As time passes communities grow and change, and Community Foundation North Okanagan (CFNO) recognizes the importance of flexible funding opportunities to help organizations address current and emerging issues.
The annual Community Grants program offers this type of flexible funding for charities and non-profits to deliver a project or program in key areas that are essential to building healthy, equitable and resilient communities for all. Grant applications will be accepted from March 1 to 31.
“This program has always aimed to serve the entire community, and evolve as needs change over time,” says Leanne Hammond, executive director of CFNO. “Last year we funded some exciting climate change initiatives with strong youth involvement. BC Small Wetlands Association teamed up with 11 local schools to plant over 500 trees on school grounds. They also collaborated with Secwepemc and Syilx Knowledge Keepers, to create events that included traditional knowledge sharing and education on nature-based climate change mitigation.”
The annual Community Grants offered by CFNO support projects or programs with a focus on Arts and Culture, Education, Environment, Health, Social Services and Youth. Organizations that have not previously received funding from the Community Foundation are encouraged to apply, along with past applicants.
CFNO would like to acknowledge and thank two generous families, the Finchs and the Galbraiths, who enabled the annual Community Grants program to double its impact in 2022, by donating a combined $132,400 to boost the available funding to $305,000.
TheBetter Together Fund raises funds to ensure CFNO can continue to respond to unpredictable events affecting the North Okanagan. In 2020, many individuals experienced a loss of income due to the pandemic, and food programs were, and remain in, high demand. This fund provided support for the North Okanagan Good Food Box Society, and various other organizations, to feed local families, seniors, and individuals facing food insecurity. CFNO has sponsored more than 2,880 fresh grocery boxes and grocery cards.
In 2021, floods and wildfires heavily affected our region and surrounding areas. Without any bureaucracy, CFNO was able to immediately send funds to transport and shelter farm animals as their habitats became threatened or destroyed. Last year in 2022, a unique set of circumstances enabled the Upper Room Mission to install a shower facility for those unhoused and living rough. This was a time-sensitive initiative due to a heavily discounted labour and materials opportunity. CFNO was able to mobilize quick funding to get this important service installed for people who otherwise had no place to take a shower.
A small but mighty grant program offered by CFNO is the Neighbourhood Small Grants program (NSG). This is the only initiative offered by CFNO that grants small amounts of money directly to individuals! This program helps residents of any age, experience, or background take part in building community. With a grant of up to $500, individuals plan small-scale community projects with the goal of creating connections within their neighbourhoods. Applications are open April to 30.
From developing new communications plans to enhancing existing accounting systems, the Community Services Recovery Fund grants are being offered to help charities and non-profits adapt and modernize. This is a one-time, $400 million investment, by the Government of Canada, in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada to help charities and non-profits facing immediate and long-term impacts of the pandemic as they continue to support communities. This investment will strengthen the sector as it supports recovery in communities across the country.
At every opportunity, CFNO participates in funding collaborations with Community Foundations of Canada, which brings more dollars directly to charities and non-profits serving the North Okanagan. This deepens CFNO’s connections with their national peers and colleagues at the same time it offers access to a wealth of learning resources and future opportunities to engage in charitable activities at the National level.
To read more about the impact the CFNO is having on this region, read their Annual Community Report at www.cfno.org/annualreport.
To learn about how CFNO works with donors to support charities in our area please reach out to Leanne Hammond, Executive Director of the Community Foundation North Okanagan at