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New ways of giving: Victoria Foundation inspires next generation of philanthropists

Philanthropic programs that empower Indigenous and youth communities highlighted in Pulse 2024 magazine
The Victoria Foundation's Gadsden Initiative encourages new ways of thinking about philanthropy and granting.

One of the Victoria Foundation's core values is to enable and empower all kinds of communities to become more involved in philanthropy. With that in mind, it created the Gadsden Initiative a few years ago to inspire emerging generations to give. ItB次元官网网址檚 one of multiple projects highlighted in the FoundationB次元官网网址檚 recently published B次元官网网址 an annual roundup of community news, impact stories and financial highlights.

Drawing from the West Shore to the Peninsula, members of come together in a collaborative learning experience that balances their desire to give back and the time constraints that often come with having young families and establishing their careers.

Simply put, the Gadsden Initiative encourages new ways of thinking about philanthropy and granting.

The Green Tithe Group is a Gadsden Initiative fundholder established by 13 Millennial friends with shared environmental concerns, who wanted to explore pooling their money to create meaningful change. The group designated two members to participate in the Gadsden learning sessions and report back, but all were involved in the program generally.

"The Victoria Foundation has been really accommodating," says Green Tithe group member Kelsi Langdon. "I'm not the only one having climate anxieties. As part of this group, we have the same aim B次元官网网址 we want to protect the environment for our futures."

The Vital Youth program B次元官网网址 now in its 21st year B次元官网网址 amplifies the voices of students from across the region's three school districts. Derek Ford photo / courtesy The Victoria Foundation

For the Capital Region's younger residents, the Vital Youth program B次元官网网址 now in its 21st year B次元官网网址 amplifies the voices of students from across the region's three school districts. The youth-informed program supports students to pinpoint and discuss their values, to research critical issues and choose up to three charities to receive $3,000 in grant funding.

"Until I was taking up those leadership roles, honestly, I felt a little hopeless," says Eden Andarge, an Esquimalt High School student and third-year Vital Youth participant. "Our generation is dealing with a lot. Vital Youth opened our eyes to the people working on it and showed us we can make a tangible impact."

The Foundation also recently established the (IGAP), which now acts separately from the foundation, and is composed of local nation members and Indigenous people living throughout South Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Among the projects funded by the Victoria Foundation's Indigenous Granting Advisory Pilot was the Tsawout Nation Head Start program on the Saanich Peninsula, supporting local families. Derek Ford photo / courtesy The Victoria Foundation

The advisory emerged from the Victoria Foundation BoardB次元官网网址檚 2022 Reconciliation Task Group, and reviews and recommends applications for the Indigenous Priorities Fund. Granting decisions are guided by culturally informed principles that include walking and learning with humility, working and collaborating in a good way and rethinking ways of doing. IGAP distributed $506,000 to four local Nations and 13 other organizations last year.

Among the projects funded was the program on the Saanich Peninsula, highlighted in the Foundation's recently published Pulse Magazine. The program is a drop-in program for parents and their children from newborn to six years old, featuring playgroups, nutritional support and parenting workshops. It includes transportation and childminding as needed, because bus services often runs just once an hour, with the nearest grocery store more than two kilometres away.

For Amber Cunningham, Tsawout Head Start Coordinator, the $38,598 received for a van equates to family field trips, land-based learning, cultural programming and access to services. B次元官网网址淭he van will be equipped with the appropriate car seats to help make this service less stressful for our community parents,B次元官网网址 Cunningham says. It B次元官网网址渆liminates the transportation barriers of living in a remote community."

Read the full Pulse magazine for more inspiring projects and programs, and discover the happening right in your community! Learn more at





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