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Community Foundation hoping to spark philanthropic conversation

The business community in Grande Prairie came together on Wednesday to learn about just how far they can make their charitable donations go.

“A lot of Canadians are very generous, but really they mostly give because they’re asked,” says Paul Nazareth, VP of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners.

Nazareth was the keynote speaker as part of a two-day event put on by the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta. He says often the small business sector can overlook the full use of a charitable tax credit.

“Gigantic business, banks and big corporations have a corporate social responsibility, but actually community business and small businesses also think to do that. That’s why across the country community foundations [are] a superpower.”

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Community Foundation CEO Tracey Vavrek says the community at large goes above and beyond when it comes to giving without question, but believes in the long term it could be put to better use with a little more planning.

“Grande Prairie is extremely giving, and when there is a cause or a concern, we see our community members there in the forefront and supportive. We’re looking at strategic opportunities so we’re helping build legacies for families, individuals or corporations. It’s a different mind sent, it’s different than fundraising, it’s different than attending a golf course.”

Nazareth suggests if businesses want their money to go as far as possible and do the most good, investing in a long term community fund or endowment would be the right move.

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