Sandra Richardson

Sandra Richardson

Volunteers play integral role in Victoria Foundation

Around 100 volunteers helped the Victoria Foundation grant $1.4 million to non-profit organizations in 2014.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Victoria Foundation.

Just ask CEO Sandra Richardson.

“We wouldn’t exist without [them],” said Richardson.

Around 90 non-profit organizations received over $1.4 million in grants from the Victoria Foundation in 2014. Volunteers on the foundation’s committees, including grant, investment and finance, are a vital part of this success.

“I just remember coming home from so many meetings and saying, ‘Wow, we really made a difference.’,” said Kathryn Dawson, Victoria Foundation volunteer for 10 years.

There are only four full-time staff members at the Victoria Foundation, supported by around 100 volunteers.

Ian Izard, former board chair, has been volunteering with the foundation for 14 years.

“This community is very rich; not in money so much as in the variety of people and the backgrounds that are here,” he said. “When you volunteer, you’re giving back to your community. It’s also very enjoyable to be part of something [that] is as successful as the foundation, and also to work with people that have a similar goal in mind.”

Dawson got involved in the foundation through her connection with Izard. Both are retired employees of the B.C. Legislature.

“Meeting so many people of varying backgrounds has been a real gift for me, and it’s been a real pleasure to be part of,” said Dawson.

She moved to Victoria from Alberta, and said being involved with the foundation helped her to get to know her new community.

“I learned an awful lot about Victoria, and I also learned there’s a lot going on.”

Izard, however, was born and raised in Victoria. Yet through volunteering with the foundation, he has still learned many new things about the city.

“When you’re with a body like this, you’re [going to] discover lots of organizations you never knew existed, and all kinds of needs in the community you never knew existed,” he said. “You have no idea what’s going on here until you actually get involved.”

For more information about the Victoria Foundation and how to get involved, call 250-381-5532 or go online to victoriafoundation.bc.ca.