Think of the Red Deer & District Community Foundation as the community savings account. We are an independent, community-based organization that focuses on philanthropy, grants and leadership.

When the clock shifted us into the year of 2020, we could not have anticipated the wave of insecurity and constant readjustment that would crash into our society.

The Red Deer & District Community Foundation (RDDCF) has watched, listened and learned as we supported central Alberta through this unprecedented era.

Last March, when the term ‘lockdown’ became a piece of our everyday vocabulary, our Foundation immediately began to work collaboratively with the United Way of Central Alberta to provide essential funding to charitable agencies within our district. Over the course of eight weeks we determined three primary areas of need: food security, mental health supports and adapted at-home supports for individuals with mobility barriers and increased vulnerability.

Due to the combination of RDDCF’s unrestricted fund allocation and the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund, we were able to address these needs by providing over $690,900 to charities who were working tirelessly to take care of our community.

This experience has provided us with a notable reminder of the importance of long-term, strategic planning – not only as an organization, but as philanthropists.

As we continue to work to ensure that we are considering the long-term view, we also want to ensure our immediate and current relevance to the community, as a funder and also in our role to invite donor investment. We want to continue to be aware of the issues and how we might create change, build community and cultivate inclusion, at every turn.

Since 1989, the Red Deer & District Community Foundation has been a 360° grant maker that invests in projects, programs, and organizations to build a stronger central Alberta.

We prudently invest the donations we receive in an endowment. Each year we disburse the income we make on that investment to charitable organizations and projects

Currently, we have $16.4 million in pooled assets. The larger our pool grows, the more funding we can make available to respond to the needs within our communities and because we never touch the principal, there will always be granting dollars available for Central Alberta charities.

Donors can be confident that their gift, no matter how small or in what form, will continue to give for many years to come –forever, actually.

If we have learned anything throughout the year 2020, it’s the importance of planning, saving, and growing. We have been relit; our purpose refocused. We are here, not only to provide a funding avenue for the charities who create safe spaces support emotional growth and mental health for our district – but we are here for the philanthropists who love tomorrow enough to plan for it.

As individuals, our interests are shaped by our experiences and that reflects in the way we give. While some people like to remain flexible & open to opportunities as they arise, some are dedicated to specific charitable goals.

Currently, these include:

Smart & Caring Communities Fund (Unrestricted Fund) – a fund developed to address the changing needs in central Alberta.

Field of Interest Fund – funds that focus on a particular area of interest like mental health or education.

Donor Advised Fund – funds that give donors the opportunity to identify which charities will receive the grants from their funds annually.