Victoria Foundation Allocates $280,000 to Local Social Purpose Organizations

August 19, 2020

VICTORIA – Eleven local organizations are better positioned to help solve pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges after receiving Investment Readiness Program grants. All of the organizations, including charities, nonprofits and for-profit businesses, have a social purpose, which means they aim to sell goods or services to earn revenue, while also achieving positive social, cultural or environmental results.

At the start of 2020, organizations were invited to apply for $10,000-$100,000 from the Government of Canada’s Investment Readiness Program (IRP) to help launch, design, measure and scale their social enterprise and prepare to access investment in Canada’s growing social finance marketplace, including through the Government of Canada’s Social Finance Fund. Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) serves as one of the IRP’s national funding intermediaries, and is collaborating with community foundations across the country, such as Victoria Foundation, to award IRP funding.

Sandra Richardson

“We are proud to be a part of this program and to help our community tackle some of its biggest challenges as we move into pandemic recovery,” said Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation. “The successful recipients of these funds are shining examples of organizations moving forward towards investment readiness and building capacity for the sector.”

While funding requests came from a range of organizations at different stages of investment readiness, all focussed on making improvements to local issues of concern, from affordable and supportive housing to natural habitat protection, to Indigenous entrepreneurship to waste reduction and recycling.

One of the grant recipients will use the IRP investment to expand their service on Vancouver Island, scaling up their business of deconstructing and salvaging heritage lumber that is otherwise landfilled.

Unbuilders are thrilled to be expanding our service to Vancouver Island, the epicentre of the BC logging industry and the old growth lumber we recover,” said Unbuilders Founder Adam Corneil. “We want to ensure building owners on the Island a better way to remove an old building and divert that waste. It’s not waste, it’s just wasted. We don’t destroy an old building, we unbuild it.”

Another organization will be using the IRP funding to gather crucial information to co-develop one or more social enterprises that will enable a First Nation to derive revenue based on conservation, supporting the creation of an Indigenous Protected Area.

“This funding makes it possible for us to lay the groundwork for really meaningful enterprise that supports communities and the environment,” said Habitat Acquisition Trust Executive Director Katie Blake. “It enables us to do the necessary work to get it right for the long-term.”

A full list of all eleven funded organizations can be found on the Victoria Foundation website and on CFC’s national website which lists all 257 funded social purpose organizations across Canada.

Applications for the second and final round of funding for CFC’s IRP program will be accepted starting September 8, 2020 until October 9, 2020. For more information regarding eligibility and program FAQ’s visit the national website.

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