BOW VALLEY – Emergency grant funding during the COVID-19 pandemic is coming together in the Bow Valley.
The Banff Canmore Community Foundation (BCCF), the Canmore Rotary Club Charitable Foundation and the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation have teamed up to coordinate emergency grants, while being in touch with municipal officials and front-line agencies to ensure they can help with the most pressing needs in the community.
“All three foundations are receiving requests for funding from a variety of organizations and we are confident that by working together, we can coordinate our response and reduce the burden on groups having to prepare multiple grant applications,” said BCCF executive director Bill Fisher in a press release.
- RELATED: Businesses join the Town of Banff's call for Parks Canada to drop land rent payment during COVID-19 crisis
With BCCF also deferring a number of community grants in order to make funding available for emergency purposes, Fisher said the key priorities are ensuring Bow Valley residents are fed, sheltered, safe and connected.
“We know the COVID-19 crisis will take months to overcome,” he said.
The decision comes after the Canmore Rotary Club Charitable Foundation launched its Rotary COVID-19 Relief Fund on March 21. At the time, the club was accepting donations but is still deciding how the money would be used.
“Historically we’ve been very successful at this type of initiative, for instance the  flood, which was very successful raising $880,000,” said Canmore Rotary chair Donna Potter in March.
With Rotary raising $85,000 for Fort McMurray fire relief, and more recently $75,000 for the Bow Valley Syrian Refugee Project, Potter said the coordinated funding will allow for the three foundations to work together efficiently with key local organizations to identify critical needs and direct funds quickly.
Cathy Geisler, executive director of the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation, agreed.
“We know there will be overlapping needs across the valley, and it makes sense that they are addressed jointly," she said in a press release. "From a solutions standpoint, to a resource standpoint, to a funding standpoint – the dollars will stretch further if we work together.”
Registered charities can apply with eligible initiatives that include:
• Must be charitable in nature;
• Must be for the benefit of the Bow Valley community;
• Must provide direct response and support to those affected by COVID-19, particularly those who are most vulnerable and those who may be facing social isolation;
• Must use the grant awarded to provide for expenses incurred or planned in the Bow Valley region.
Go to banffcanmorecf.org/in-this-together/ for more information.
Follow RMOToday.com's COVID-19 special section for the latest local and national news on the coronavirus pandemic, as well as resources, FAQs and more.