Coquitlam Foundation calls for changes to Gaming Grant policy

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Coquitlam Foundation has presented a written submission to the province’s Community Gaming Grant Review calling for policy changes that would allow community philanthropic organizations such as the foundation to receive community gaming grants.

The review, which is being led by Skip Triplett, was established by the provincial government to examine a wide range of issues involving the distribution of grants derived from gaming revenues in British Columbia. Public hearings are taking place throughout the province over the next month, and Mr. Triplett’s report is to be submitted to the province by October 31.

“We are very pleased that the provincial government has launched this important review,” says the foundation’s new executive director, Dale Clarke. “Many community organizations rely on the gaming grants, and it’s in everyone’s best interests that policies be clear and equitable.”

Board chair Colleen Talbot explains that, until two years ago, the foundation received an annual Community Gaming Grant (CGG), which it used to augment the funds it distributes in the community by way of scholarships and bursaries to students, and grants to local non-profits.

“But under a policy related to the financial structure of community foundations, the province declined to approve the Coquitlam Foundation’s CGG applications in 2010 and 2011,” Talbot says.

“What we’ve now done is ask Mr. Triplett to recommend that CGG policies be changed to allow the Coquitlam Foundation and other similar organizations to be eligible to receive gaming grants. We’ve also explained that, as a community-based, volunteer-driven philanthropic organization, we’re ideally situated to make relevant and timely decisions about individuals and organizations worthy of receiving financial support.”

Board member Terry O’Neill, chair of the foundation’s Marketing and Communications committee, adds, “I am always pleased to be able to issue news releases about the foundation’s charitable activities. However, I am also aware of the number of applications that we are not currently able to fill. Restoring our gaming grant would certainly help answer the outstanding need.”

A member of the Community Foundations of Canada network, the Coquitlam Foundation manages an endowment totaling more than $1.8 million, comprising more than 20 foundation-directed and donor-advised funds focusing on everything from arts enhancement and academic achievement, to literacy promotion and community service. It distributed $55,000 in grants, scholarships and bursaries at its Awards Night last May.

Donations can be made c/o P.O. Box 2, 1207 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, B.C., Canada, V3B 7Y3, or through the foundation’s website. The Coquitlam Foundation’s mission is to encourage and support creative, targeted philanthropy that builds a vibrant, sustainable and healthy community.