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Connections and Engagement

We've heard what people are missing: a sense of belonging. Our connections and engagement work supports projects and research that help people build a stronger sense of community.

In the summer of 2011, Vancouver Foundation set out to learn what issue people in our region care about the most. What they told us was a surprise. We expected people would choose poverty or housing or any of the issues that dominate the headlines. But what people said concerned them the most was a growing sense of social isolation. 

Connections and Engagement is an initiative of Vancouver Foundation to strengthen communities from the ground up. We’re responding to 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.

What we do

Our work in Connections and Engagement spans projects and research that helps people build relationships with each other, and participate in activities that make our community better. 

Now our Connections and Engagement report is back for 2017! This time we’re building on some unanswered questions from 2012, comparing Metro Vancouver to other parts of Canada, and exploring how people feel about the influence of urban living, greenspaces, and new technologies like social media.


Grants: Neighbourhood Small Grants

Neighbourhood Small Grants is Vancouver Foundation’s unique partnership program that helps build community and strengthen connections right where people live through small grants that range from $50 to $500. Grants are given to projects that connect and engage residents, share skills and knowledge within the community, build a sense of ownership and pride, and respect and celebrate diversity. 

Read all about Neighbourhood Small Grants, and find out more about the amazing ideas by local residents we fund each year in partnership with local community-based organizations.

Video: Sharing Skills and Knowledge

Sharing Knowledge: Neighbourhood Small Grants Program

Survey: Connections and Engagement

In 2012, we surveyed 3,841 people across metro Vancouver to measure people’s connections and engagement.

We explored people's connections to their friends, their neighbours and to the community-at-large. We looked at their engagement in neighbourhood and community life, and what prevents them from being more connected and engaged.

download: Connections and Engagement' report.


Mini Reports

A Closer Look is a collection of smaller reports that explore, in more detail, some of the interesting findings from our Connections and Engagement Survey:

Small steps to big change

This mini report outlines the steps we, as a community foundation, can take to help people become more connected and engaged – with each other and in the life of our neighbourhoods and communities.
[Mini-report] [Full-report provided by Sentis Market Research]