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Impact

When Community Living Hamilton established its agency endowment fund with HCF in April 2016, they didn’t expect it to be a teaching tool for their clients.

Like other agencies, they established the fund to support the future of their organization in perpetuity as well as to access Hamilton Community Foundation’s investment and other expertise. But when it came to making a decision about what programs to support with the earnings from the fund, they invited input from their client base.

The result was impressive.

Community Living Hamilton struck an advisory committee, made up of seven of their service users – people with a range of developmental abilities. The group began by learning what an endowment fund is (they used an image of a tree and its seedlings) and then laid out criteria for projects they might fund. They then weighed various possibilities against the criteria and, after discussion, recommended one project to the organization’s board.

“I was incredibly impressed by their presentation,” says Community Living Board member Judy Colantino. “It was so thorough and thoughtful. We accepted their advice unanimously.”

The recommendation? To grow the money another year and then support the agency’s award-winning, 35-member drum corps trip to Indianapolis, where they will represent Canada. If their rehearsals (and track record) are any indicator, the visit is sure to be an overwhelming success – thanks in no small measure to the additional funding provided from their endowment fund.

Excerpt from 2018 Annual Report