Philanthropy Day, Victoria’s Vital Signs highlight power of giving

Informed by the impacts of COVID-19, this year’s Vital Signs report will be a crucial tool to help guide local governments and community philanthropists over the next year and beyond, says Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation.

Informed by the impacts of COVID-19, this year’s Vital Signs report will be a crucial tool to help guide local governments and community philanthropists over the next year and beyond, says Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation.

In an ideal world, philanthropy is on our minds – and in our hearts – every day. But the fact is, sometimes life gets busy; sometimes a little reminder of the value of giving back, helping out and working together to create a strong, vital community goes a long way.

On Nov. 16, the Victoria Foundation joins the Association of Fundraising Professionals for Philanthropy Day. Held virtually this year, the mid-day event brings together people from across Vancouver Island to share a meal, ideas and perspectives on all things philanthropy.

With breakout sessions encouraging participants to delve into topics impacting the philanthropic sector, executive coach Diane Lloyd facilitates Courageous Conversations in Philanthropy, while local change-maker, storyteller and activist Asiyah Robinson leads a discussion on Amplifying Voices within BIPoC Communities through Philanthropy. A facilitated networking session concludes the event.

Philanthropy is at the heart of the Victoria Foundation’s mandate of connecting people who care with causes that matter.

As the community continues to reel from the impacts of COVID-19, the Foundation is supporting local charities with initiatives like the Community Recovery Program – helping the charitable sector survive and build resilience, says Sandra Richardson, Victoria Foundation CEO.

Building on the initial success of the Rapid Relief Fund, which addressed the sector’s immediate needs at the outside of the pandemic, the Community Recovery Program builds capacity across various sectors, from arts and environment to education and health.

Funding the program are donations to the Foundation’s new Community Action Funds, allowing quick response to evolving community needs. In addition to the general Vibrant and Caring Community Fund, nine more focused funds allow donors to target their giving, knowing funds will address the most pressing needs: Arts and Culture Fund; Education and Learning Fund; Environment and Sustainability Fund; Food Security Fund; Gender Equity Fund; Health and Wellness Fund; Homelessness Prevention Fund; Racial Equity and Reconciliation Fund; Rapid Relief Fund.

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Helping guide the Foundation’s philanthropic efforts are local residents, through the annual Vital Signs survey. A measure of community wellbeing, survey results are compiled into Victoria’s Vital Signs report, which identifies concerns and supports action on critical quality of life issues. This year’s report will be launched to a virtual audience Nov. 5.

“This year’s Vital Signs report is a little different from previous years in that it’s been informed by the impacts of COVID-19 on areas of importance to Greater Victoria, like housing, food security and transportation. As always it will be a crucial tool guiding local governments and community philanthropists over the next year and beyond,” Richardson says.

Support philanthropy in your community

  • Donate today: Donate to the Community Action Funds easily and securely online, or contact the Foundation about other options. Learn more at victoriafoundation.bc.ca.
  • Register for Philanthropy Day: Register by Oct. 31 for an early-bird rate of just $25 for AFP members and $45 for non-members ($35/$55 from Nov. 1) , including the option for a catered meal to be delivered or picked up in advance.
  • Join Victoria’s Vital Signs Report launch: Register for the virtual launch of the 15th annual Victoria’s Vital Signs, beginning at 9 a.m. Nov. 5

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Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation and the sixth largest of nearly 200 nation-wide. To date the Victoria Foundation has invested more than $259 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in BC and throughout Canada.

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