Keeping our Promise Through the Heartwood Fund


Lunda Moth on Lupin at the Grant's Woods Nature Reserve

Donating a cherished piece of property to the Conservancy, or donating funds to support a property purchase, is a serious and honourable act of generosity. Potential donors have lots of questions, but there is one concern that is nearly always part of the discussion: “How can I be sure that you will keep this natural property safe and secure forever?”

This was the central question in the air when every past president – those who have led the Conservancy to its current heights over two decades — joined forces to make a new contribution.

They were all aware that shifting government priorities and the turmoil of economic downturns could undermine the great success of the Conservancy. Each one of them knows from experience that strong stewardship of our lands is crucial, especially as expanding human populations and climate change pose new challenges.

Their conclusions about the “forever question” were unanimous – the future security of every inch of ground we protect depends on the strength of the organization we’ve built together. Without a strong Conservancy, able to respond to changing circumstances and new challenges, everything is vulnerable. And the best way of maintaining a strong core to the Conservancy is to create a financial endowment – not to cover all future costs, but rather to guarantee a solid foundation to steward our properties no matter what the future brings.

The Past Presidents Council was formed and a means emerged to keep our promises to all our donors and supporters down through the years: the Heartwood Fund.

The goal of the Heartwood Fund is right for the job: an endowment of $10 million in place by 2025, with the capital managed prudently and retained, and the annual income used to offset stewardship costs, including some staff costs, as needed. While we will attract new donors to the Fund, many of its contributions will come in the form of major gifts from people who have already shown their commitment and trust through project donations. As the options sheet outlines, there are a range of methods for those of us with modest incomes to make very significant contributions through careful estate planning.

The Heartwood Fund is another step in the evolution of the Couchiching Conservancy into a mature and lasting force for nature. But while our mission is to protect nature, at its core the Conservancy is about people – individuals who believe that a healthy natural environment is vital to the health of humanity as well; that the green spaces and diverse wildlife of this region are too valuable to be lost; that future generations deserve to inherit from us a world that remains livable, vibrant, balanced, and healthy.

You have sustained and supported our growth and success. Now we invite you to join with us to continue that success into the future.

For more information on the Heartwood Fund and how you can help, follow these links: