The Notary Foundation of British Columbia was established under the Notaries Act, Chapter 334 in July of 1985. The Foundation is the recipient of the interest which BC credit unions, Canadian chartered banks and trust companies must pay on clients’ funds when they are held in trust by a BC Notary Public.
The Notary Foundation receives and distributes the funds earned each year in accordance with its legislated mandate and the goals and objectives set by the Board of Governors. Most of the money is paid to the Legal Services Society, specifically to provide legal aid in the province. In addition, the Notary Foundation makes funds available to The Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia to assist them in the education of members, applicants for membership, and the general public.
The Notary Foundation provides grants to other organizations in British Columbia in the following areas:
- Legal Education;
- Legal Research; and
- Law Libraries
In addition to grants, the Notary Foundation funds numerous scholarships and bursaries each year for individuals attending university and colleges who are taking certain law-related courses.
The success of the Foundation is based upon the cooperation of financial institutions that strive to ensure that a reasonable interest is paid on the funds held in trust for notaries and lawyers. Substantial funds are created that allow the Foundation to support the good work of many community organizations and to assist, in a major way, with the necessary funding for legal aid in the province of British Columbia.
The Foundation’s funds and activities are administered by a Board of Governors consisting of eleven members, three are appointed by the Attorney General of British Columbia and eight are appointed by the Directors of the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia.
The Governors meet on a regular basis to review grant applications and the banking arrangements with the Foundation’s financial partners as well as review the general administration of the Foundation’s assets including the investment of funds, which is governed by a comprehensive investment policy that has a mandate to firstly, protect the capital and secondly, create a return on investment.
The Foundation accepts grant applications from organizations that meet the objectives and the legislated mandate of the Notary Foundation taking into consideration that the Foundation is a “project funder” and generally not a “core funder”. All organizations that receive a grant must report to the Foundation indicating that the funded project is completed in accordance with their approved grant application.
The Foundation is managed by its Executive Officer, G.W. Wayne Braid.