The Greater Victoria Green Team, featured in <em>Pulse</em>, helps foster connections between people and nature. Derek Ford photo.

The Greater Victoria Green Team, featured in Pulse, helps foster connections between people and nature. Derek Ford photo.

The Pulse of Victoria: Magazine, blog explore agents for change in the Capital Region

If you’ve ever wondered what comes after the Victoria Foundation’s annual Vital Signs Survey and Report, it’s time to discover Pulse magazine and its companion Pulse blog.

The new blog works in tandem with Pulse magazine to explore “what’s next” after the Vital Signs report: essentially, how the Victoria Foundation and other organizations in Greater Victoria are working to build on the report’s findings.

“While Victoria’s Vital Signs is essential in identifying current issue areas in Greater Victoria, Pulse explores how we’re working to meet those needs,” explains Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. “Working together with civil society, donors, businesses and volunteers, we can all help build a stronger, more caring and more inclusive community for all.”

In this issue of Pulse, look for stories about the Mary Hill Indigenous Protected Area Project, which has worked to protect a 136-hectare of land adjacent to Metchosin. Plus, find an overview of the Victoria’s Vital Signs findings, and an exploration of Trust-based philanthropy.

There’s an in-depth look at the New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community, operated by Our Place Society in View Royal, and reflection from one grant recipient about the impact of the Victoria Foundation’s Rapid Relief Fund. As the pandemic forced them to adapt on the fly to continue delivering their family support services to Indigenous children and youth, “it really was the Victoria Foundation’s Rapid Relief Fund that made it possible for us to continue to do our work,” says Jennifer Chuckry, executive director of Surrounded by Cedar Child & Family Services.

“It’s important for the Victoria community to understand the profound impact the Victoria Foundation had on small organizations in the pandemic. I think many agencies may not have survived, or be where they are today, without the critical support of the Foundation.”

Community Grants set record numbers

One of the ways the Victoria Foundation works to support needs identified in Vital Signs is through its Community Grants, one part of the Foundation’s overall granting and leadership initiatives.

Earlier this month, the Foundation announced a record number of grants – $4.32 million distributed to 191 local organizations, which represents a 38 per cent increase compared to last year!

The grants provide local non-profits with flexible, general operating funds to meet immediate needs and build long-term resilience. Built on trust-based philanthropy principles, and aiming to make the program more accessible, a focus this year was to directly support equity-deserving groups, including Indigenous, Black and People of Colour, women, 2SLGBTQIA+, children and youth, people with disabilities and newcomers.

Flexible operating funding allows non-profits to apply for their areas of greatest need such as staffing support, technology upgrades or day-to-day programming.

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The Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from these funds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. In 2021, the Victoria Foundation granted more than $20 million to 549 organizations. To learn more, or to donate today, visit victoriafoundation.bc.ca

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