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Logo of Central Okanagan FoundationCentral Okanagan Foundation
Community Foundations are charitable organizations dedicated to improving communities in specific geographical areas. Central Okanagan Foundation does this by pooling the charit...
2 employees on Do Some Good
We're committed to giving back to the community!
View the Pledge
#306 - 1726 Dolphin Avenue
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 9R9
Causes we care about

Top company causes

  • Community and Economic Development

Social Mission
Our mission is to provide an ongoing contribution to the quality of life in our community through the stewardship of entrusted funds, grant making and community leadership.
Some of the organizations we support
Arts Council of the Central Okanagan
Jewels of HOPE
Central Okanagan Community Food Bank
Opera Kelowna
Karis Support Society
The Bridge Youth & Family Services Society
What people are saying about us
Picture of Stephanie MooreLogo of KCR Community Resources
Stephanie MooreKCR Community Resources

The Central Okanagan Foundation has been a great supporter of many of KCR Community Resources programs and projects. Specifically, we are very grateful for their support of our Capacity Building Workshops and Volunteer Fairs.

Picture of Theresa PrestonLogo of Lower Mainland Down Syndrome Society
Theresa PrestonLower Mainland Down Syndrome Society

It was an eventful year for the Lower Mainland Down Syndrome Society Okanagan group. With the support from the Central Okanagan Foundation, our group was able to bring the community together for a variety of events and celebrations. This is an opportunity for families to receive help and support, as well as a chance to network with others, and build each other up. It also brings the communities of the Okanagan together to bring awareness, and knowledge of Down syndrome. This year our group was able to provide: Christmas party- kids of all ages, including self advocates gathered at Jump to It for food, fun and laughs. We had a special visit from Santa that was enjoyed by all. In March we had our 2nd Annual World Down Syndrome Day celebration, where we had the City of Kelowna proclaim March 21 as "World Down Syndrome Day". Councilor Ryan Donn was attended to present the proclamation and meet members. We also had our community join in on the "Light Up for World Down Syndrome Day".

Program AdministratorKelowna & District S.H.A.R.E. Society

Kelowna & District S..H.A.R.E. Society is grateful for the support that the Central Okanagan Foundation has given to us over the years. Most recently, they provided much needed funds to assist our organization in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. This made it easier for us to make the purchases that now protect our staff and clients. They have advised us on many issues, including additional sources of funding. In their effort to suppport us, they are validating the value of our contribution to the community. Thank you, COF!

Stories of our community involvement
Exciting Changes at the Central Okanagan Foundation

We would like to congratulate David Knapp on taking up a new role with his previous employer in the financial services industry. David joined the Foundation as Executive Director in November 2019. We are grateful for many positive contributions he has made and truly wish him well in future.

In preparation for David’s departure, and to manage the transition while we search for a new ED, the Board is very pleased to announce that Kathy Butler has agreed to act as Interim Executive Director. Many of you will know Kathy from her role as Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation from 2003 to 2018. Kathy is highly regarded as a manager and consultant in the non-profit sector and has deep roots in the community. The Central Okanagan Foundation is certain to benefit from her extensive experience during this transition. As you may be aware, a search for a new Executive Director has already commenced and is ongoing. A link to the job posting on our website.

We hope this message finds you well during these challenging times. Our next newsletter will be out soon to update you on our recent activities as we continue to keep an eye on community needs and act on opportunities to support the Central Okanagan Region.
Brian Sanders, Board Chair, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Central Okanagan Foundation
Please join us for the Okanagan Valley’s inaugural virtual Impact Investment Summit on February 24th, 2021. Our objective is to convene and support social purpose organizations and impact investors throughout the region to further impact investing in 2021. Come hear from renowned impact investors and leaders on trends in the industry, tips for investing and how to position your Social Purpose Organization to attract investment in 2021. This boutique gathering will provide an opportunity to network and connect with leaders of social purpose organizations throughout the Okanagan, leaving you feeling inspired, connected, and resourced to grow impact investing in the region.

Free to attend, register:
Community Foundation North Okanagan has partnered with six other Southern BC Community Foundations to provide $1,562,140 to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19.
This funding is part of the Government of Canada’s new $31 million Healthy Communities Initiative. This investment by the federal government will support community-led organizations in developing local, small-scale infrastructure projects that respond to the immediate needs arising from COVID-19, while building towards a more pandemic-resilient future.
The Healthy Communities Initiative will fund eligible projects that fall under three main themes:
- creating safe and vibrant public spaces
- improving mobility options
- digital solutions
The goal is to fund projects that can quickly help communities adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19 as they continue to navigate the pandemic.
Organizations interested in submitting an application are encouraged to visit to learn more about the program, eligibility criteria and how to apply. Organizations can also register to attend information sessions on the program.
The application period for the first round of funding closes on March 9, 2021 at 5:00PM PST. A second application period for funding will take place starting in May 2021.
Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen
Central Okanagan Foundation
Do you know an exceptional Central Okanagan volunteer who could use some help paying for post secondary education next year? We'd love to hear about them! The Central Okanagan Foundation is now accepting applications for our Volunteer Spirit Scholarship. To learn more, or apply please visit our website!
United Way Southern Interior BC , GenNext Kelowna and the Central Okanagan Foundation announced today that they have partnered again this year to offer Youth Initiative Grants. Youth who are improving their communities have a chance to receive project funding of up to $2,000.

