The Vanderhoof Community Foundation (VCF) is giving $20,000 in grants this year with applications opening on April 1.
The amount available to grant in 2022 has almost doubled from what was given out last year as a result of more donations into the VCF’s endowment fund and the return on the investment of those dollars being higher than previous years.
Board member and past president Kathie LaForge said applicants must offer services within the geographic boundaries of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako — including Vanderhoof, Saik’uz First Nation and Cluculz Lake.
The foundation accepts applications from not-for-profits, registered charities and government funded organizations. Funds could be awarded to one, or divided between several applicants.
“We want to encourage organizations to reach out to us to apply for these grants and there are all kinds of needs within the community that we could hope to address,” LaForge said.
“Through our grant program we’re trying to make some differences with regard to capital purchases, programs and services that will offer better quality of life for people.”
From 2019-2021, VCF was able to help a variety of groups and LaForge is excited to see how much more they can do this year.
Organizations supported last year include the Nechako Community Arts Council, Spirits’ Mission Rescue Society, Vanderhoof Men’s Shed Society, Farmer’s market and the College of New Caledonia.
Both Nechako Valley Search and Rescue and Vanderhoof Air Cadets squadron were funded for new equipment. The Nechako Valley Sporting Association got funds for parking lot improvements and the Cluculz Lake Community Association got funding for hall upgrades.
LaForge said only the income from donations is available to grant. The original dollars donated are never spent, so that the fund is perpetual by providing ongoing grants to the community.
Having gone from $10,310 in 2021 to $20,000 this year, LaForge hopes that trend will continue.
“There are so many organizations with their hands out looking for donations. We’re proud of the fact that we’re a local group of volunteers,” LaForge said.
“The money that we raise is from our community and the income that comes from it goes back to our communities.”
The grant program guidelines and application form is on the Vanderhoof Community Foundation website.