By Joanne McQuarrie

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The Columbia Valley Community Foundation (CVCF) is urging people to check out an application portal to the federal government’s recently-announced community services recovery fund (CSRF), a one-time investment of $400 million.

Minister of families, children and social development, Karina Gould, announced on November 22 that the Community Foundations of Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, and United Way Centraide Canada, have been selected to distribute the funding to help a broad and diverse range of charities, non-profits and Indigenous governing bodies adapt and modernize, so they can support pandemic recovery in communities across Canada. 

Down the road, CVCF will distribute the funding but the first step, said Thiloma Hofer, executive director, is for individuals and organizations to become familiar with the application requirements.

“We’re encouraging people to go to the CSRF website to check out the eligibility requirements, to get ready to apply,” she said.

The application process will launch on January 6; the application deadline is February 21.

Since the early phases of the pandemic, charities, non-profits and Indigenous governing bodies have struggled with increased demand for their services, reduced revenues, declines in charitable giving due to the rising cost of living, and a greater need to make use of digital tools as part of adapting and modernizing their operations, reads a press release. 

Funding from the CSRF will enable charities, nonprofits and Indigenous governing bodies to invest in their own organizational

capacity to adapt the way they deliver services to support the needs of their staff and

volunteers;  buy equipment such as computers and software; create new ways of working, such as developing new fundraising

approaches; provide support for staff and volunteers, such as staff training, supports for mental health and wellbeing; and develop plans to receive funding from diverse sources.

“Charities and non-profits are at the forefront of addressing communities’ needs, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hofer said in the press release. “However, many of them are struggling to recover and adapt their services to the changing needs of the Columbia Valley community. Through the CSR, the CVCF will be able to give organizations the support they need to serve our community.”

Andrea Dicks, president, Community Foundations of Canada, said in the press release, “Charities and non-profit organizations are at the heart of communities, creating a sense of belonging from coast to coast to coast.” Dicks noted the investment from the federal government “comes at a critical time when communities across Canada are coming together to rebuild from the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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