Record-setting $199,113 invested into the community through Island Savings Community Endowment

DUNCAN, B.C. – The First West Foundation, through its Island Savings Community Endowment, is granting $199,113 this year—a total of 20 grants— to deserving charities throughout Vancouver, Pender and Salt Spring Islands. This is the largest granting cycle in First West Foundation’s 26-year history, with a total of $1,078,983 being dispersed across First West Credit Union’s four local brands— Island Savings, Envision Financial, Valley First and Enderby & District Financial.

This record-setting year has even greater significance with First West Foundation shifting its grantmaking approach to align with trust-based philanthropy principles.

“Trust-based philanthropy is an approach to granting that seeks to shift power inequities between funders, charities and the communities they serve to create a healthier, more equitable sector for all”, says Susan Byrom, executive director of the First West Foundation. “By listening to the feedback of our charitable partners, we have reduced barriers in the grant application process, freeing up their valuable time and resources to help them do what they do best— help our communities thrive.”

Additionally, all funds granted this year are unrestricted, 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.

Since 2016, the Island Savings Community Endowment has provided 109 grants totaling over $745,425 in funding. Here is the complete list of organizations receiving grants in 2022.

Company Information

About Island Savings

Island Savings is a premier provider of banking and investment services for residents and businesses throughout Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.’s third-largest credit union with 46 branches throughout the province, Island Savings brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. For more information on Island Savings, visit

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Josh Juhlke

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c: 604.309.6066