This small foundation “turbocharged” its assets — but at what cost?

The Community Foundation of Orillia and Area grew its assets from $1.5 million to $15 million in just 10 years.

Why It Matters

The growth strategies used by the Community Foundation of Orillia and Area have increased granting and improved some local charity’s investment returns. Experts are celebrating these wins, but caution there could also be downsides.

TORONTO/TREATY 13 – Michael Gordon has a remarkable story to tell, one detailing how the Community Foundation of Orillia and Area “turbocharged” its growth over the last decade, accumulating more than $15 million in assets and increasing its annual granting by over $400,000. 

But a presentation by the foundation’s board president was met with mixed feedback and a barrage of questions during the Community Foundations of Canada annual conference in Toronto earlier this year. 

To some, it’s a Cinderella story. “I just want to compliment you because truly, you are working side-by-side with the charitable organizations in your community,” says one executive.

But others aren’t so sure. 

Some conference goers ask Gordon if the Orillia Foundation’s methods can be duplicated in smaller communities, where super-volunteers like himself might

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