Anonymous Donor Gives $500,000 to Foundation

By Robert Barron, Nanaimo Daily News – July 3rd, 2015

A person in Nanaimo who wishes to remain anonymous has donated $500,000 to a number of worthwhile causes.

The money was given to the Nanaimo Foundation, a non-profit community organization that connects donors to charities and other causes in the region, with specific instructions as to where most of the funding is to be directed.

Daniel Martinez, the foundation’s development director, said $200,000 of the funding will go to the new Nanaimo Travellers Lodge 130-bed care facility, and the Nanaimo Foundation will hand over the cheque at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new care facility on Sunday.

He said another $100,000 will be given to the Nanaimo SPCA to help with its plans for a new building, and $10,000 each will be given to the Nanaimo Minor Baseball Association, the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute and Seva Canada, a Vancouver-based charitable organization that fights blindness and helps restores sight.

Martinez said the donor requested that the Nanaimo Foundation determine the best uses for the rest of the funding.

He said it’s not the first time this donor has contributed large amounts of money to the community. Martinez said last year, the donor gave the foundation $300,000, with $100,000 of that earmarked for the Nanaimo Travellers Lodge, another $100,000 to Nanaimo Hospice and the rest of the funding was distributed by the foundation at its own discretion.

“That’s a lot of money for one donor to give to the community in two years and we’re hoping this person will keep the funding coming,” he said.

“I think I have the greatest job in the world because I get to call these organizations and tell them about the donation. They usually can’t believe it. To a small organization like Nanaimo Minor Baseball, a $10,000 donation can accomplish a lot.”

Nanaimo Minor Baseball Receives $10,000

Nanaimo Minor Baseball Receives $10,000

Nanaimo SPCA Receives $10,000

Nanaimo SPCA Receives $100,000

Nanaimo Residents Asked to Speak Up in Second Vital Signs® Survey

Nanaimo, BC – June 22, 2015 – The Nanaimo Foundation is once again asking residents to grade ten critical issue areas relating to quality of life in the Harbour City. This survey provides critical data to the Vital Signs® report, an annual community check-up conducted by the Foundation.

“After the great success of our first Vital Signs report in 2014, we are very excited to be moving forward with another publication this year,” said Tim Mawdsley, Director of Vital Signs with the Nanaimo Foundation. “The information gathered from this survey is an integral part of the final report, and we encourage everyone to participate and share the link with their various networks.”

The Vital Signs® report, presented through a partnership with the Nanaimo Foundation, the United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI), the City of Nanaimo, and Island Savings, helps identify Nanaimo’s strengths and highlights areas in need of attention. Information for the report is gathered through a variety of sources, and the results are compiled and presented in a reader-friendly, easy-to-use format to help understand how the community is doing and where it is heading.

Non-profit organizations, civic leaders, individual donors, and citizens can all improve the direction of their volunteerism, business practices, granting, policy-making, and charitable giving, according to Nanaimo Foundation Chairman Ted Carson. “We use the Vital Signs report as a key element in our community development contributions.”

Nanaimo’s Vital Signs Survey will run through until August. Individuals, community groups, local business owners, and students are invited to participate. To complete the survey, please visit Results from the 2015 Vital Signs® survey and related research will be made available to the public on October 6th, 2015.


Nanaimo Foundation

Since 1982, the Nanaimo Foundation has been connecting visionary donors with causes that truly matter. Every year, with our donors, we help fund capital projects and pilot projects—large and small—in support of areas such as arts and culture, education, children and youth, environment, animal welfare, community health and social development. We collaborate with other charities and non-profits to provide funding for innovative projects to solve larger community issues.

Island Savings

Island Savings is the fastest-growing financial institution based on Vancouver Island. For over 60 years, Island Savings has offered a complete range of products and services and has contributed to the financial and economic well-being of our members, employees and communities. By investing in local businesses and supporting community organizations, we’re working to make the Islands an even better place to live.

