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 British Columbia. 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 goals: to build community, alleviate social isolation, and strengthen connections between neighbours.
It's been another fun, inspiring year of Neighbourhood Small Grants! Alas, applications are now closed. The good news is that, before you know it, they'll be open again. Information on our next funding cycle will be available in March 2023, so be sure to check back then.
In the meantime, we encourage you to read about the projects we've already supported - over 130 in all! You'll see that there are countless ways to build community, connect cultures, and foster a shared sense of belonging. Surely, you have your own ideas as well, and with a Neighbourhood Small Grant, you'll get to bring them to life!
This year, in addition to the main funding stream, there are also Youth Neighbourhood Small Grants, available to applicants between the ages of 12 and 24. They, too, can receive up to $500 to carry out their own community project.
Both 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, provided it follows current public health guidelines. It should be as inclusive as possible, and 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!