Neighbourhood Small Grants Program Uses Trust-Based Philanthropy Approach to Connect Neighbours and Build Connections

Grants & Funding

We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) program applications in partnership with the City of Abbotsford and the Vancouver Foundation. The deadline to apply for an NSG is April 15, 2023.  

The NSG program helps residents of any age, experience, or background take part in building and strengthening their community. Grants up to $1,000 are available for Abbotsford residents with ideas to help connect and engage residents in their neighbourhood. These grants are available to help you bring your project to life by covering basic supply costs and honorariums. 

This program is an excellent example of trust-based philanthropy and grassroots community work. This philanthropic approach “addresses the inherent power imbalances between funders, nonprofits and the communities they serve”. It does so by redistributing systemic, organizational, and interpersonal power with the goal of a healthier, more equitable nonprofit ecosystem. It’s not a free for all. Organizations and individuals are still responsible to managing, reporting and utilizing the funds distributed for their intended purpose. But it’s less about gatekeeping and more about building strong relationships with the community builders in our midst who have demonstrated the good work they do and are capable of continuing.

The NSG program is based on these six principles of grassroots grantmaking: 

  1. Everyone has gifts — using an asset-based community development approach
  2. Small is beautiful — believing in the power of small-scale initiatives
  3. Local decisions are best — supporting local leadership
  4. Where we live matters — maintaining a local, place-based approach
  5. We learn together — foster skill-building and knowledge exchange
  6. Everyone is invited — create accessibility and inclusion

Key facts about this the NSG program:

  • This year, up to 50% of the funding is earmarked for projects benefitting seniors in honour of Abbotsford hosting the 2023 55+ BC Games.
  • This program was created by the Vancouver Foundation through local partnerships to build community and strengthen connections where people live.
  • Vancouver Foundation funds local partner organizations, such as the Abbotsford Community Foundation, to manage all aspects of the NSG program in their respective communities. 
  • In 2022, 22 grants were awarded, totalling $11,565, and in 2021, 30 grants were awarded, totalling $17,725, for projects including neighbourhood block parties, community gardens, care packages, cooking classes, and more!

We’re grateful to the Vancouver Foundation and the City of Abbotsford in helping us offer this program to Abbotsford residents. If you’re interested in applying for grants of up to $1,000 to help bring your community-based project to life, apply today by clicking here

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We respectfully acknowledge that we are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Stó:lō people, the Semá:th First Nation and Mathxwí First Nation. As treaty People, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, we share the responsibility for the continued stewardship of this beautiful land.