United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island

Since 1958, United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) has been mobilizing collective action to strengthen our community’s social support network so that every person has access to the help they need during a crisis and for the long term. Thanks to the hard work and generosity of thousands of community heroes, this year UWCNVI invested in 50 charities and 60 programs in the Central Island, Comox Valley and Campbell River.

Take the 2015 Vital Signs® Survey!

What do you think are the greatest issues facing Nanaimo today? Is it transportation? Funding for the arts? Affordable housing? Child care?

If you live or work in the Greater Nanaimo Area (including Ladysmith, Gabriola Island, and Lantzville), take the 2015 Vital Signs® survey and help pinpoint the areas that are critical to improving the quality of life in the harbour city!

Take the survey now!

Nanaimo Foundation Grants $23,000 to Two Local Non-Profits

Nanaimo, BC – June 15, 2015 – The Nanaimo Foundation has distributed $23,000 in grants to two local non-profit organizations. The Nanaimo Family Life Association has received $10,000 and the Gabriola Commons has received $13,000, with these monies to be put towards completing their recent renovation and construction projects.

“Our building is old, run down, tired looking, and quite frankly it didn’t match our goal of wanting to provide comfort and support in an inspirational setting,” said Deborah Hollins, Executive Director of the Nanaimo Family Life Association. “Being an agency dedicated to the healing and well–being of those in our community in need of support, we are aware of the impact that the physical surroundings can have on one’s progress to mental and emotional health. The Nanaimo Foundation has made it possible for us to achieve that goal and to provide those seeking our services with a space that is clean, colorful, and inviting.”

George Szanto, Gabriola Commons volunteer and chair of the grant writing team, expressed his gratitude for the Foundation’s grant—the second grant the Commons has received from the Nanaimo Foundation in five years.

“The first grant was used towards the installation of new plumbing, electricity, and insulation,” Szanto said, “but Island Health required us to install a brand new septic system before we could begin operations. Now, we can install that system, thanks to this second grant.”

Ted Carson, Chairman of the Nanaimo Foundation, congratulated the 2014 Community Grant recipients. “We are extremely pleased to see such an incredible group of dedicated people working and volunteering in these organizations, and the Foundation is thrilled to be able to help support these important community projects.”

Until June 30th, 2015, the Nanaimo Foundation is accepting Letters of Intent from local non-profits seeking funding to assist capital and pilot projects. To find out more on how to obtain a Community Grant, please visit

Gabriola Commons Cheque Presentation

[L-R] George Szanto, Chair, Gabriola Commons
George Hanson, Vice-Chair, Strategic & Grants Director, Nanaimo Foundation

[L-R] Deborah Hollins, Executive Director, Nanaimo Family Life George Hanson, Vice-Chair, Strategic & Grants Director, Nanaimo Foundation

[L-R] Deborah Hollins, Executive Director, Nanaimo Family Life
George Hanson, Vice-Chair, Strategic & Grants Director, Nanaimo Foundation


Nanaimo Smart & Caring True Sport Matching Grants Program

Community Foundations of Canada and the True Sport Foundation are joining forces under the Smart & Caring Communities banner to bring sport and philanthropy together to make our communities stronger, healthier and more resilient. The Nanaimo Foundation is excited to partner with True Sport and CFC to award grants to projects in the Nanaimo area, to enhancing the quality and quantity of physical activity opportunities within the Aboriginal community in the region, and remove barriers to physical engagement.

Deadline to submit an application:
April 17th, 2015 at 5pm

Please email applications to the attention of: Daniel Martinez: [email protected]

*No need to mail hard copy

Download the True Sport Smart & Caring Grant application here.

VIU To Award 31 Canadian QE II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships

– Media Release – 

Vancouver Island University (VIU) will award more than $800,000 in prestigious scholarships to 31 undergraduate, graduate and international students through the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships (QES) program.

“I’m very pleased to announce that VIU will work in partnership with the University of Belize (UB) and community partners in Belize and in Canada, on the new Building Resilience in Coastal Communities (BRICC) project,” said Dr. Graham Pike, Dean of International Education for VIU.

