The Campbell River Community Foundation is looking to improve on what they already considered “a pretty good result” with their 2016 Vital Signs study, and the city has given them $10,000 to help them out, because the end result will be something many organizations – including the city itself – can make extensive use of. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror

Vital Signs 2018 gets $10,000 boost from City of Campbell River

Eventually, the Community Foundation expects to be able to fund biennual study itself

The City of Campbell River will chip in $10,000 on the 2018 Vital Signs report after discussing its value on Monday night.

Jim Harris and Claire Moglove, directors of the Campbell River Community Foundation, presented to council on Monday, highlighting the research methods and purpose of the biennial report, saying it is an excellent opportunity to gain insight into what the city is doing well and ways in which it can improve.

“In 2016, we decided to take our first crack at it, and we came out with, I think, a pretty good result,” Harris says, but he adds the 2016 report, while useful for many businesses and organizations within the community, can’t just stand alone as a one-off.

“Doing one report is not adequate,” Harris says. “We’re committed to doing it every two years, because as far as we can see, it will be very benficial. Conditions change, issues change, and this gives you a very good idea of how we’re doing when it comes to certain aspects – whether we’re getting better or getting worse.”

When Moglove first came on board with the Vital Signs Committee a few months ago, she immediately recognized the value of the report.

“My first impression was that it’s really a useful tool for non-profit organizations within the community, and that’s what the Community Foundation does: it helps other non-profit organizations with funding. But when I took a deeper look, I recognized how useful it could be, not only for non-profits, but many other organizations and businesses.”

She knows, for example, that the report has been used to make decisions around board tables at City Hall, the Board of Education office, the North Island Employment Foundation Society, the Visitor Information Centre, North Island College and others.

“It provides really important information about the community and a clarity around the current, potential and perceived issues facing the community.”

But researching all of these things takes money, as does the physical production of the final publication, which is why the pair were before council on Monday.

Between sorting through census data, compiling information from various focus groups and organizations, they’re looking at needing about $25,000 to complete the project.

“Through the foundation and the community, we’re looking at raising about $15,000, but we’re looking for about another $10,000 from the city,” Harris says.

But eventually they won’t have to keep asking. The foundation’s endowment, Harris says, will be strong enough to support the research and reporting of these statistics all on its own. It’s just not quite there yet.

“The time will come when we’ll have the money to do this ourselves,” he says, citing the endowment of the Comox Valley’s foundation, which has around $15 million, allowing them to pay for the study out of the interest on that endowment. The Campbell River foundation has approximately $2 million in its endowment.

Council agreed to become a partner in the initiative, offering up the remaining $10,000 the Community Foundation will need to complete the study, which Harris says is scheduled to be released this fall.