The West Coast has a variety of regional challenges to conquer and the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust is ready to fund some unique solutions.
The CBT has reinvented its long running Call for Projects granting program to promote larger-scale initiatives and is looking for local governments, First Nations, non-profits and educational institutions to team-up and get cracking on peninsula-wide collaborations.
“We’re focusing on partnership-funding to address regional priorities and complex challenges that influence sustainability in the biosphere,” said the CBT’s executive director Rebecca Hurwitz.
The 16 year-old Call for Projects granting stream has been renamed Vital Grants and now offers applicants maximum payouts of $20,000. Call for Projects grants had maxed out at $8,000 in previous years.
“These larger grants are aimed to support meaningful collaboration between organizations, communities and cultures and must include a minimum of two project partners,” Hurwitz said.
“In 2017, we did a lot of reflecting on our granting streams and granting programs and had a lot of helpful feedback from our committees and organizations about CBT funding so this is in response to that feedback.”
She said larger grants will mean fewer recipients, with roughly five grants between $15,000-$20,000 expected to be dished out this year compared to 23 in 2016, but added the CBT has increased its discretionary funding budget from $10,000 to $25,000 this year. Discretionary grants max out at $5,000.
“We were noticing a trend towards smaller and smaller grants and we saw that organizations were cobbling together funding or phasing projects in order to complete the work,” she said. “So, we wanted to create a bigger grant opportunity that would give organizations a funding stream that could support their larger projects.”
She said the CBT is excited to zero-in on key projects.
“It’s important to address our highest needs,” she said. “We’re really focusing in on regional priorities and complex challenges around sustainability and creating the future in the biosphere that we want to see.”
She cited regional transportation initiatives, Nuu chah nulth language revitalization and wild salmon enhancement as examples of critical challenges that must be addressed through the West Coast’s diverse knowledge skills and experiences.
The application deadline is March 5 and a full run-down of requirements can be found at www.clayoquotbiosphere.org.
The CBT was struck in 2000 with a $12 million endowment from the federal government and has helped fund local projects and initiatives every year since then while managing to grow its bank account to $18 million thanks to savvy investing, donations, and fundraising initiatives.