Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
June 20, 2024
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Grand Grants

Council approves over $150,000 in Community Grants for 2024
<p>Quintissimo, a free after school instrumental music program reaching 40 under-served youth ages 6-11, was awarded $7,700 from the Community Grants Program (Supplied Photo)</p>
Quintissimo, a free after school instrumental music program reaching 40 under-served youth ages 6-11, was awarded $7,700 from the Community Grants Program (Supplied Photo)

Council approved about $150,000 in non-profit funding through its Community Grants program last week.

Gillian Armstrong, the County Foundation’s Grants Administrator, presented the slate of successful grants on behalf of the Foundation, which adjudicates the competition.

The program includes two streams, one for grants over and one for grants under $5,000. Council must approve grants over $5000. Those under, which totalled approximately $21,000, are approved and administered by the County Foundation, which contributes 25 per cent of the municipal contribution, or about $4,000.

Of 24 applications for grants over 5k, 16 were approved. Recipients include the County Food Hub, County Stage, and the Children’s Foundation. Of the smaller grants, 11 were approved and 10 declined. Successful applicants include County Kids Read and the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Centre.

The County Foundation coordinates a neutral, third-party adjudication of all applications and administers the awards. 

It reported an exceptionally high number of applicants this year. In total, 45 non-profits applied for $390,000. Less than half that amount was awarded.

“And we know that figure is not a true reflection of the total need of the community, as there are organizations that receive funds directly from Council,” said Ms. Armstrong. TheRoc was removed from the funding envelope last year. It receives $60,000 directly from the municipality.

In addition, last fall, Council piloted a project allowing non-profits to rent facility space at no charge for free events. A total of $38,453 was removed from the Program’s funding envelope to reflect the elimination of such applications.

Ms. Armstrong explained many nonprofits are struggling with staffing and the rising costs of meeting living wage thresholds with a limited ability to create new revenue streams.

“There’s an increased need for the services being offered post-pandemic, and these organizations are trying to keep their programming low cost and widely accessible,” she said.

Successful

Among the larger grants was $17,000 jointly to the Greater Than Youth Collective & Prince Edward Learning Centre for activities including four Hackathons, co-launching a cooking series at the County Food Hub, and collaborating on a Youth Mental Health Summit. About $13,000 goes to the South Shore Joint Initiative for Wild Thing, outdoor educational opportunities for youth around environmental topics. St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Wellington will receive $10,000 for refurbishment of the church hall.

The County Foundation assembles an adjudication committee that reflects the community with members from across the wards with diverse backgrounds and varying viewpoints to ensure a fair and equitable process for dispersing funds. Applications are judged on their own merit and then gauged against alignment with the County’s Strategic Plan, Vital Signs data, and community benefits.

Categories include health, recreation, the arts, environment and heritage.

“Providing grants spread out across our community equitably is a difficult task and tough decisions are required. We know there’s a gap between community need and available funds,” said Ms. Armstrong.

2024 saw an increase in environment and heritage grants to bring those categories more in line with previous years.

A staff review of the program is underway and will come to the Committee of the Whole May 25.

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 20 edition of The Picton Gazette
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