A new $34-million fund for non-profit groups in British Columbia will provide much-needed support for organizations that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to struggle during recovery.
The historic investment of $30 million from Budget 2022 includes an additional $4 million from Vancouver Foundation. The non-profit sector contributes $6.7 billion to the provincial economy and employs more than 86,000 British Columbians at approximately 29,000 non-profit organizations throughout the province.
“Our government recognizes the important work non-profits do in building strength and resilience in our communities, which is why we have created a Recovery and Resiliency Fund,” said Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits. “They have been there for British Columbians during the challenges of the past year, and we will be there for them through economic recovery.”
A 2021 Vantage Point survey noted that due to the pandemic, 48% of non-profit organizations have experienced challenges such as reduced revenue, higher operating costs to deliver services, an increased demand for services and a decline in volunteers and limited financial reserves to bridge through COVID-19 impacts or to invest in technological infrastructure for a virtual transition.
The focus of the new fund is to support organizations whose staff, volunteers, programs and operations have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Funding will fill crucial gaps not covered by other funding sources, such as gaming grants, with a focus on building organizational resilience.
Vancouver Foundation and United Way British Columbia will administer the funds. Both organizations are experienced in delivering multiple grant programs to organizations throughout B.C. and leveraging funding from other sources to ensure the Recovery and Resiliency Fund is used for maximum benefit.
The New Relationship Trust, an Indigenous-led funding body, will administer at least $5 million to support the recovery and resilience of Indigenous communities. Ministry staff are working closely with the funding organizations to finalize details for application criteria and guidelines.
The fund is anticipated to launch in June 2022. To stay up to date on the fund, interested organizations can subscribe to Vancouver Foundation at: https://www.vancouverfoundation.ca/grants/recovery-and-resiliency-fund
Walter Schneider, CEO, New Relationship Trust –
“We are excited to collaborate with and stand beside the Government of B.C., Vancouver Foundation and United Way in delivering an initiative that advances reconciliation beyond the crossroads of just talk. A key commitment of reconciliation is the foundational understanding, knowledge and willingness to meet Indigenous organizations where they are at on their own journey towards recovery and resiliency within their own contexts. We believe this initiative is at the vanguard of that commitment.”
Michael McKnight, president and CEO, United Way British Columbia –
“Community-led organizations strengthen vital connections in every B.C. community, but the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened their operations and survival. This fund will ensure that community services will be well-positioned to contribute to economic recovery and community building over the long term. Together with the Province and Vancouver Foundation, we are ready to support our neighbours.”
Kevin McCort, president and CEO, Vancouver Foundation –
“This partnership will mobilize new funding for a vital sector at a crucial time. Working together, we’re eager to bring new innovation to how we support community-led organizations today while building a strong foundation for their long-term success. That’s good news for organizations that do important work throughout B.C. and great news for the communities that depend on them.”