting, creating, and making lasting memories. This year the Community Foundation has $20,000 to give away. Everyone is encouraged to apply and bring their ideas to life!
Last year over half of the projects were held using online video platforms like Zoom. The other projects were held outdoors on farms, trails, public parks, 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.
Lisa Deargle adds, “The more connected we are, the stronger our sense of belonging to our community and the more easily we can work together to make it a better place to live.”
For more information on the program and to apply online, visit or email Lisa Deargle at
With the new season of Spring about to begin, Community Foundation North Okanagan is announcing the opening of the Smart & Caring Communities Grants Program. Applications are being accepted through the new online granting portal until March 31, 2022.
“Last year this program awarded $248,000 to local charities”, says Leanne Hammond, Executive Director of the Community Foundation. “Thanks to the continued support of donors, this program has been offering flexible funding to organizations that focus on making positive social change and that are helping to balance the inequalities in our region.”
All North Okanagan charitable organizations are encouraged to apply for funding in the following areas: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment (including animal welfare), Health, and Social Services.
Leanne Hammond adds, “Organizations that have not previously received funding should consider applying for a grant. Organizations and projects that support Indigenous-led organizations and initiatives, engage youth in leadership, or are working towards the mitigation of climate change are strongly encouraged to apply.”
On March 8th at 12 pm, charitable organizations are invited to participate in a Grant Information Session. This interactive session will introduce the new online granting portal application process, answer grant eligibility questions, offer grant writing tips, review the budget process, and guide organizations without charitable status to partner with intermediaries.
Highlights from 2021 Smart & Caring Community Grants Program:
Okanagan College Foundation - Kalamalka Garden Drying Shed
K’nmalka? Senqualten (Kalamalka Garden) is an Indigenous Garden that serves as a unique working environment where Indigenous youth can be employed to teach their traditional knowledge. This grant helped complete the build of a drying shed for the garden and will be used for traditional drying practices to make teas, foods, medicines, and gifts.
Canadian Red Cross - BC Southern Interior - Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP)
This grant helped purchase the equipment needed to meet the unexpected growth this program experienced since the onset of COVID-19. Many families have needed homecare equipment longer as they attempt to keep their loved one’s out of long-term care.
Organizations interested in applying are encouraged to visit or contact Leanne at
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.
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