Systems Change Grant Program Injects $5.4 Million into BC Communities

January 7, 2020

We have approved $5.4 million to fund BC communities in support of systems change projects. In the same round, we also approved $587,000 in funding in support of participatory action research projects in the province.

The 53 projects approved this cycle for funding tackle several pressing social, environmental, and cultural issues in urban, suburban, and rural BC communities. From food security to health care, from mental illness to equity in the arts, all projects either seek to understand issues impacting the health of communities or to change the systems that create issues in the first place.

In total, Vancouver Foundation made $11 million in responsive grants to community this year through the Systems Change grant program and the Participatory Action Research grant program.

$5.4 Million Approved for Systems Change Projects

Systems Change projects accounted for most of our funding allocation this cycle. Funding this cycle will support projects in Vancouver’s DTES — one improving the living standards of SRO (Single Room Occupancy) tenants, another in creating programming that amplifies the work of marginalized artists to help address social causes of mental illness and addiction.

Over on Vancouver Island, food systems change is a theme. In Courtenay, a team of housing providers, growers, and locals are creating a system of local food aggregation and distribution for residents of social housing. Another project in Victoria is exploring micro-farm sites on school grounds to equip young people with skills to grow nutritious food.

An Arts Focus for Systems Change

Three of the successful applicants were arts organizations based in Nelson and Vancouver that joined our Arts and Social Innovation Cohort Program, which took place earlier this year to support arts and culture organizations in developing social innovation project plans.

Arts and Social Innovation Cohort video

WATCH: Arts and Social Innovation Cohort video.

$587,000 Approved for Participatory Action Research Projects

We have two multi-year projects coming out of the Participatory Action Research program this cycle. Young people will join in on a project to analyze data with academic researchers on how the social determinants of health impact substance use among their peers.

Immigrant and migrant women will team up with researchers to offer their experiences and knowledge to guide research and identify solutions that improve access to sexual and reproductive healthcare in BC.

We look forward to seeing how these projects unfold and are proud to play a role in supporting organizations that are doing innovative systems change work to strengthen their communities.

2020 Grant Cycles

Our next call for multi-year grant proposals runs from January 2–January 25, 2020.

The next call for our short-term Develop and Convene grants, which have now moved to quarterly assessments, open on January 2 as well.

3 Ways to Keep in Touch

Sign up for grant alerts to stay up-to-date and learn more about our granting programs.

Go to our Grant Search page to see a list of all grants we’ve approved in the past.

Follow along on Twitter (@vancouverfdn) where every Monday and Wednesday we’ll be sharing a #GrantAtAGlance to get inspiration from projects supported by a Systems Change or Participatory Action Research grant.

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