Muttart Foundation makes core funding grant to Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations

EDMONTON, Dec. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - The Muttart Foundation today announced a three-year, $225,000 grant to the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO) to assist it in its work supporting the charitable sector.

The grant is unrestricted funding, allowing CCVO to use it where it is needed, although the foundation expressed the hope that it would allow for continuation or expansion of the Chamber's public policy program.

The new grant brings to more than $2 million the funds that have been provided by The Muttart Foundation to create and sustain CCVO.

In announcing the grant, Bob Wyatt, executive director of The Muttart Foundation, congratulated CCVO on the work it has accomplished.

"The staff and directors of CCVO have worked very hard since the Chamber's creation to help ensure the voice of the charitable sector is heard, and to equipping leaders in the sector with the information and skills they need to be strong advocates for the sector, and those served by the sector.

"The Chamber is seen as a credible voice by people outside and inside the sector, and its expertise has been regularly called upon by government and the corporate sector.  It has accomplished a great deal and has been a model of what can happen when the sector has a co-ordinating body."

Wyatt pointed to the research, briefing papers and professional development sessions produced by the CCVO as just some of the accomplishments of the Chamber.

"We were thrilled to receive the news of this new grant commitment," said Katherine van Kooy, CCVO's President and CEO.  "The Muttart Foundation's initial commitment was a statement of faith in the potential of the Chamber. It is rewarding to see that we have earned their continued support. There are limited sources of funding to engage in policy work aimed at strengthening the not-for-profit sector, and we appreciate The Muttart Foundation's leadership in this area. And the unrestricted nature of this grant gives us the flexibility to use the funds as required to support and grow our work.  "

Wyatt said that Muttart's Board of Directors felt it was important to provide a core-funding grant, rather than direct the money toward a specific initiative.

"Too often, funders put very restrictive conditions on grants and thus remove some of the flexibility that is so important.  Like all organizations - in the private sector, government or the voluntary sector - CCVO faces operating costs ranging from utilities and rent to travel and research.  All of these costs together add up to the organization as a whole, and make it possible for the accomplishments we have seen.  We trust that CCVO will, as it has in the past, use the funding to allow it to continue to grow and improve."

The Muttart Foundation began supporting what is now the CCVO even before it was created, providing some of the seed money for the research and development of the new organization.  From the time of the first grant in 1997 to the current grant, Muttart has contributed just over $2 million to support an organization which supports the Calgary voluntary sector and, through the sector, the people who rely on the voluntary sector for support - whether in social services, education, health or the arts.

"The voluntary sector exists to sustain and improve the quality of life of people in Canada and in developing parts of the world.  Organizations such as CCVO help make charities better at what they do, and help create an environment in which they can thrive," Wyatt said.

The grant was made under Muttart's Strengthening the Charitable Sector program which supports, among other things, umbrella organizations that bring together charities from all subsectors.  Nationally, Muttart funds Imagine Canada, the pan-Canadian body that serves as a leading voice for charities.

The Muttart Foundation, based in Edmonton, was formed in 1953 by the late Gladys and Merrill Muttart.  It is a private foundation that makes grants from income earned on investments that formed part of the endowment started by Dr. and Mr. Muttart.

SOURCE: The Muttart Foundation

For further information:

Bob Wyatt
Executive Director
The Muttart Foundation
(780) 913-8881 (cell)

Katherine von Kooy
President & CEO
Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations
(403) 261-6655