Our 2020-2021 Year
The year ending July 31,2021 was the first full year the Foundation functioned with covid restrictions impacting our operations and the operations of the charities with which we work. We have been able to function relatively efficiently through e-mail and zoom meetings however we have noticed a decline in the number of grant requests and completed grant applications received. We have also been unable to do site visits which have always been important in understanding and appreciating the importance of the request. Our total grants for the year of $940,000, although slightly higher than the previous year, continue to be under our yearly budget. While, like many, we had not expected covid to impact operations for this long however we have increased our 2022 grants budget and intend to be more proactive in supporting charitable projects in the upcoming year. Positive investment results allow us to fund this increase. At year end we had a record 25 grant applications outstanding and have been following up with these charities to get their applications submitted and processed.
We continue to be a sub-tenant of The Winnipeg Foundation (TWF). We have benefited greatly from our working relationship with TWF over the years and congratulate their long time CEO Rick Frost on his retirement and look forward to working with the new CEO, Sky Bridges and the TWF staff. Covid has meant we have not been able to have the same level of interaction with TWF staff as everyone has been working remotely however this is changing as staff start to return to the office and we proceed toward a “new normal” way of operating. We continue to operate our office respecting the covid operating guidelines the TWF and the building manager have in place.
Grants for the 2021 fiscal year totaled $940,000. This was allocated to 84 organizations for projects and programs in Manitoba. The dollar amount of the grants is slightly higher than 2020 however the number of grants has decreased as we have seen an increase in the time period the charities take to complete and submit an application. Of grants we approved, 13 grants totaling $204,000 were for charities providing services only in Winnipeg, 37 grants totaling $314,600 were for rural charities and 34 grants totaling $421,400 were for charities based in Winnipeg or Brandon providing services to all Manitobans. This calculates to 78% of total grants benefiting all Manitobans.
Our current practice is to prescreen requests to see if the project appears to meet our guidelines before we send out an application. We have seen numerous charities ask to change their project before they finalize their application as they are unable to fundraise for the intended project. We have also seen more charities ask to change their approved grant to another project or ask for an extension so they can complete the project. We have been able to accommodate every request.
Our Foundation has a long history of granting to projects that benefit indigenous and minority communities in Manitoba. To recognize the significance of moving forward we have created a new budget category for our 2022 year titled “Reconciliation” and are pleased to report we approved our first grant in this category in August 2021 the first month of our new year.
It is always a pleasure to work with charities to assist them with their projects. We look forward in the near future to once again be able to conduct site visits and meet “face to face”. Please refer to our website to see the organizations we have assisted in our 2021 year.