United Way Southern Vancouver Island Provides Grants to 63 Local Social Service Agencies

May 30, 2023 / by United Way

Victoria, BC (May 30, 2023)United Way Southern Vancouver Island (UWSVI) has awarded grants to 63 agencies and 77 programs, plus 5 Youth in Action micro-grants, for the year beginning April 1, 2023, and ending March 31, 2024.

The grants, ranging from $15,000 to $50,000, have been awarded to programs and projects that focus on the needs of priority populations in UWSVI’s 2022/23 areas of action: Seniors; Families; Mental Health and Addictions; and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Support for Indigenous Communities.

“Each organization we’re supporting with a grant is part of an intricate network of local agencies doing amazing work to make our region healthier, safer, and more inclusive,” says Erika Stenson, UWSVI Executive Director. “The grants allow agencies to keep doing the indispensable—and often invisible—work that addresses social challenges and supports the community.”

UWSVI opened its call for funding to all eligible, registered charities based in the Capital Regional District in January and closed the call in mid-February. UWSVI awarded the grants and confirmed all the agreements at the end of March.

UWSVI makes granting decisions through a rigorous process that includes staff analysis of each application, as well as a detailed review by panels of volunteers with subject area expertise and/or with lived experience within each focus area.

The cumulative impact of the good work produced by local agencies is articulated on the UWSVI website at: uwsvi.ca/our-impact.

“Cool Aid’s REES Program is very grateful to receive a United Way Programs & Services grant this year,” says Lori Ferguson, Cool Aid’s Manager of Support Services. “This United Way grant allows our program to help reduce the impact of poverty and hardship on individuals and families facing mental health and substance use challenges in our region. By assisting people to access a wide range of government and community financial assistance and income benefits and entitlements, the United Way and Cool Aid’s REES Program work together to help ease the economic burdens faced by our community. Thank you for making this possible!”

As UWSVI is responsible for shepherding donations from businesses, workplaces, unions, and individuals to a network of service providers, grant applicants must be able to provide UWSVI with audited financial statements for the previous two years. Successful grant recipients must provide annual updates, a final report, and program outcome data at the completion of the granting term.

This provides both UWSVI and donors with the assurance that awarded funds are being used appropriately and that each recipient’s positive impact on the community can be monitored and measured.

“Our process of reviewing grant applicants is about much more than exercising due diligence on behalf of our donors,” says Stenson. “It’s also a valuable opportunity for UWSVI’s Community Impact team to check in with agencies, to continue meaningful conversations about their priorities, and to learn what exciting initiatives and plans they may have for the future.”

Service providers interested in applying for grants for the 2024-25 year should watch the UWSVI website (uwsvi.ca) for relevant updates in the fall.

 About United Way Southern Vancouver Island

For 85 years, United Way Southern Vancouver Island (UWSVI) has served the local community and remains dedicated to supporting people in areas where they need it most. We believe everyone in the Greater Victoria region, which includes 13 municipalities and 11 First Nations and the Southern Gulf Islands, should have the opportunity to reach their potential. Last year, UWSVI supported close to 63,000 individuals on Southern Vancouver Island in building better lives. That is almost one in six people in our region being helped by a United Way Southern Vancouver Island initiative or funded program.

Erik Lambertson
Director, Marketing + Communications
United Way Southern Vancouver Island
Office: 250.984.2269 ext. 265