Our initiatives change to reflect our changing landscape. Some are time-limited campaigns, while others live on in community but are no longer run by Vancouver Foundation.

In Our Hearts

Years active: 2020–2021

In Our Hearts was a campaign inspired by how British Columbians are coming together to protect our community in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic by giving and sharing what’s in our hearts. This campaign raised awareness of how charities needed public support to keep up with the spike in demand during the pandemic. In Our Hearts also supported our two rapid response funds, the Community Response Fund and the Emergency Community Support Fund, which we delivered with our partners.

Vital Signs Reports

Years active: 2006–2019

Vancouver Foundation published Vital Signs reports to understand community participation and connections in BC. Vital Signs is a national initiative by CFC that measures:

  1. the vitality of our communities
  2. social and economic trends
  3. quality of life in Canada

Working on Vital Signs has helped inform and guide our work as a funder, partner, and convener.

Connect and Engage Reports

Years active: 2012, 2017

We released two reports on social isolation and loneliness in Metro Vancouver. Today, the findings in these reports attract media traction and popular interest.

Our 2012 Connect and Engage report revealed that people felt Metro Vancouver was a hard place to make friends. Many residents also considered their neighbourhood connections as cordial but weak. They also noted that participation in community life was declining.

Our 2017 Connect and Engage report found that roughly 25% of Metro Vancouver residents still felt isolated. Community participation also dropped since the 2012 report. This was especially true for young adults and low-income households. Despite this, the respondents noted that they knew how they wanted to meet new people and were open to expanding their circle.

Initiatives On the Table

On the Table

Years active: 2018–2020

On the Table was a campaign to encourage meaningful conversations. People and organizations gathered to talk about issues affecting them in the community. Over three years, BC residents hosted more than 1,000 On the Table gatherings.

Fostering Change

Years active: 2012–2018

Fostering Change was created to strengthen support and create opportunities for youth aging out of foster care when they turned 19. Engaging foster care youth in the process and to give them resources to take an active role in addressing issues important to them was a key part of the initiative.

Fostering Change’s program included:

  1. Grants for non-profits providing services to youth
  2. Public engagement to raise awareness
  3. Research and learning to highlight opportunities for change

Key achievements of the initiative include:

  1. Providing over $5 million in grant support.
  2. Expanding youth engagement by non-profits to create better connections and faster access to support.
  3. Collecting 17,000+ petition signatures of people who wanted the government and organizations to address issues in foster care.

As a result of Fostering Change’s work, BC’s Agreements with Youth Adults (AYA) government support program expanded. Today, First Call runs the Fostering Change program.

Fresh Voices

Years active: 2011-2018

Fresh Voices ws a group of immigrant and refugee youth who advocated to make BC more welcoming for youth newcomers. We partnered with British Columbia’s Representative for Children and Youth for this initiative.

Fresh Voices empowered youth to speak up and influence policies and practices. Fresh Voices worked to improve racialized immigrant and refugee youths’ sense of belonging.

Over eight years, we:

  1. Gathered over 1000 immigrant and refugee youth for a summit.
  2. Facilitated the first ever Syrian Refugee Consultation to capture refugee youth experiences
  3. Researched the living and social conditions of newcomer youth in Metro Vancouver
  4. Launched Lost Votes. This campaign supported municipal voting rights for permanent residents in Vancouver

As of 2018, PeerNetBC runs the Fresh Voices program.