VIU’s Canadian partners include Nanaimo Foundation ($20,000 financial contribution); Parksville-Qualicum Foundation ($12,000 financial contribution), Commonwealth of Learning, K’omoks First Nation and the World Leisure Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Leisure Management at VIU.

Partners in Belize include the University of Belize, Belize Institute for Local Development and the National Association of Village Councils.

With funding from the QES program, VIU will award scholarships to Canadian VIU students at the undergraduate and graduate levels so they can participate in internships or academic study for periods of three to six months in Belize. Scholarships will also be available to students from Belize to complete one of VIU’s six Master’s degree programs. Both inbound and outbound students will be selected based on the contribution of their work to strengthening the resilience of coastal communities.

VIU is among 34 Canadian universities to receive funding for the scholarships through a joint initiative of the Rideau Hall Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. The QES program will contribute $499,982 toward the scholarships while VIU and its partners will provide $306,254 cash and in kind, with participating scholars providing $11,625.
“The support that we have garnered from our local Community Foundations will allow us to foster a community of practice in coastal resilience, which is critical to the wellbeing of coastal communities in Belize and on Vancouver Island,” added Dr. Pike. “Each of the partners have committed to active participation in the project, and this involvement will be integral to our success.”

Dr. Ralph Nilson, President and Vice-Chancellor, Vancouver Island University said, “Queen Elizabeth Scholars will activate a dynamic community of young global leaders who will, over the next four years, address pressing issues of critical importance to Belize, Vancouver Island, British Columbia and across the Commonwealth. They will create lasting impacts both at home and abroad through cross-cultural exchanges encompassing international education, discovery and inquiry, and professional experiences.”

Ted Carson, Chair of the Board, Nanaimo Foundation, said,“We’re thrilled that the Nanaimo Foundation has been of service to VIU in attracting this substantial award to create this unique scholarship program. By sending young Canadians overseas to study and bringing international students to our campuses, this visionary program will help build economic and diplomatic and cultural ties that benefit all Canadians.”

Wendy Carmichael, President of the Parksville-Qualicum Community Foundation, said, “Canada’s future is increasingly shaped by global, fast-moving interconnected forces. To understand these challenges, we need a workforce with knowledge of other countries, cultures and languages, and an ability to establish partnerships with colleagues from around the world. This project helps facilitates collaboration by bringing global perspectives, cultures and languages to our campuses. Attracting students from around the world also helps build prosperity in Canada.”

For more information, please contact Jennifer Sills, Manager, Education Abroad at VIU at 250.740.6312 or [email protected]

BACKGROUNDER: Vancouver Island University (VIU) and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships (QE II) program

VIU is among 34 Canadian universities to receive funding for the scholarships through the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships, a joint initiative of the Rideau Hall Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

Research projects by VIU’s Queen Elizabeth Scholars will focus on specific themes of the new Building Resilience in Coastal Communities (BRICC) project including the capacity to foster sustainable economic activity, particularly tourism; management of water in coastal zones, including drinking water; developing and managing parks and protected areas in or near coastal communities; climate change issues; and sustainable aquatic foods and local agricultural production.

Internships, research and project work will be applied or usefully embedded in the ongoing, real-world work of credible local organizations, and linked to ongoing, established national and pan-Commonwealth initiatives. Opportunities for aboriginal students from both countries are an important element of the project.

VIU will host at least one ‘flagship’ Scholar’s event in Belize and in Canada annually, and with resources provided by Community Foundations in our region and with assistance from our Centre of Excellence and Innovation in Learning, and the support of the Commonwealth of Learning, VIU will host annual web conferences that will involve our Belizean and Canadian partners as well as the QE ll Scholars.

VIU chose to partner with the Commonwealth country of Belize because VIU’s region and Belize are facing similar challenges, circumstances and opportunities.

The University of Belize (UB), the Government of Belize, municipalities, and many non-governmental organizations are as focused on coastal resilience issues as VIU is on Vancouver Island.

