Creating capacity and bettering lives in our communities

First West believes in supporting local non-profit and charitable organizations that serve the most vulnerable in our communities. We create capacity in the social sector by leveraging our financial strength and our social vision, Lead Well. Through Lead Well, team members volunteer their knowledge and skills to help our communities flourish.

6,780 hours of community leadership

Our team members applied leadership and professional skills to create capacity for more than 242 B.C.-based non-profit and charitable organizations. Recognizing these efforts, our Lead Well Recognition program funded 73 $500 – $1,000 grants to support non-profits selected by team members.

$14,565 donated through #FWWednesday

Themed Wednesdays throughout the year encouraged team members to share photos and positive messages on First West’s internal social networking platform, with a goal of raising funds for local charities and our signature cause.

25 recurring volunteers building sustainable capacity

Team members rallied weekly to support Nanaimo-Ladysmith School Foundation and its Food4Schools Program, contributing 70 hours of volunteer time to pack and sort food for meal programs across 33 schools in Nanaimo and Ladysmith. The program supports 2,100 students daily.

168 volunteer activities

As part of our annual Make a Difference Days, team members volunteered 688 hours of their time with non-profits and charities in our communities.

I’m thrilled that I’m able to use my financial expertise, leadership skills and network to make a difference for kids in need.
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Kevin Lehman, Regional Manager, Business Banking at Envision Financial, and Board Secretary at Chilliwack Bowls of Hope Society

$39.7 million for community causes

Giving back to our communities isn’t just a part of what we do—it’s who we are. Since coming together as First West in 2010, our credit union has invested more than $39.7 million into supporting local non-profit and charitable organizations.

708,944 meals for those in-need

Our Signature Cause programs, supporting 34 registered food banks across B.C., were bolstered in 2023 through continued team member-led fundraising and community partnerships, raising $354,472. Since 2010, First West has raised nearly $5.1 million and collected 203,361 pounds of food for local food banks.

Learn more about our signature cause programs at Envision Financial, Valley First and Enderby & District Financial, and Island Savings.

First West Foundation has been working to create resilient and resourceful communities since 1996

By working in partnership with local organizations, our grant-making charity seeks to actively contribute to meaningful projects that make a positive and lasting impact upon community life. It enriches communities through effective grant-making, encourages philanthropy and reinforces First West’s commitment to its communities.

$1.2 million

Unrestricted funding was granted through the Community Response Fund and First West Foundation’s regular granting programs to support those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

$109,856 donated

Our team members generously donated to Foundation endowment funds which disperse money to causes in the community, Feed the Valley and The Full Cupboard programs and to key community partners.

136 local charities

Support from the First West Foundation helped scores of local charities deliver programs and services that help build community resilience and resourcefulness.

YWCA Metro Vancouver is so grateful for First West Foundation’s generous support of our Single Mothers’ Support Groups. In these weekly group meetings, women are able talk about the challenges they face in a safe and supportive space, build meaningful connections with other single mothers, learn skills and gain valuable tools to pursue their goals and build better futures for their families.
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Janice Lee, Manager of YWCA Metro Vancouver Single Mothers' Services