Smart & Caring Communities

In 2011, Governor General David Johnston laid out his vision for Canada’s future. Our country, he said, could be something greater than it already is. It could become “a smart and caring nation, where all Canadians can succeed, contribute, and develop their talents to their fullest potential.”

It was a vision, but more than that, it was a call to action, one heard loud and clear by the Community Foundations of Canada. As a national organization, it made sense to launch a national initiative. And so the Community Foundations of Canada urged its 191 members – a network of community foundations that stretches from coast to coast to coast – to think ahead. Not too far in the future, mind you. Just to 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday. What could community foundations do by then to help realize the Governor General’s vision of a smart and caring nation?

The answer: create SMART & CARING COMMUNITIES.

The initiative has two goals. The first is to ensure that, by 2017, every community in Canada is served by a community foundation. The Richmond Community Foundation, of course, was established in 1990. We’d like to think that we’ve made a significant impact since then – funded dozens of worthwhile projects, issued scholarships to hundreds of promising students. Through our own experience, we know the difference community foundations can make, which is why we want to see them in as many communities as possible.

The second goal is for each community foundation to create a SMART & CARING COMMUNITY FUND. Though part of a national initiative, each fund will be as unique as the community in which it’s based. The funds will give communities the flexibility to take advantage of local opportunities, to support projects that embody a homegrown vision of “smart and caring.” As these funds spread across Canada, they’ll leave a lasting legacy well beyond 2017, and serve as a testament to our collective effort to build a smart and caring nation.

The Richmond Community Foundation is currently developing a Smart & Caring Community Fund. More information will be available shortly. In the meantime, learn everything there is to know about the Smart & Caring Communities initiative on the Community Foundations of Canada’s website.