The Four Rivers Co-op has opened up its application process for registered charities, non-profit organizations or community groups for the $100,000 Community Support Fund, starting Sept. 1.
The fund started in 2016 with funding for 11 different community organizations like the Houston Search and Rescue, Burns Lake and District Health Care Auxiliary, Nechako View Senior Citizens Home Society in Vanderhoof, from 10 different communities where it is present. Last year, the fund was allocated towards 13 organizations including Lakes District Family Enhancement Society in Burns Lake and Vanderhoof Menshed Society.
“This year, like in all our past years we have got a $100,000 that we are providing to local charities and non-profit groups that provide service that improves quality and life of the people in the community,” said Renee Dick, the marketing coordinator for the cooperative.
The application period for the funding is open from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31 each year after which the board of directors meet to review the applicants in November. The board then announces the applicants who are selected to receive the funding between December and January. Members also travel to the locations of the recipients to see them in action and present them with the funding cheque in person.
“Last year things went a bit differently as because of Covid we weren’t able to actually get out to the community and present them with their funds; normally we like to go out and see what these people who do such amazing work are doing and get a feel for who they are and we weren’t able to do that for 2019,” said Dick, adding that while in the past the presentations happened in the months of November and December, the board decided to do the presentations in March starting 2019, due to the risky road conditions during winter.
“We are hoping that things will have settled down enough that we will be able to get back out and hit the road and travel around to see what these groups are doing for this year’s fund,” she said.
Co-op facilities are available throughout the central interior from Quesnel in the south to Fort St. James in the North, from Valemount in the east to Terrace in the west. Through the funding program, the co-op has so far distributed funds to 43 organizations and charities.
“We are anticipating an increase in applications this year. Covid-19 has affected all aspects of the community and the economy and I know that it has affected the ability for a lot of people to do fundraising so I am anticipating that we will receive an increase in applications for the fund this year,” said Dick. However, the amount that the co-op would be donating will be staying the same. “We have a 100k allocated for this and that won’t change this year; the program itself will continue to run exactly as it has.”
Dick also said that the program doesn’t limit how many organizations would get the funding and that if the board feels that a particular group or organization needs larger funding amount, they then adjust by giving to fewer groups.
“We have such a big trading area that we try to support groups from every community as much as possible and it doesn’t always work out that way but we do try to support as many organizations as possible,” she said.
The applications and guidelines for the funding program are available on the Four Rivers Co-op website.