The Victoria Foundation is stepping up to help keep local organizations on solid ground.
Eleven organizations will receive $280,000 of funding allocated by the Victoria Foundation to help solve pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges through Investment Readiness Program (IRP) Grants.
All of the organizations, which include charities, non-profits and for-profit businesses, have a social purpose to earn revenue while achieving positive social, cultural and environmental results through the sale of goods or services.
“We are proud to be part of this program and to help our community tackle some of its biggest challenges as we move into pandemic recovery,” Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson said in a media release. “The successful recipients of these funds are shining examples of organizations moving forward towards investment readiness and building capacity for the sector.”
Organizations were invited to apply for IRP grants at the beginning of the year to help launch, design, measure and scale their social enterprise and prepare to access investments in Canada’s growing marketplace, including through the Government of Canada’s Social Finance Fund. Community Foundations of Canada (CFC), which includes the Victoria Foundation, is one of the IRP’s national funding intermediaries and is collaborating with other community foundations across the country to award IRP funding.
While funding requests came from a range of organizations at varying stages of investment readiness, all of the applicants focussed on making improvements to local issues of concern, including affordable and supportive housing, habitat protection, Indigenous entrepreneurship, waste reduction and recycling.
One of the recipients, Unbuilders, will use the funds to scale up their business, which deconstructs and salvages heritage lumber that would otherwise be headed for landfills.
“Unbuilders are thrilled to be expanding our service to Vancouver Island, the epicentre of the B.C. logging industry,” said Unbuilders founder Adam Corneil. “We want to ensure building owners on the Island a better way to remove an old building and divert the waste … We don’t destroy an old building, we unbuild it.”
Another organization will use the funding to gather crucial information to co-develop one or more social enterprises that will enable a First Nation to derive conservation-based revenue and to support the creation of an Indigenous Protected Area.
“The funding makes it possible for us to lay the groundwork for really meaningful enterprise that supports communities and the environment,” said Katie Blake, executive director of the Habitat Acquisition Trust. “It enables us to do the necessary work to get it right for the long-term.”
The Victoria Foundation is Canda’s second oldest community foundation and the sixth-largest of the nearly 200 nationwide. The foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows the creation of permanent, income-earning funds that are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational pursuits. The Victoria Foundation has invested more than $243 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations since its inception in 1936.
A full list of all 11 funded organizations can be found online at victoriafoundation.bc.ca.
Applications for the second and final round of funding for the CFC’s IRP program will be accepted from Sept. 8 until Oct. 9. Visit communityfoundations.ca/current-initiatives for more information and eligibility.
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