Skip to content
Sponsored Content

Building philanthropy to build community, one conversation at a time

The Victoria Foundation’s Gadsden Initiative brings people together to do good
Continuing the community involvement he began as a youth, Bhupinder appreciates the conversations that can be launched through programs like the Victoria Foundation’s Gadsden Initiative. Jon Mark photo / Courtesy the Victoria Foundation

For Andrew, living in the Victoria area, embarking on his “philanthropic adventure” was a way to honour his parents. “They were always very quiet people, very humble people, and I just want to make sure their name lives on in one way or another,” he says.

Through the Victoria Foundation’s Gadsden Initiative, he was able to meet other like-minded people and learn about organizations doing vital work in the community.

“(It was) a wonderful way to expand my horizons in the city and make sure the breadth of giving is there,” says Andrew, whose tour of the Mustard Seed led him to volunteer with the food bank and kitchen.

If you have a desire to give back to your community in areas meaningful to you, the Victoria Foundation’s Gadsden Initiative is looking for participants for its winter 2023 cohort, whose first session starts in late February.

Inspired by Burges Gadsden, whose vision led to the creation of the Victoria Foundation in 1936, the initiative unites innovative and engaged individuals, including both GenXers and Millennials, to build relationships in the community.

Through learning sessions, community activities and networking opportunities based on the United Nations’ Global Goals, the program engages a new generation of global citizens keen to make a lasting difference through engagement, vision and philanthropy. After actively participating in four course sessions, participants create a Permanent Endowment Fund to establish their legacy and support the community through grant-making.

Andrew emphasizes that philanthropy is open to everyone, not only the wealthy. “You can start with very humble means and just allow that to grow and eventually increase the endowment fund. The Gadsden Initiative introduces you to that concept.”

For program participants Nick and Marlena, the initiative supported their desire to leave a legacy in the memory of a dear friend.

“There’s nothing more important than to give back, and to leave something behind that will help others when we’re not here,” Marlena says. “The Gadsden Initiative just opened the door to allowing this opportunity that we never would have imagined.”

Beginning the conversation

Looking for a way to continue the community involvement he began as a youth, participant Bhupinder has been drawn to issues around food security.

“The biggest benefit of joining the Gadsden Initiative is conversation,” Bhupinder says. “(It’s) truly allowed for more conversation around the dinner table with my family members and beyond, more conversations with other like-minded individuals who were part of the Gadsden Initiative and just general discourse.”

To learn more, visit

Applications open for the Community Services Recovery Fund

Local non-profit organizations, Indigenous governing bodies and charities can now apply for funding through the Government of Canada’s $400 million Community Services Recovery Fund, administered locally by the Victoria Foundation, the Canadian Red Cross or United Way Southern Vancouver Island. The fund aims to strengthen non-profits playing a key role in addressing persistent and complex social problems communities face.

The Foundation is administering grants for one-time projects investing in the systems and processes involved in creating the internal workings of an organization’s overall structure.

Eligible organizations can apply for one of two tiers available in the local stream: funding ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 or, for applicants that meet specific criteria, funding from $100,001 to $200,000.

Learn more at