Community Recovery Program
Applications Now Open
The goal of the Community Recovery Program is to support all eligible organizations with flexible, general operating funds in response to the social and economic impacts of COVID-19. Grants will be made through the lens of recovery efforts and building resilience for our local charities for the short and long-term. We know that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected many vulnerable populations, and we will prioritize applications from organizations serving these populations.
The applications are open from 12 pm on Monday, March 29, 2021 to 11:59 pm on Friday April 30, 2021. During this time, organizations will be able to submit an application using our online Grant Portal, or orally by appointment.
Please review the application process guidelines below. After reviewing, if you have any questions, please contact Zahura Ahmed, Grants and Youth Programs Associate. You may set up a time to chat with her via telephone or ZOOM by clicking on this link. If you prefer, you may email or call her directly at 250-381-5532 x 230.
Who do we fund?
To be eligible for a Community Recovery Grant, you must:
- Be in good standing as a federally-registered charity or other qualified donee with the Canada Revenue Agency. Go to Canada Revenue Agency’s Charities Listings website to determine whether your organizations is a qualified donee.
- Be located within the Capital Regional District which includes the southern Gulf Islands.
- Please note that nonprofits registered solely under the BC Societies Act are ineligible to apply.
Please contact us first if you represent:
- A non-qualified donee who would like to apply for the Community Recovery Program with a federally–registered charity partner.
- A registered charity who is applying for funding for a Collaboration Grant (link to collaboration grant guideline coming soon). Please contact us first for additional application guidelines.
If you have any questions regarding your eligibility, we encourage you to set up a time to chat with Zahura Ahmed, Grants and Youth Programs Associate.
What do we fund?
The goal of this program is to support eligible organizations with flexible, general operating funds in response to the social and economic impacts of COVID-19. Grants will be made through the lens of recovery efforts and building resilience for our local charities for the short and long-term.
Organizations may apply for funding to support:
- General operating costs
- Staffing costs
- Program adaptation
- Technology adaptation
- Capital costs (includes purchasing or upgrading physical assets including technology hardware, PPE, other safety equipment, etc.)
- Projects or programs, including relief efforts
- Capacity building (including staff wellness, professional development, costs associated with organizational mergers, etc.)
Timeframe for funding request:
- Organizations can apply for retroactive funding costs, dating to back to March 29, 2021.
- Please note that there is no set timeframe for when funding received through the 2021 Community Recovery Program should be spent.
Outstanding Final Reports:
- Due to the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19, organizations that have outstanding final reports may still apply for the Community Recovery Program in 2021. This includes reporting related to Community Grants (2019 and before) as well as the 2020 Community Recovery Program. Please note that this exception applies only to this current grant call. If you do have an outstanding report, please complete it at your earliest convenience and we will most likely follow-up with you for an update.
What don’t we fund?
Ineligible expenses include:
- General fundraising campaign contributions
- Capital campaigns (e.g. for new buildings, monuments)
- Religious activities or services
- Political activities that are prohibited by the Canada Revenue Agency
- Current curricula for schools or post-secondary institutions
- Deficit reduction (e.g. debts or loans)
How can I apply?
To apply for funding through the Community Recovery Program, you must first create an account on our granting portal. Please note, even if you already have an account through vfgrants.ca through a previous grant application, you still must create a new account.
We hope to make the Community Recovery Program as accessible as possible. If you would prefer to submit an application orally or access the application in another way, please let us know. Please contact Zahura Ahmed at 250-381-5532 x 230 or via email to discuss.
How much can I apply for?
A single organization may apply for a grant up to $30,000.
Note that if your organization is applying on behalf of a Collaboration, you may be eligible to apply for a larger amount. Please contact the Foundation to discuss further.
We anticipate an exceptionally high demand for funding:
- Aligning with a trust-based philanthropic approach, the Victoria Foundation tries to fully fund requests whenever possible. Last year, the Foundation’s Community Recovery Program was only able to fully fund 63% of all requests, and only 1% of requests at our highest request amount. This year, we have lowered the maximum funding request amount to $30,000, taking into consideration the high need and limited funding available. In that spirit, we encourage you to discuss your proposed funding request with staff if you have any questions.
- If you are a funder or large-scale organization with a primary fundraising purpose, please note that other organizations without strong fundraising capacity or financial stability may be given priority consideration. We encourage you to reach out to our team if you have questions about your eligibility for future funding opportunities.
If you have any questions about your funding request size, we encourage you to set up a time to chat with Zahura Ahmed, Grants and Youth Programs Associate.
How do we assess applications?
The Community Recovery Program will utilize a trust-based philanthropy framework to assess all applications. Some key values of this approach include equity, humility and transparency.
We will assess applications based on the following four criteria, utilizing an equity lens within each area:
- Strength of Organization
- Evidence of Need
- Community Impact
We know that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected many vulnerable populations and exposed longstanding inequities in our communities. We encourage applications from organizations that serve the vulnerable populations listed below:
- Gender (Women, girls and LGBTQ2+)
- Children and Youth (ages 0-29)
- Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Metis, Inuit)
- People Experiencing Homelessness
- People with Low Income or Living in Poverty
- People Living with Mental Illness
- People who Identify as Racialized
- Persons with Disabilities
- Newcomers, Immigrants and/or Refugees
- Seniors and Elders (in and not in care)
We recognize the complexities that exist within each category listed above. If you would like to discuss any of these categories further, or have any questions or comments, please email or phone us.
Victoria Foundation’s review process:
- Community Advisory and Subject-Matter Experts: we will seek input from of a voluntary Community Advisory committee and community experts
- Community Engagement Committee: we will seek input from the Foundation’s Committee of the Board
- Other reports, studies, and surveys: we will continue to consult with community groups and networks to receive input and feedback on community needs. On March 10th, we convened a Vital Conversation around the Unravelling report, which helped inform our approach to this granting program. We will convene another conversation on this report on April 9.
What happens after I apply?
April 30 at 11:59 pm: applications due via Online Grant Portal found on the Victoria Foundation website
May: Victoria Foundation staff conduct due diligence checks on all applications and undertake our review process. As a normal part of our review process, you may hear from us with any questions about your application.
Early June: Consultations with Community Advisory members, Community Engagement Committee and subject matter experts to provide additional input on the grantmaking process.
June 30: All applicants will hear back from us whether your application has been awarded funding or not.
July: Victoria Foundation staff will be available for follow-up calls with applicants.
Reporting and Stewardship
- Reporting requirements for projects approved for funding will be developed with the knowledge that community-based organizations have important work to deliver right now.
- The final report is still in development and will include a short description of the outcomes, a reconciled budget, and an impact story. We plan to accept final reports in a variety of formats, including written, oral or by video.
How is the Community Recovery Program Funded?
One stream of funding is our Community Action Funds. Learn more…
We encourage you to keep up to date on other funding opportunities in the context of COVID-19, that are available in the region by exploring the Greater Victoria Community Funding Opportunities page.
Visit our Community Recovery Program Distributions page to see the full list of grants from 2020.