June 19th, 2024

Community Foundation and United Way announce charitable funding opportunity

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on January 7, 2023.

Herald photo by Ry Clarke United Way's Jacki Zalesak and Community Foundation's Charleen Davidson announced the Community Services Recovery Fund to help support charitable sectors.

The Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta and the United Way of Lethbridge have announced their participation in the Community Services Recovery Fund (CSRF).

The one-time investment of $400-million by the Government of Canada will go to supporting the charitable sector’s pandemic recovery across the country. The CSRF will be facilitated by local community foundations, United Ways, and the Canadian Red Cross, providing Canada’s charitable sector with the tools needed to adapt, modernize, and be equipped to improve their efficacy, accessibility, and sustainability.

“These funds are to help the charitable sector recover as we come out of the COVID pandemic and move forward. It is money to help the organizations strengthen their internal programs and systems and invest in their people,” said Charleen Davidson, executive director of the Community Foundation. “Between the local Community Foundation and the United Way we are receiving just under a million dollars in our community, which is fantastic. We have come through a really difficult year in the charitable sector. Donations were down for a lot of groups, some of the charities have had to close their doors. This money is intended to help those charities strengthen, support, and build so that they are stronger as we move forward.”

The application period will run from Jan. 6 to Feb. 21, 2023. A Community Services Recovery Fund webinar will be held on Jan 12 at 12 p.m. to help organizations understand the process and guidelines, and provide insight on the CSRF and eligibility criteria, timelines, and next steps. Register for the webinar at communityfoundations.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_W0ngdF0AR0a90ind7-4idA

“There are three different streams and groups can only apply to one organization, they cannot apply to all three, they have to be clear on what they are looking for,” said Davidson. “The groups that are applying need to understand exactly what their needs are and where they need to look for funding. We always encourage groups to have conversations with us, there will be a national webinar on January 12. That information is available on our website and the United Way’s website as well. […] But also call us, call the United Way, have a conversation, let us know what you are looking to do and we will make sure that we are directing you to where you need to apply.”

With funds going towards those that help us when we are in need, the recovery process will help ease stress and keep doors open for further aid in the community.

“The COVID pandemic has been really hard for organizations and the Government of Canada is really helpful in moving forwards with 2023 programming and services, investing in their people,” said Jaci Zalesak, executive director of the United Way Lethbridge. “These funds will allow programs and services to reinvest in what services look like moving forward. A lot of them have had to re-adjust or pivot, so this is an opportunity for organizations.”

For more information contact the Community Foundation’s grant coordinator Caitlin Gajdostik at grants@cflsa.ca or the United Way’s Jaci Zaesak at together@lethbridgeunitedway.ca

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