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If I make a donation, will I receive a tax receipt?
You will receive a receipt for your donation however it is not a charitable tax receipt. The Old Ottawa South Community Association (OSCA) is a not-for-profit corporation registered with the Province of Ontario. Funds received to support operational expenses for programs are not eligible for charitable tax receipts.
Can I donate by cheque?
Yes, donations by cheque can be made out to Old Ottawa South Community Association and either dropped off in our mailbox or mailed to 260 Sunnyside Avenue, Ottawa ON, K1S 0R9.
What about the Old Ottawa South Community Fund (OSCF)?
OSCF is a registered charity under Ontario Public Guardian Trustee legislation. It is restricted to raising funds for capital projects within Old Ottawa South. Operational expenses are not eligible, however. Only capital assets are eligible, i.e. a stove, dishwasher or larger community project like the Windsor Park Field House.
I’ve donated in the past through the United Way campaign at work and selected the Firehall as my designated charity. If you provide the charity number, can public servants donate to the Save Our Firehall campaign through work?
OSCA itself is not a designated charity. It has a fund called the Old Ottawa South Community Fund (OSCF) that is a registered charity fund. However, this fund can only be used for capital assets, i.e. a stove, dishwasher or larger project like the Windsor Park Field House. Donations to OSCF cannot legally be used to support programming and operations which is why we’ve launched the Save Our Firehall Fundraising Campaign.
What will my donation be used for?
Funds raised from the “Save Our Firehall” campaign support the costs of operations, plus existing virtual programming as well as limited in-person programs approved by the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Health Authority.
What are “the costs of operations” exactly?
Aside from costs directly related to the delivery of programs (supplies, instructors/staff salaries, communications equipment, professional fees, technical advice and support) there are fixed administrative costs such as bookkeeping, monthly communications costs, auditing, licencing, etc. COVID-19 restrictions have added to our fixed costs. These costs include increased COVID- 19 protocol and operations planning; increased online programming supports such as zoom operations, instructor training and added client supports; the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPEs), cleaning products and materials, extra staff time, minor renovations (plexiglas barriers), etc. The costs associated with implementing COVID-19 restrictions are also considered fixed costs. These costs include COVID-19 protocols and operations planning; online programming supports such as zoom operations, instructor training and added client supports; the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPEs), cleaning products and materials, minor renovations (plexiglas barriers), etc.
How has COVID-19 affected operational costs at the Firehall?
Social contact restrictions due to COVID-19 have had a huge impact on our Firehall’s ability to sustain itself. To thrive, the Firehall relies on revenues from the programs it delivers. In-person programming has largely closed down except for our After4 childcare, which is only a fraction of the size it once was.
What does the City of Ottawa pay for?
The Old Ottawa South Community Association (OSCA) and the City of Ottawa work in partnership and have a Program Delivery Agreement. While the City of Ottawa is responsible for the ownership and maintenance of the Firehall, OSCA is responsible for all aspects of programming and operations. In addition, OSCA also hosts community events (Fall Fest, Shop Your Local Talent, Women’s Day, Breakfast With Santa, The Old Ottawa South Porch Sale and more) and has an active Board of Directors and Committees such as: Communications, Community Pillars, Planning and Zoning, Traffic and Safety, Seniors’ Watch, Diversity and Inclusion and the Windsor Park Fieldhouse Redesign.
Why not just close and reopen when the pandemic is over?
Since the Firehall closed its doors in mid-March staff and the Board of Directors have been working harder than ever adapting weekly to new health & safety advisories, creating protocol for safe onsite operations, and developing a new business plan respecting COVID-19 restrictions. We do not expect to go back to normal, and we’re using our time wisely to continue to provide programming to the community (we offered free virtual programming throughout the spring and summer including children’s summer camps). We’re here to support our community. It has never been clear how long pandemic restrictions will last and like most organizations and businesses the Firehall has been operating on two-month cycles with a view to stretching capacity into the months ahead. We do not expect to get “back to normal” in the short term, but we’re using our time wisely to continue to provide virtual programming to our community and in-person programs when COVID-19 guidelines permit. We’re here to support our community.
What is your campaign goal and why?
Our campaign goal is $300k or approximately 6 months of operational costs. Since March 2020 revenue (which has been largely derived from delivering in-person programs) is down 70%. Monthly fixed costs are approximately $45K.
Is OSCA relying solely on Save Our Firehall to survive?
No. OSCA has managed to keep five (down from seven) full-time staff employed with the help of the Canada Emergency Wage subsidy and the updated Canada Summer Jobs Grant. OSCA also successfully applied to the Red Cross’s Resilient Communities Grant, the Canada Emergency Business Loan and continues to draw on its operations reserve fund. More recently we applied to the Trillium Foundation but will not know if we are successful until March 2021. All of these grant/loan applications require certified financial statements from OSCA.