While they didn’t come swinging buckets of money, the Vancouver Foundation did paint an optimistic picture about funding opportunities for local nonprofit organizations during a recent visit to Invermere.
The two foundation representatives encouraged local nonprofit groups to apply for some of the more than $21 million available in 2017 for projects ranging from arts and culture, education and training, environment and animal welfare to health and social development.
“The Board’s direction continues to be to support innovative projects that address the root causes of complex social issues in ways that lead to systemic change,” explained Terra Kaethler, manager of grants & community initiatives. “We found that to be a mouthful. So we summed it up as ‘social innovation’.”
When asked how many projects have been funded in the Columbia Valley in the past, Kaethler said while she did not have a list, she estimated maybe only three projects have received Vancouver Foundation funding.
“We don’t fund a lot in this area,” she said. “That’s part of why we’re coming out around the province, so people know we are a province-wide funder.”
The event, hosted at Pynelogs, gathered together more than 20 representatives from nonprofit organizations including the Columbia Valley Community Foundation, ICAN, Summit Youth Centre, the Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley, School District 6, Valley Fitness Centre, Wildsight, CBT and the Columbia Valley Arts Society, amongst others.
Laurie Klassen, executive director of the Columbia Valley Community Foundation, was grateful for the presentation and provided insight on how the Vancouver Foundation has helped the local community foundation.
“They have supported us through learning opportunities and all kinds of things to make our smaller community foundations across the province viable,” said Klassen.
Klassen took some time to talk about the local community foundation, emphasizing how important donors are to the foundation.
“Generally, everything that comes through these grants are because people care about their communities,” said Klassen.