A neighbourhood isn't just a place. It's a group of people who call that place home. And because they share a home, they also share a connection to one another. The Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) program was created to make those connections stronger.
Funded by the Vancouver Foundation, the program operates in communities throughout British Columbia. In Richmond, it's proudly administered by RCRG.
Here's how it works. Each year, we distribute grants of up to $500 to Richmond residents, so they can organize small community projects like cooking classes, urban gardens, and art exhibitions, to name just a few examples. While the projects we fund are diverse, they all have the same goals: to build community, alleviate social isolation, and strengthen connections between neighbours.
Another year of Neighbourhood Small Grants kicked off on March 7, when we opened our spring granting cycle. The final day to apply was April 18, but if you didn't get a chance to submit your project idea, don't worry! A second round of funding will be available this fall, beginning September 7, and you're welcome - and very much encouraged - to apply then.
In the meantime, you can visit the Neighbourhood Small Grants website to learn more about the program. And of course, keep thinking of awesome project ideas!
In 2023, the Neighbourhood Small Grants program is bigger and better than ever! Of course, the main funding stream is back, where you can apply for up to $500 for a project that connects people socially, or involves the sharing of skills or talents with fellow community members.
Youth Neighbourhood Small Grants are back as well, giving applicants between the ages of 12 and 24 a chance to design and lead their own projects. Here, too, grants of up to $500 are available.
Finally, Richmond is participating in a new pilot program, called Lighter Living Neighbourhood Small Grants. Yet again, you can apply for up to $500. This funding stream, however, is specifically for projects that focus on environmental sustainability and social wellbeing, with OneEarth Living's Lighter Living Action Packs serving as inspiration.
All three funding streams use the same online application form, and adhere to the same general eligibility criteria. Your project can take place online or in person, and should be as inclusive as possible. Importantly, any product, service, or event you create must be offered free of charge.
As for project ideas, that part's up to you! You can explore creative ways of sharing skills or resources, or do something to beautify your neighbourhood. Think: what would contribute to a stronger, healthier, more vibrant community? Maybe your project is an answer to that question.
Our one piece of advice is to take what you love - a hobby, a cause, an activity - and find a way to get your neighbours and the wider community involved. Your enthusiasm alone will help bring people together, so go ahead and make your project a reality!