5 Ways You Can Give Back on Giving Tuesday

November 29, 2022 is Giving Tuesday! Giving Tuesday was created in Canada in 2012, and in ten years it has spread to 80+ countries with millions of dollars raised for charities. The purpose of Giving Tuesday is simple but impactful: it is a day that encourages people to do good. There are so many ways to participate: make someone smile, help someone in need, show up for an issue you care about, or give some of what you have to others. Below, we’re sharing five ways you can give back on Giving Tuesday.

1. Donate to one of our existing funds

Nanaimo Foundation manages a number of funds for other organizations and community groups. If any of these organizations speak to you, you can give a one-time or monthly gift straight from our website. Find a list of these funds here.

2. Set up a Family Impact & Lasting Legacy Fund

If you’re interested in going a step further than a one-time gift, you may want to create your own fund at Nanaimo Foundation. There are many ways to do this, but one option is creating a Family Impact & Lasting Legacy Fund. This allows you to make a gift to the Nanaimo Foundation, then remain actively involved in suggesting uses for your gift. You can give cash, appreciated stocks, real estate, or other assets. You will recommend uses for the fund – working with our professional program staff to support the causes and organizations you care about most, while we handle all of the administrative tasks required. Your gift can be placed into an endowment that is invested over time, and earnings from your fund are used to make grants addressing community needs. Your gift – and all future earnings from your gift – is a permanent source of community capital, helping to do good work forever. For more information about Family Impact & Lasting Legacy funds, click here.

3. Volunteer your time in the community

Your Giving Tuesday contribution doesn’t need to be financial; there are so many other ways to share generosity! Many local charitable organizations are in need of volunteer support, and with so many wonderful organizations in the Nanaimo region, everyone will be able to find a role that suits their interests and abilities. If you are looking for ideas on where to donate your time, check out Volunteer Nanaimo.

4. Connect with your neighbours

Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to share some kindness with the people in your neighbourhood and community. Many people feel lonely and isolated during the holiday season, so use this time to reach out to a neighbour for a chat over coffee, send a greeting card, or check in with a phone call. If you are looking for a way to continue building relationships with your neighbours in the new year, check out Neighbourhood Small Grants!

5. Make a one-time gift to the Give Where You Live Fund

We have a special fund at Nanaimo Foundation called the Give Where You Live Fund. Some donors choose to make their gift directly to this fund, allowing us to determine where the needs in the community are greatest and to direct grants accordingly. Gifts to the Give Where You Live Fund are important as they allow us to respond to critical issues in the community as they arise. When this fund receives support from donors, it allows us to be increasingly flexible and responsive.

Each year we accept grant applications from charitable organizations and distribute grants from this fund based on current community needs. You can give a one time or monthly gift to the Give Where You Live Fund here:

Job Opportunity: Director of Development

We are searching for a Director of Development to join our organization. Nanaimo Foundation is a community foundation and registered charity operating on Vancouver Island, serving the communities of Nanaimo, Lantzville, Gabriola Island, Cedar, and Ladysmith. Established in 1982, Nanaimo Foundation (formally the Nanaimo Community Foundation) has been stewarding the gifts of energy, ideas, time, and money of caring community members to make meaningful and lasting impacts. The Foundation helps fund capital projects and pilot projects – large and small – in support of areas such as arts and culture, education, children and youth, environment, animal welfare, community health, and social development. Since 1982, Nanaimo Foundation and its donors have provided grants, totaling more than $6.5 million to registered charities on Vancouver Island.

The Director of Development will provide leadership to the organization’s operations with a primary focus on growing Nanaimo Foundation by increasing funds. Reporting to the Board, the Director of Development is responsible for fund development, marketing & communication, and strategic business planning, with a focus on donor service, community-inspired grants, and quality endowment management. The Director of Development will lead the development and implementation of the Foundation’s fund development strategy and identify fundraising initiatives to increase revenue growth through the cultivation of new partners, donors, and community and business partnerships. This role will be the main contact for external stakeholders including prospects, donors, and the wider community. The ideal candidate is an experienced Fundraiser and relationship builder that is talented at inspiring donor trust and confidence.

