Rural Communities Foundation connects donors to non-profits

The Rural Communities Foundation is building a digital database connecting the groups to would-be philanthropists.

Group using website to help philanthropists give to causes they support

The digital database will continue the work the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia has been doing for 15 years. (The Canadian Press/Adria)

A Nova Scotian group wants to play matchmaker for rural non-profits in need of money.

The Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia is building a digital database connecting the organizations to would-be philanthropists.

Arthur Bull, vice-chairman of the foundation, says the group's "digital switchboard" connects rural organizations to funding.

"If you think of the old days when there was a switchboard operator and someone could plug into the switchboard in one place and someone could plug in in another and be connected — well, that's what we're trying to do," he says.

"We want to in a sense be a matchmaker between donors who care about rural Nova Scotia and want to support this kind of innovative work, and the local programs."

The foundation started the database with groups they've given grants to. Now they want new groups to enter their names directly onto the website.

Bull says solutions will come from rural Nova Scotia. (Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia)

Donors can give online, too — in big or small amounts.

If you want to help, say, youth, seniors or Mi'kmaq culture, they'll connect you to a worthy group. They have hundreds of non-profits in the database, everywhere from the south shore to Cape Breton. 

Bull says it's exactly the sort of self-starting effort highlighted by the Ivany report on Nova Scotia's economic future.

"The kind of innovation they're calling for, we believe actually exists at the local level," he says.

"It's not going to come from a high level policy in Halifax. It's going to come right from the rural communities."

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