The Golden & District Community Foundation will now be providing small grants directly to individuals in the community of up to $500 for community projects. (Photo submitted)

Golden & District Community Foundation unveils new small grants program

The program is supported by the Vancouver Foundation, which has similar programs for urban centres.

The Golden & District Community Foundation (GDCF) announced a new program last week to provide small grants to communities in Golden and the surrounding area.

The Neighbourhood Small Grants program is a grassroots program that allows community members to put their ideas into action with small grants that range from $50 to $500. The idea behind the program is to allow community members to help make their neighbourhoods better places to live through these projects.

“In small communities like Golden, lots of people have lots of ideas about things they’d like to do, but they just don’t have the finances to make it happen,” said Joy Orr, executive director of the GDCF. “Without the funding to make it happen, it just doesn’t, so we’re hoping to bring some of those ideas to life.”

The program provides funding directly to individuals in the community. Normally, individuals would have to work with registered charities or non-profits to receive grants for their ideas.

Ideas that the small grants will hopefully bring to life include things like block parties and skills sharing sessions, as well as community gardens and other things that could help enrich a neighbourhood.

“Giving the grant directly into the community to individuals is a way of increasing the range of things that we can offer,” said Orr. “There’s so many great things that come out of these small grants.”

The program is facilitated by the Vancouver Foundation, which will provide $3,000 a year to the program.

The Vancouver Foundation has been operating the program for almost 20 years, according to Orr, but was mainly focused on urban centres. Just recently, it has decided to branch out into smaller rural communities, bringing the program to Golden.

“Without the financial support of the Vancouver Foundation to cover our administrative costs for this program, it would not be possible,” said Orr.

The application period for these grants will be open from Feb. 11 until April 6. Orr said that the GDCF is willing to work with potential recipients on their applications in order to make sure that they have the best application possible to put forward.

Applications will require two people who are residents of Golden or the surrounding area, but don’t live at the same address to apply. The application will ask for basic information about the idea or program that requires the grant, such as what the broad idea is and what the expected budget will be.

The GDCF will be hosting an information session on the new program on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at the Golden Seniors Centre on a drop-in basis from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.

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