Since being established in 2009, the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough has contributed more than $4.2 million to our local economy through grants to charities. Supporting everything from the arts to the environment, public infrastructure and affordable housing, the Foundation has become well known for the positive impact that our grants have on Peterborough’s quality of life. That’s a reputation that we’re proud of, because the sole purpose of the Community Foundation is to build a vital community for everyone.
What many people are less aware of is the unique model that the Foundation uses to make these grants possible. We build long-term community resources that support our community today, and for years to come. To date, local philanthropists and agencies have entrusted us with over $12 million in long-term funds, which are carefully invested to provide a sustainable source of revenue to meet the changing needs of our community for generations to come.
Much of the time, we work with philanthropically minded individuals and families to create legacy funds that benefit the community over the long term. We also work with local organizations such as charities or other corporate bodies to set up what we call an ‘Agency Fund’, a valuable tool that provides a yearly grant for the organization to use at its discretion.
When City Council made the decision to establish a legacy fund with the proceeds of the PDI sale, the Foundation stepped up to offer our services. Legacy funds are what we do best, and stewarding long-term and endowed funds for the community’s benefit is at the core of what we do. Our proposal included letters of support from thirteen local charities who can speak to the valuable role that the Community Foundation plays in building community resources.
In a brief presentation in June 2020, we proposed that $10 million of the PDI revenue (about 16% of the total available funds) could be used to establish a Community Legacy Fund at the Foundation. Invested in a professionally managed portfolio designed to preserve and grow the fund capital, this Community Legacy Fund would provide an estimated $500,000 in revenue each year to be granted to the City of Peterborough, and used at Council’s discretion.
The Foundation offers a favourable return on investment, a strong track record of prudent legacy fund management, and the added benefit of working with a local organization that is dedicated exclusively to the vitality of our community. Despite some confusion, there is no risk of duplicating granting efforts; in fact, the Foundation works proactively with the City to share community knowledge and pursue complementary approaches to grantmaking.
We believe that the Community Foundation offers the most compelling opportunity for the City of Peterborough to establish a true legacy fund. For these reasons, it makes good sense for City Council to take the time to fully understand the benefit of establishing a Community Legacy Fund with the Community Foundation, as part of the overall investment strategy for the PDI revenue.
At the Community Foundation, we like to say that we’re here for good. The decision on how to invest the proceeds from the sale of PDI presents a once in a generation opportunity to build a positive legacy that will benefit our community today, and for years to come. As always, the Foundation is here to support and facilitate the invaluable work of investing in the long-term prosperity of our community. We welcome the chance to explore the opportunity to establish a Community Legacy Fund with the City of Peterborough, as we continue to facilitate meaningful, long-term philanthropy throughout our community.