Ann Martin, a staple in the Merrickville volunteer community, wants to ensure that the community she loves is well taken care of and lives on long after she is gone. This sense of community and philanthropy is the incentive behind creating the Merrickville-Wolford Community Fund (MWCF).
Community funds are broad-based, volunteer-driven and locally focused organizations. The primary purpose is to provide and manage an endowment fund. The vision for the MWCF, like others, is to work collaboratively with community and special interests groups and provide funding for projects the will benefit the community at large.
“I’m interested in paying it forward. I support worthy causes in Merrickville-Wolford, but I want to make a lasting impact in the community,” explains Martin. “By contributing to an endowment fund I know that my donation will live on. It’s being able to give back.”
The MWCF is in its infancy but is growing quickly. It was founded in January 2017 and got off to a successful start by securing $10,000 of funding through the Canada 150 program. The money was used this past summer to fund Canada 150 events throughout the village.
Thanks to donations made through events such as the annual Village Chef night series, the fund is getting richer. The opening night of the Merrickville culinary event was on Jan. 17 and raised $2,000 for the fund. With that, the fund sits at just over $5,000. Martin says the goal is to be in a position to start granting money in 2018.
Currently the steering committee is made up of Martin and another local volunteer Dan Black. The two hope that this year the committee will grow not only monetarily but also in manpower.
“We are looking for people to sit on the board and decided how to grow the fund and make the decisions,” she says. And that is the real benefit of a community fund.
“The people in the community are making the decisions. It is money for the community managed by the community,” she says.
A public information session is being planned for April 2018 to explain the community fund model and hopefully recruit like-minded volunteers. If people want to get more information before then or get involved, they are encouraged to contact the fund via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the MWCF’s Facebook page.