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 program was created to make those connections stronger.
Funded by the Vancouver Foundation, the program operates in communities throughout the Lower Mainland. In Richmond, it's proudly administered by RCRG.
Here's how it works. Every year, we distribute grants of up to $500 so individuals can complete small community projects, from block parties to urban gardens. And while the projects we fund are diverse, they all have the same goal: to strengthen connections between neighbours. At the end of the year, we invite all grant recipients to a special celebration, where they can each talk about their project and how it helped bring their neighbourhood together.
As the COVID-19 crisis changes the way we live and interact with one another, the Neighbourhood Small Grants program is evolving to meet emerging community needs. Namely, the need to create social connections and support each other, while maintaining a safe physical distance.
To this end, the Vancouver Foundation has closed the intake period for standard Neighbourhood Small Grants. However, a new grant stream will open on April 15.
Called Responsive NSG, this new funding stream will, once again, allow Richmond residents to apply for up to $500 to complete a community project. The projects must adhere to public health guidelines around physical distancing, and be carried out by individuals or family members from the same household. Gatherings that involve face-to-face interaction between two or more people will no longer be eligible.
So, what kinds of projects are eligible? For one, the Vancouver Foundation is encouraging applicants to think of ways they can help ease social isolation, perhaps by delivering care packages - from a safe distance - to seniors or other vulnerable residents. Any type of online workshop, demonstration, or celebration would also be eligible for funding. Need to pay for a Zoom subscription? A Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grant could cover that!
Check back here in mid-April for details on how to apply.