Belize is English-speaking and geographically and financially accessible to Canadian students, and VIU already has a broad and active network in Belize. The University and UB partnered to deliver a major fisheries project in 1999, and the relationship has broadened to include intercultural learning experiences, exchanges and collaboration.

Over the past 15 years, VIU Geography, Forestry, Education, Biology, Tourism, Physical Education, Geology and Global Studies students have attended field schools or successfully completed valuable internships with local organizations in Belize. Two adjunct faculty in Belize fulfill a coordination and support role with students, faculty and interns.

For more information, contact Jennifer Sills, Manager, Education Abroad at VIU at 250.740.6312 or [email protected]


Marilyn Assaf, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University P: 250.740.6559 C: 250.618.4596 E: [email protected] Twitter: @VIUNews

Nanaimo Foundation Ad Campaign #6

In 2013 and 2014, the Nanaimo Foundation was proud to support the capital campaigns for the Nanaimo Hospice Society and the Nanaimo Travellers Lodge Society. Donating $50,000 to each project through legacy giving and funds, the support for these compassionate care organizations was made possible due to the generosity of the community leaving legacies and endowments to the Nanaimo Foundation.

Nanaimo Foundation March 5th

Thanks to the generosity of Black Press with support from Community Foundations of Canada, the #YouMakeYourCommunity campaign is running in close to 50 community newspapers in British Columbia, promoting the work community foundations do throughout the province!

Nanaimo Foundation Ad Campaign #5

The Nanaimo Foundation is proud to support Arts and Culture in our community! As the endowment manager for the Nanaimo Museum and the Port Theatre, these funds are among many tools used to ensure a consistent stream of income that can be used to create a sustainable future for these organizations.

Through the Nanaimo Foundation, we can assist with linking your agency to other funds, partnerships, or opportunities that may help achieve your charitable goals.

Nanaimo Foundation Ad #5


Thanks to the generosity of Black Press with support from Community Foundations of Canada, the #YouMakeYourCommunity campaign is running in close to 50 community newspapers in British Columbia, promoting the work community foundations do throughout the province!

Donor Leaves Annual Community Legacy

David Stanley gives to Nanaimo Foundation.
By Karl Yu, The News Bulletin – February 19th, 2015

With the assistance of the Nanaimo Foundation, David Stanley will be able to grant money to charitable organizations on an annual basis.

Stanley and his wife established a donor- advised fund through the Nanaimo Foundation in 2014, which will begin bearing fruit this year. They donated the minimum $10,000 and the Nanaimo Foundation can only give the money to charities registered with the Canada Revenue Agency. Stanley said it was easy to set up the fund.

Daniel Martinez, foundation development coordinator, said the donor advised fund follows similar principles of a private foundation.

“When somebody donates to their private foundation, they receive a charitable receipt, similar to them opening a fund with us,” said Martinez. “I would say it’s an easier way to do it than setting up your own private foundation.” The Canada Revenue Agency says a minimum of 3.5 per cent of the total must be given out yearly, said Martinez.

While money from the fund will initially be available to anyone, Stanley has advised the foundation that he would like it to go to environmental projects or research after he and his wife are gone.

Stanley is a proud Nanaimoite and wants to show his appreciation to the Harbour City. “I’m originally from Ontario and we really enjoy Nanaimo. We’ve been here for about 11 years now and it’s a peaceful, safe, friendly place to live,” said Stanley. “We have all the conveniences we need for retirement, so we’re happy here and we’d like to make sure that our money stays in Nanaimo.”

The Nanaimo Foundation hosted its annual general meeting Wednesday at its Front Street office where it decided who the recipient will be.

For more information on donor-advised funds or the Nanaimo Foundation, please e-mail [email protected]

Donor leaves annual community legacy - Nanaimo News Bulletin - Feb 2015

Nanaimo Foundation Ad Campaign #4

What will your legacy be? Help guide the future of your community and the causes you care about. Since 1982 The Nanaimo Foundation has worked closely with donors and supporters from many walks of life, by granting monies annually to a broad range of charitable organizations and worthy causes. Visit for more info on how your gift can help build a better tomorrow.