Several local groups aided by First West Foundation endowment funds
The First West Foundation, through its Envision Financial Community Endowment, is awarding $667,600 – a total of 45 grants – to charities in the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland and Kitimat regions this year.
This is the largest grant round in the First West Foundation’s 26-year history, with a total of $1,078,983 distributed among First West Credit Union’s four local brands: Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings and Enderby & District Financial.
This banner year means even more with the First West Foundation changing its grantmaking approach to align with the principles of trust-based philanthropy.
“Trust-based philanthropy is an approach to grantmaking that seeks to change power inequalities between funders, charities and the communities they serve in order to create a healthier and more equitable sector for all” said Susan Byrom, executive director of the First West Foundation. “By listening to feedback from our charitable partners, we’ve reduced barriers in the grant application process, freeing up their valuable time and resources to help them do what they do best: helping our communities thrive. “
Additionally, all funds granted this year are unlimited, further aligning with the foundation’s evolution of trust-based philanthropy. Unrestricted funding provides grantees the flexibility to assess and determine where grant funds are most needed, and enables innovation, emergent action, and operational expense support.
Since 1998, the Envision Financial Community Endowment has awarded 474 grants totaling more than $5.8 million in funding.
The Langley Hospice Society will receive $17,500 for its adult bereavement program while the YWCA Fraser Gardens complex in Langley received a $20,000 grant. It offers holistic support to low-income single mothers and children at risk of homelessness. Every year, about 50 women and children live there while they receive support to become self-sufficient.
The Fraser Region Community Justice Initiatives grant of $20,000 will help the Langley-based organization deliver its restorative action program to children and youth.
Another grant of $10,000 has been set aside for Langley Meals on Wheels for the Envision Connection Cafe educational table to provide education, skills building, intergenerational teaching, workshops and training.
The Phoenix Society of Langley will receive $25,000 in the second year of a four-year community garden project. Programming targets marginalized people, including those in recovery, those living in poverty, the elderly, and the homeless.
The Langley Animal Protection Society’s Doghouse program will receive $20,000. The program allows women at Fraser Valley Institution to learn how to take care of dogs.
The Langley Community Services Society received $8,850 for volunteer and mentorship programs.
The First West Foundation works in communities served by First West Credit Union and its regional divisions, Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings and Enderby & District Financial. The foundation, with assets of over $17 million, uses income generated from its endowments. Since its inception in 1996, the foundation has donated more than $9 million in grants to local community groups and projects. The foundation increases its endowments through charitable donations and bequests. For more information, visit firstwestfoundation.ca.
• LEARN MORE: World Cancer Day launches two-year campaign with the BC Cancer Foundation
• READ MORE: Langley-based financial institution tops $1 million raised for food banks
Got a story tip? Email: [email protected]
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.