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Victoria Foundation distributes record Community Grants to local non-profits

Read the newest Pulse magazine to see the impact of your donations in action
Bayside Middle School in Brentwood Bay is bringing community together while working towards truth and reconciliation by paddling war canoes with Bayside Canoe Club. Read the story in the current issue of Pulse magazine. Photo courtesy the Victoria Foundation

The Victoria Foundation’s Community Grants Program is celebrating a record year of grants distributed to local non-profits this summer – funds that will help in vital work ranging from food security and housing to youth mental health and the arts.

Earlier this month, the Foundation announced $4.899 million in funding to 199 organizations in the Capital Region. This represents 13 per cent more funding than 2022, and double what was available in 2018.

A 2023 Vital Grant for the Quadra Village Community Centre Housing Outreach Program will help provide one-to-one housing support to individuals and couples facing the immense challenge of needing to secure housing, for example. The Island Metis Family and Community Services Society’s grant will help provide nutritious meals, youth nutrition and cooking education and more.

As organizations try to do more with less, it couldn’t be more important.

In May, the Foundation, Vantage Point and its partners released the State of the Sector report that identified the challenges organizations face in trying to answer the increasing need for their services amid staffing concerns and rising costs.

The Community Grants Program is one way to help address these challenges, providing flexible, general operating funding designed to strengthen the charitable sector and long-term resilience of the community.

In addition, three of four grants will support organizations or projects that significantly benefit equity-deserving populations, including Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQIA+, women, children and youth, persons with disabilities and newcomers.

“There are significant pressures on our region, including the non-profit sector, and the Community Grants funding will help many organizations better meet these challenges,” says Victoria Foundation’s CEO Sandra Richardson.

Most of the $4.899 million distributed came from funds held and managed at the Victoria Foundation, where donors have given the Foundation the discretion to distribute annual grants. The remainder comes from donor-advised funds and Community Action Funds that allow individuals to donate directly to issue-areas such as housing, health and wellness, food security and more.

Learn more about the Community Grants Program here.

Taking the Pulse of the community

While it’s essential to shine a light on local issues needing support, it’s equally important to celebrate the region’s many successes – successes made possible by individuals and organizations working to improve the community.

This month, the Victoria Foundation’s Pulse magazine explores a decade of highlights as well as a closer look at what’s making news today – how the Foundation and others are working to build on the findings in the annual Vital Signs report.

The feature story explores the power of community economies, examining the Shorefast Initiative pilot project led by Zita Cobb from Fogo Island in partnership with the South Island Prosperity Partnership. Others highlight a transformational gift to supportive housing for women and youth, and how students at a local middle school are learning to paddle canoes and connect with Indigenous culture.

Pick up a copy of Pulse at locations around Greater Victoria, or read the blog here.