Welcome to MAKOR, your direct source of information about the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Vancouver. This year is off to an exciting start – our Unrestricted Grant Program recipients have been selected, and 2021 is sure to be a year where our impact through the program will be significant.
Unrestricted Support for Evolving Community Needs
At a time when the needs of our community are changing rapidly and in unprecedented ways, it’s crucial that we are able to react just as quickly in response. Of all the different types of funds managed by the Foundation, Unrestricted Funds provide the most flexibility to do just that. Rather than being designated to a specific cause or organization, Unrestricted Funds allow us to respond nimbly in order to best support the community.
The Foundation’s Unrestricted Grant Program encourages innovation by providing charitable organizations with funding opportunities to continue to improve their programs and services and launch new ones to meet emerging needs.
Our community is continuously evolving, and there is always a need for funding for new and innovative projects, but this year innovation looks quite different. Many of the applications for funding this grant cycle relate to new ways of delivering services in our current reality and reflect the need for funding in a few key areas.
Our Community’s Needs: A Wide-Angle View
This year, every sphere of our community – from synagogues and schools to arts and culture – is facing similar challenges. The most prevalent emerging areas of need include:
- technology infrastructure upgrades to keep our community safely connected in this new environment;
- COVID preparedness resources so that organizations can continue to deliver their programs and services safely;
- social services including food security and housing subsidies for community members who are experiencing income instability due to COVID; and
- mental health support across many facets of our community.
Many of the critical areas of need reflected in the grant program applications are mirrored in the key findings from the interviews with community organizations conducted by Jewish Federation’s Community Recovery Task Force. Foundation chair, Diane Switzer, and executive director, Marcie Flom, are involved with the Task Force, providing the Foundation with a wide-angle view of the emerging needs in our community. While it is evident that the need in our community is great, it is inspiring to see how organizations are finding new ways to operate and continue to serve.
An Unprecedented Response
We are proud to be distributing $272,000 through this year’s Unrestricted Grant Program – more funding than we have distributed any previous year. This is due in large part to the trust and confidence our fundholders have in the Foundation to direct funds where they are needed most, especially during our current time of crisis.
In addition to the income available for distribution from unrestricted funds for the grant program, several fundholders decided to contribute to this year’s program in a few different ways. Some fundholders, seeing how severely COVID-19 is impacting our community, decided to convert their donor-advised funds into unrestricted funds, trusting the Foundation to decide how to best disburse the income from their funds for our community’s current needs.
“I trust the Foundation’s expertise to make distributions from my fund in the most effective and impactful way possible.”
“I want my philanthropic dollars to go toward the areas of the community I care about most,” expressed one fundholder, who prefers to remain anonymous. “This year, the need is so great and increasing so rapidly, what I care most about is our community’s recovery as a whole. I trust the Foundation’s expertise to make distributions from my fund in the most effective and impactful way possible, and they made it easy for me to switch the structure of my fund in order to do so.”
Other donor-advised fundholders elected to direct the distributable income from their funds toward the Unrestricted Grant Program this year for similar reasons.
We are proud to support 15 important projects that will enable our community to persevere through these difficult times and continue to evolve.
2021 Grant Recipients