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Vancouver Foundation Initiatives

We focus energy on priority issues identified through community dialogues, research, youth engagement, and relationships with donors, charities, and other organizations. We work in collaboration with community partners to set meaningful goals and achieve them together.

Community Research

Our research tells us that people today feel a lack of togetherness in community life. A lack of belonging. Through community consultations and independent research, we’ve heard a hunger for social connections, and a desire among people from different ethnicities, cultures, income and age groups, to engage each other to build a stronger sense of community.

We support projects and research that help people build relationships with each other, and participate in activities that make our community better.


Through the research we conduct and the work we do throughout BC, we know that people are longing for a deeper connection to their neighbours and community. We closed our 2017 Connect and Engage report with a call to action: for everyone to build a greater sense of welcome and belonging in their community. We’re using our 75th anniversary to step up and do our part.

On the Table is a series of events powered by Vancouver Foundation to encourage community connection. We’re inviting people and organizations across the province to gather friends, neighbours, coworkers, and family to sit down, share some food, and talk about what matters most. The topics people discuss will be collected and shared—giving us an exciting snapshot of what’s on people’s minds throughout BC right now.

Learn more at and sign-up to our newsletter for updates.


Our Connections and Engagement research underpins all our grassroots community building activities, including community dialogues and grassroots granting.

In 2012, our first Connections and Engagement report revealed some challenging findings about the strength of our personal and neighbourhood connections.

Our 2017 Connect & Engage Report digs deeper. It examines who may be experiencing stronger or weaker social connections, explores the barriers to being more connected and engaged, and looks for opportunities to move beyond the issues and catalyze action.

Find out more about our Connections and Engagement research, and download our reports produced with data from independent research, community consultations, and third party sources.


Vital Signs is an annual check-up conducted by community foundations to measure the vitality of communities across Canada. It gathers and publishes data on significant social and economic trends and assigns grades in areas critical to quality of life.

Vancouver Foundation participates in Vital Signs to provide a far-reaching and critical perspective on the state of community in our region.

Read more about our latest Vital Signs reports.

Youth Engagement

No one gets an equal start in life. We focus on youth engagement to make sure that all young people have the opportunities and support they need to thrive. Our work leverages the collective knowledge, expertise, and resources of our staff and our extended network of community partners.

We support authentic conversations on difficult topics, and create the space for everyone – especially vulnerable groups – to have voice and influence over decisions that affect their lives. Making sure young people are active participants in this work is essential to our approach. 


Through Fostering Change and Fresh Voices, Vancouver Foundation has learned a great deal about the disproportionate barriers to influencing change within our social, civic, and public systems that Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee youth face, compared to many other young people. 

Through this work, we have developed LEVEL, our new youth engagement initiative that will build on these learnings by addressing racial inequity and investing in the leadership of Indigenous and racialized immigrant and refugee young adults, supporting their future work on issues that affect them.

More details about LEVEL be shared later this year.

Fostering Change

The Fostering Change initiative focused on engaging young people with lived experience of transitioning from foster care to adulthood. In 2018, Vancouver Foundation returned the Fostering Change initiative to the community that inspired it and continues through the support of First Call.

Fresh Voices

Fresh Voices is a group of immigrant and refugee youth, originally convened by Vancouver Foundation, who are inspiring each other to make BC a better place for young newcomers. In 2018, Fresh Voices was also returned to the community that inspired it and continues through the support of PeerNetBC.


Shared Skills and Knowledge

Vancouver Foundation sees the potential and benefits of unlocking our own intellectual property – the things we create and the works that we fund. By making the data sets, research articles, photographs, educational materials and resources that we fund open and shareable under easy-to-understand terms and conditions, we are removing real and perceived limits to sharing and consuming.

Our goal is to inspire the organizations we work with to help spread good ideas throughout our communities and beyond, to fully realize the potential of the content we create, and to better share the knowledge gained from it.


Vancouver Foundation's Open Licensing Policy, effective January 1, 2017 and onwards, is applicable to materials and resources produced by Vancouver Foundation, and materials and resources produced by Field of Interest Program grantees who submit new proposals and receive funding after the effective date.

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Making communities stronger and more vibrant is much easier when you’ve got great partners. We are lucky to work with some of the best minds and organizations in BC when it comes to building community.

Tax Aid DABC

Many people with disabilities struggle with their taxes. We’ve partnered with Disability Alliance BC to assist people who are receiving the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) benefit or the Persons with Persistent and Multiple Barriers (PPMB) benefit with simple income tax filings and information/referrals.

Visit the Tax Aid DABC website:

Endowment 150

Plan InstituteDisability Alliance of BC, and the British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society have united to launch a new program designed to help British Columbians with disabilities learn about and access tax benefits that will help them save for the future. As part of this initiative, Plan Institute is distributing a one-time $150 gift to help low-income British Columbians to start growing their RDSP.

Visit the Endowment 150 website:

Greenest City Fund

The Greenest City Fund was a unique, four-year partnership between the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Foundation. From 2012 to 2015, the Fund distributed almost $2 million to support community-led green projects to help Vancouver become the greenest city in the world by 2020.

Learn more about the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan and granting opportunities here:

Learn more about the Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants: