LANGLEY, B.C. – The First West Foundation, through its Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings and Enderby Financial Community Endowments, the First West Credit Union Leaders Fund and Keeping a Good Thing Growing Endowment is granting $795,000 this year – a total of 56 grants – to deserving charities throughout B.C.
This year, First West Foundation continued its evolution to a trust-based philanthropy model, a granting approach that seeks to shift power inequities between funders, charities and the communities they serve to create a healthier, more equitable sector for all.
“We are always looking for ways to make the granting process less about us and more about our community partners,” says Susan Byrom, executive director of First West Foundation. “This year, by listening to our partner’s feedback, we simplified our application process and removed technology barriers to free up their valuable time and resources to help do what they do best— help our communities thrive.”
Additionally, all impact grants are unrestricted this year, further aligning with the foundation’s trust-based philanthropy evolution. Unrestricted funding provides grantees the flexibility to assess and determine where grant dollars are most needed and allows for innovation, emergent action, and support for operational expenses.
Established in 1996, the First West Foundation has donated more than $10.5 million in grants to local community groups and projects. Here are the charitable organizations receiving a grant in 2023: