Thousands of non-profit organizations across of multiple sectors will be able to apply for $60 million in additional grants from the provincial government.
Premier David Eby Monday (Oct. 30) announced the additional funding administered through Vancouver Foundation at the provincial legislature. Minister of Social Development Sheila Malcolmson and Megan Dykeman, parliamentary secretary for community development and non- profits, joined him at the event, which also heard from members of the sector.
More than 31,000 non-profit organizations employing about 335,000 people operate in B.C. and perform many functions on behalf of government in areas such as housing, social services, arts, culture and tourism among others in contributing $28 billion toward provincial GDP in 2021.
Eby said non-profits have supported people through lean times, adding that their work has only become more important.
“It makes sense that when people are struggling and nonprofit organizations are showing up for people in our province, that the government shows up and supports nonprofit organizations,” he said.
Eby acknowledged that British Columbians are struggling right now, adding non-profits have seen increase demand for their services.
“Most recently, we saw data federally, that showed increased demand on food banks in British Columbia,” Eby said. “I don’t take any comfort from the fact that our numbers were better than other provinces, the demand is huge. (People) don’t choose to go to a food bank except out of desperation, and so those numbers going up is a huge source of concern for me,” he said. “(We) know we’ll be leaning heavily on the nonprofit sector.”
He added government also has to address systemic issues that require people to go to food banks and to support them.
“So today’s announcement is certainly recognition that people are leaning more heavily on non-profits than ever before, but also recognition of the innovation and the creativity of non-profits and delivering services in ways that respond to the unique community frontline needs,” he said.
This local knowledge makes service delivery through non-profits more relevant for British Columbians, who depend on them, he added.
The money comes as the non-profit sector is dealing with its own struggles. A 2023 report surveying 757 organizations described the sector as “overwhelmed” and doing more with less.
“Through B.C., non-profit organizations are doing more to meet increasing program and service demands from communities they serve while also doing more to take care of staff with increased wages and benefits,” it reads. “With rising costs, expenses are increasing while overall revenues are staying the same, meaning non-profits are doing more with less.”