While the Prince George Community Foundation started off our fiscal year seeing growth in the market, meetings scheduled with community partners to share the results of our new vital signs report, and developing plans to celebrate the upcoming 25th anniversary year, all plans were drastically changed in March with the Covid-19 pandemic.
I’m very proud to say the Board and staff came together and were able to swiftly pivot the Foundation’s direction accordingly. We identified the need for support for those charities that provide services for our most vulnerable citizens. The first step for us was to provide one-time special funding totaling $60,000.00 to St. Vincent De Paul – Food Bank, Salvation Army of Prince George – Food Bank and the United Way of Northern BC to help kick-start their COVID-19 relief fund.
Next the Foundation took part in the National “Stay at Home Gala Event” supported by Community Foundations of Canada to create “community” during a time of distance. Through this online event we were able to connect with many of our fund holders for an evening of much needed fun and connection, while raising funds for the Foundation’s new “Emergency Response Fund”. This fund generated a total of almost $85,000 and we were able to start accepting and fulfilling grant requests immediately.
As the year continued with Covid-19 still being top of mind the Foundation answered Community Foundation of Canada’s call to action by playing a role in their partnering with the government of Canada to distribute funds through the “Emergency Community Support Fund”. Our staff connected with many of our Regional Partners and also additional Foundations in Northern British Columbia to ensure representation in a true collaborative style. We are proud to have distributed over $290,000 to 11 different Northern communities during round one, and there will be additionally funding announced in early 2021.
We were also able to partner with Community Foundations of Canada this year on initiatives such as the Pilot Fund for Gender Equality, the Investment Readiness program (a program available for business enterprises), RBC Future Launch, as well as continuing our twice yearly grant cycles. This is our largest granting year to date with a total of just over $850,000 given out through our Endowment Funds, special flow-through initiatives, and grants disbursed by our Regional Partners, bringing our grant total since inception to over $3.2 million!
We don’t know how long the pandemic will continue, or what the world will look like as we move forward, but I have no doubt that the PGCF will continue to rise to the occasion, and continue to prove we are stronger together! I am very proud to be a part of this organization and look forward to what we can accomplish in the future.
Alain LeFebvre, President