These grants are available to young people up to age 25 who are partnering with an organization to create positive change in their local community. The partner organization can be a school, church or charity and youth must reside in either the Central or South Okanagan Similkameen in order to apply. Applications are available until the March 2, 2021 deadline.

"Youth in the Central and South Okanagan want opportunities to have a positive impact in their communities. They care about their communities, the environment, inclusiveness, homelessness, youth engagement and mental health,” explains Co-Chairs Charmaine Pearce and Zach Webster. “Youth Initiative Grants give youth the resources to make those positive impacts possible, and GenNext Kelowna is proud to be a funding partner and part of the granting process every year.”

Last year’s recipients included youth-led projects by Enactus Okanagan College – Green Screen and Silver Surfers programs, CRIS Adaptive Adventures – Scavenger Hunt and YMCA – Youth Advisory Council.  More info and pictures at the link below.

“The Youth Initiative Grants provide an opportunity for youth to have their voices heard and make an impact in areas that matter the most to them,” says Abbie Norrish, Grants & Community Initiatives Coordinator with Central Okanagan Foundation. “It’s inspiring to see the passion that the youth have for their projects and their community.”

Application packages are available at: For further information, contact Abbie Norrish at Central Okanagan Foundation for Central Okanagan inquiries or Sherry Ferronato at United Way SIBC for South Okanagan inquiries.

More details and complete media release at:
The United Way Southern Interior BC serves the communities of the Okanagan, Columbia, Shuswap, and Similkameen regions. Each year, over 85,000 residents in this region benefit directly from United Way investments with 73 local charities, which focus on supporting kids, moving people from poverty to possibility and b and building strong, healthy communities. BCAA estimates as many as five percent – roughly 23,000 – of children in British Columbia don’t use an approved child car seat when travellin by car, despite the clear safety advantages to using one. The unfortunate reality is that some kids go unprotected because their families simply cannot afford the expense of a new car seat.

The Child Safety Initiative is a partnership powered by the Paul Docksteader Foundation, United Way Southern Interior BC, Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) Foundation, and Central Okanagan Foundation, which provides new car seats to families in financial need. The car seats are distributed to families throughout the Southern Interior of BC, thanks to a network of community partners who provide social services in these regions.

A 20' x 8' x 8.5' container allowed the United Way to securely stow a large delivery of 172 children's car seats while they prepared for distribution to 29 local charities throughout the Okanagan. This campaign was considered a huge success by the organizers!
So proud of the Central Okanagan Foundation for its ongoing support of nonprofit and charitable organizations in our communities! Read their full story below!

As this challenging year wraps up, the Central Okanagan Foundation is pleased to announce that it invested $142,249 in local organizations this fall.

“In this extraordinary year, the need to support the communities of our region was more important than ever,” says Cheryl Miller, the Foundation’s Director of Grants and Community Initiatives. “It’s our privilege to steward the investments of our donors, and then support 13 organizations across a range of sectors.”

The Foundation supports charities in eight fields: arts and culture, heritage and historical, environment, animal welfare, health and community service, children, youth and family, education, and global initiatives. Its impact covers the Okanagan from Lake Country in the north, to Peachland in the south.

Earlier this year, 16 organizations received grant funding totaling $236,542 in the spring cycle of grant distribution. This latest round brings the Foundation’s 2020 investment through these grants to $378,791.

Twice annually, the Central Okanagan Foundation Grants are open for applications. The next intake is in the spring of 2021, with an application deadline of May 3. An information session will be held on March 17 at 1:30pm via Zoom, and registration is now available online:

Registered charities and non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply, and can find more information on our website (, or can contact Miller directly via email:

The funds for this program come from the investment income earned on the Foundation’s Community Endowment Fund. A full list of the 13 fall recipients can be found here:
Congratulations to Habitat for Humanity Okanagan for breaking ground on 8 new homes in Lake Country! We're so proud to support their incredible work and look forward to seeing these homes filled with happy, supported members of our community!
Over the spring, the Central Okanagan Foundation invested $236,542 in organizations across the region.

The funds came from the organization’s spring 2020 grants.

The foundation supports charities in the areas of youth and family, arts and culture, education, heritage and historical, health, global and the environment.

“It is our privilege to steward donor’s investments to the community through our grant program,” said Cheryl Miller, Director of Grants & Community Initiatives. “These grants support a broad array of organizations whose work improves our community every day.”

Sixteen organizations received funding through this round of grants, which is the first of two cycles for the foundation each year. The application deadline for fall grants is October 1.

You can find out how to apply for the grants at
Taking full advantage of the COF's $75,000 matching donation initiative to the Community Response Fund, long-standing Corporate Fund-holders, the Gorman Group were amongst the first to respond and donated $26,000! Currently total funds raised have surpassed $120,000. The funds will be directed to those extraordinary organizations who do so much for our community every day.

You can't see the Gorman's team smiling under their masks - but they are!

Visit: to apply, donate or learn more.
We're committed to giving back to the community!
View the Pledge
#306 - 1726 Dolphin Avenue
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 9R9
Causes we care about

Top company causes

  • Community and Economic Development