Victoria, B.C. – A record number of applications were received and funded through the Victoria Foundation’s annual Community Grants Program, with the generous community coming together to support 191 non-profits with over $4.32 million in funding.
“This is the Foundation’s chance to listen and respond to our community,” says Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation. “Thanks to the generosity of our region, we can work together to strengthen organizations working to build a vibrant, caring community for all.”
The Victoria Foundation’s Community Grants Program supports local organizations with flexible, general operating funds to meet immediate needs and build resilience for local non-profits in the long term. One way that the Foundation supported the sector was through the Collaboration grant stream. This stream funded organizations working together to address systemic issues in our community. An example of a collaboration supported by the program is OneAbility, which works with over 50 different organizations to promote and increase sport and recreation opportunities for people with disabilities.
“OneAbility’s commitment is to our members who are serving folks with disabilities in our community,” says Andrea Carey, Executive Director. “The support of the Victoria Foundation allows us to invest in services that make the work of our member organizations easier and builds their capacity so that they can deliver services and programs focused on wellness, adapted sport and physical activity for thousands of individuals across our region.”
The Victoria Foundation’s Community Grants program is built on Trust-Based Philanthropy principles, to center relationships and make the program more accessible. A focus of this year’s program was to directly support equity-deserving groups, including Indigenous, Black and People of Colour, women, 2SLGBTQIA+, children and youth, people with disabilities and newcomers. In addition, the program offered flexible operating funding so that non-profits could apply for their areas of greatest need including staffing support, technology upgrades, day-to-day programming and more.
One grant supported the work of The Culture Den in partnership with the Belfry Theatre. The Culture Den is led by a group of Indigenous women and was created with a shared sacred vision to create artistic and cultural space for Indigenous, people of colour, Indigiqueer and two-spirited communities.
“We’re grateful to be collaborating with the Belfry Theatre in our journey as we continue to create contemporary theatre, dance, music and visual arts,” says Jody Bauche from The Culture Den. “We look forward to future collaborations, and we would like to acknowledge that all of this work is only possible because of the generosity and the graciousness of our Lekwungen hosts.”
The 2022 Community Grants Program saw a 38% increase in funding distributed compared to last year. The Victoria Foundation works closely with generous donors in our community to provide funding for the program. A majority of the $4.32 million distributed came from funds held and managed at the Victoria Foundation, where donors have given the Foundation the discretion to distribute annual grants. Approximately $1.53 million came from donor advised funds and Community Action Funds where individuals have the opportunity to donate directly to issue-areas including housing, health and wellness, food security and more.
As a broad-base and place-based funder, Victoria Foundation staff work to ensure an equitable distribution of grants across the region and sub-sectors. The Community Grants Program is one part of the Victoria Foundation’s overall granting and leadership initiatives. In 2021, the Victoria Foundation granted over $20 million to 549 organizations.
To see the full list of organizations funded through the 2022 Community Grants Program, click here.
Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation and the sixth largest of over 200 nation-wide. The Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from these funds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. To date the Victoria Foundation has invested over $287 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in BC and throughout Canada.
Matthew Williams, Communications and Media Relations Specialist
P. 250-381-5532 (246) E. firstname.lastname@example.org