It started in May 2011 with a call to action by Gov.-Gen. David Johnston to community foundations across the country.
He challenged the 183 organizations to launch a “Smart and Caring Community Fund.”
“We thought that would be neat for us,” said Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson.
The foundation board committed $200,000 in matching contributions to the new fund, and in so doing became one of the first to heed Johnston’s call.
To help launch the fund, the governor general was in Victoria on Thursday.
“I’m pleased that the Community Foundations of Canada is rising up to my challenge of building a smart and caring nation for our country’s 150th anniversary in 2017 by launching Smart & Caring Community Funds across the country, ” Johnston said in a prepared statement.
Victoria’s new fund has two components.
First, a physical literacy program to be offered through the Cridge Centre will teach fundamental physical skills to children aged three to 10.
“It’s throwing, it’s jumping, it’s moving,” Richardson said.
It also teaches teamwork skills and knowledge about healthy eating.
Second, the Victoria Foundation will create 13 endowment funds for Vancouver Island charities and contribute $7,500 in matching funds towards each endowment.
This kind of fund is enticing to charities’ donor base, Richardson said.
“It shows the organization as establishing something for the future, for their long-term sustainability.”
To date, the Smart and Caring Community Fund has received $150,000 in donations.