Hampton Iona Community Group establishes charitable fund

Submitted by Lorne Cutler

Throughout Kitchissippi Ward there are a number of charities and not-for-profit organizations that serve our community. A common theme amongst most of these organizations is the need for funding.

The Hampton Iona Community Group (HICG) has established a charitable fund with the Ottawa Community Foundation that is designed to support these types of organizations in Kitchissippi.

Several years ago, HICG was involved with two other appellants in a land planning challenge against Ashcroft Developments over the development at the Soeur de la Visitation Convent site on Richmond Road.

The exterior of the old convent as seen from a school yard next door.
The Soeur de la Visitation Convent site on Richmond Rd. Photo by Charlie Senack.

It was determined that it was best to reach a negotiated settlement due to the cost of legal and planning fees, and the low likelihood of winning at the Ontario Municipal Board.

As part of the settlement, the three appellants received $200,000 from Ashcroft, which had to be used in order to benefit the community. A portion of these funds were also used to pay for legal and planning fees.

HICG ultimately decided the best way to utilize these funds was to engage the experience and expertise of the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF), which is a charity for charities. Working with donors all types, it leverages philanthropic resources to strengthen and empower the charitable sector in the National Capital Region and beyond.

In late 2021, HICG took its share of approximately $59,000 from the settlement funds and established the Hampton Iona Community Fund with OCF. While HICG set out the criteria for eligible projects under the Fund, it is up to OCF to select appropriate projects that meet the agreed upon criteria and then distribute and administer the funds. The Fund is set up to be drawn down over a maximum period of 10 years.

How the money will be spent

It was decided that that the money should be spent throughout the entire community, including in McKellar Park which was then part of the municipal ward’s boundaries.

The agreement between HICG and OCF requires that each project supported primarily benefit the residents of Kitchissippi (70 per cent of the benefit for each project should be in the Ward).

Sectors that can be considered for support are: recreation, social housing, environmental, education, arts & culture, community building (including social programming), social benefits (tax clinics, food banks, community kitchens, etc.) and accessibility.

In 2023, the Fund provided emergency support to Salus after their flood at their Scott Street independent living apartment building.

Typically, groups receiving money from OCF must be registered with the Canada Revenue Agency as a charitable organization. An organization that does not have charitable status can apply in a formal partnership with a charitable organization if, through the initiative in question, the non-charitable organization is helping the charity fulfill its mission and mandate.

The Municipality of Ottawa is considered as having equivalent to charitable status so a not-for-profit group such as a community association could potentially partner with the City to make an application for a project they were jointly working on. Further information on how to apply for funding from OCF can be found at www.ocf-fco.org/grant-programs/applying-for-a-community-grant.

Kitchissippi has numerous community groups supporting their neighbourhoods such as, food banks, supportive housing projects, a key section of the Ottawa River, community centres, community gardens, public art, the list goes on. Groups that apply to OCF for funding do not specifically apply to the Fund but money from the Fund will be specifically available for Kitchissippi-based projects and cannot be used elsewhere in the City.

The Fund is not close-ended. This means that anyone who wants to support projects in Kitchissippi or wants to leave a long-term legacy in the Kitchissippi community can do so by contributing directly to the Fund. As OCF is a charitable foundation, any donations made to OCF and directed to the Fund, whether by an individual, a bequest in a will/insurance policy or by a corporation, will be eligible for a charitable donation receipt. This may also allow the Fund to live longer than its initial 10-year period.

Those seeking more information on the Fund can either contact Lorne Cutler at lacutler@magma.ca or the OCF at grants@ocf-fco.ca. Questions related to the grant application process should be addressed to OCF.

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