Regional Rundown: What is a Discretionary Grant in Aid?

There are procedures that must be followed when applying for a grant and I thought it might be helpful to review the process for you.

As the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Electoral Area G Director, one of the pleasures of the job is working with community groups, organizations and societies that enrich the fabric of our way of life in the Columbia Valley. Most of these organizations run on the energy of their volunteers and their projects often depend on their ability to raise funds.

The RDEK has a Discretionary Grant in Aid (DGIA) Program that provides the Electoral Area Directors with modest funds each year to assist organizations with grants for projects that benefit the communities within the electoral areas. These are one-time grants and are not intended for ongoing operational funding.

There are procedures that must be followed when applying for a grant and I thought it might be helpful to review the process for you. Registered non-profit organizations can submit a letter of application for projects that benefit rural communities in the East Kootenay.  Private sector proposals may be considered if they are sponsored by a non-profit community organization and clearly demonstrate community benefits. In their application, applicants must state the nature of the project, specifically how the funds will be used, the amount of funding required, the electoral area the grant is being requested from, and the benefits the project will bring to the electoral area. Grants cannot be used to relieve any level of government of its legal or financial obligations, but they may be used to add value to government activities already in the electoral area. If successful, funds will be released to the applicant upon submission of copies of invoices for approved costs. In some instances, funds may be released without the requirement to submit invoices, but the applicant must clearly show why they are unable to proceed with the project without receiving the funds in advance.

Electoral Area F Director Wendy Booth and I generally meet each month with our Electoral Area Advisory Commission, which is made up of residents from Areas F and G who we appoint to advise us . As directors, we make recommendations to the RDEK Board for final decision, but the Commission representatives help ensure objectivity in our often lively discussions on the merit of the grant requests.

If you have questions about the DGIA program or funding requests, please call me at 250-347-9841 or the RDEK office in Cranbrook at 1-888-478-7335.

Gerry Wilkie is the Regional District of East Kootenay director for Area G, and can be reached at .