Key Responsibilities:

Fund Development

  • Secure a robust and diverse support base for the Foundation by establishing, stewarding, and enhancing existing relationships while focusing on building new relationships with key sponsors, donors, government agencies, and foundations.
  • Cultivate new and renewed sources of major gifts and sponsorships.
  • Lead and participate in all aspects of fundraising activity.
  • Responsible for all submissions to and liaising with governmental funding agencies and federal, provincial, and municipal arts councils.
  • Develops and maintains policies and procedures reflecting ethical fundraising practices.
  • Coordinates fundraising activities to ensure alignment with the philosophy of the organization.
  • Facilitates planning and execution of events to develop funds and raise community awareness.
  • Assesses funding opportunities from newly identified sources and effectively pursues these as appropriate.
  • Co-manages a donor and endowment database capable of generating reports to assist with all aspects of fundraising and donor/endowment appreciation.
  • Attends Board meetings as required and/or provides written reports on fund development activities.
  • Monitors fund development trends in the community, region, and country, to recommend adaptation of fundraising strategies accordingly.
  • Assists directors with presentations to service clubs to raise awareness of the organization.
  • Identifies and engages local charities with potential to start agency endowment funds.
  • Ensures integrity of collection and record keeping for donations, endowments, and grants.
  • Ensures Nanaimo Foundation meets best practice standards set for resource development by organizations such as AFP, Imagine Canada, etc.
  • Ensures all Nanaimo Foundation fund development practices follow ethical standards including ‘Donor Bill of Rights’.
  • Advises the Board on evolving and newly emerging fundraising techniques, processes, concepts and methods.

Marketing, Communications and Public Relations

  • Manage all resource related correspondence and communication on behalf of Nanaimo Foundation.
  • Develop a succinct marketing plan to direct the path for successful fundraising.
  • Design and develop all content for marketing and promotional materials for fund development.
  • Be informed and involved in the community within our catchment area.
  • Ensure clear, consistent communication with the Board of Directors on a regular basis.
  • Create new relationships with professional advisors and nurture existing relationships.

Skills & Qualifications:

  • Relevant undergraduate degree or experiential equivalent.
  • Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) designation considered an asset.
  • Progressive senior leadership experience in a charity or non-profit with a focus on fundraising, and community relations.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising, with direct experience in major gift development, capital campaigns, planned giving, and fundraising events.
  • Experience in creating and implementing strategic marketing and communications plans.
  • Empowering leadership skills with experience mentoring or managing at least one member of staff.
  • Excellent stakeholder management skills with experience reporting to a Board of Directors.
  • Proven success developing and managing a pipeline of major donors and prospects including cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Outstanding communication, presentation, and diplomatic skills.
  • Solid knowledge of ethical principles and best practices relating to fundraising, prospect research, donor relations and communications.
  • Demonstrated competency with donor management systems.
  • Persuasive writing skills and working knowledge of Microsoft Office Products

This role will appeal to an outstanding communicator who enjoys developing and maintaining strong relationships. Working with a distinguished Board of Directors, this position suits a team player motivated by the philanthropic impact made by the Nanaimo Foundation. This position has the ability to operate in a hybrid or fully remote capacity, Nanaimo Foundation supports employees in creating work schedules and models that work best for them and the organization. However, the successful candidate will regularly be hosting or attending meetings in Nanaimo. Therefore, applicants are expected to currently reside or be willing to relocate to the area.

If you feel you have the demonstrated background and would like to be a part of a community-focused non-profit, we invite you to forward your resume to [email protected] or visit the original job posting here. We thank all candidates for their interest, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Submit your Letter of Intent for Give Where You Live Grants by November 30th

Until November 30th, we are accepting Letters of Intent for Give Where You Live Fund Grants.

Each year, grants are provided from the Give Where You Live Fund (formerly known as the Vital Fund) to registered charities serving the communities of Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Cedar, Gabriola Island and Lantzville in support of projects and programs that are addressing current community needs.

Give Where You Live Fund recipient organizations must:

  • Be a registered charity or other qualified donee defined under the Income Tax Act;
  • Operate within the geographical boundaries of Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District 68, which includes the communities of Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Cedar, Gabriola Island and Lantzville;
  • Demonstrate fiscal responsibility and effective management;
  • Demonstrate inclusiveness and respect for diversity and equity.

The Give Where You Live Fund provides grants towards capital projects, pilot projects and program delivery.

The Give Where You Live Fund supports projects and programs:

  • Where there is demonstrated need, likelihood of effectiveness, and potential to serve as a model to others;
  • That build on the strengths of the community to respond to identified issues and priorities;
  • Align with Nanaimo Foundation’s mission.

Nanaimo Foundation’s priorities for support are based on Vital Signs Report data and ongoing community needs assessment.

For more information including how to submit a Letter of Intent, visit https://www.nanaimofoundation.com/how-to-apply/

Join us for the first Give Where You Live Social event!

Nanaimo Foundation is celebrating its fortieth birthday this year! Join us at the inaugural Give Where You Live Social and support the Give Where You Live Fund.

At this event, you will hear inspiring stories from our donors and the organizations we’ve helped thanks to their support. Help us respond to local priorities and provide aid where it is needed most in our community!

Your ticket includes appetizers, a delicious three course dinner, and tastings of Rose Prosecco and local beer (more alcoholic beverages available for purchase). You’ll come away feeling connected and inspired. We look forward to celebrating with you.

Proceeds from this event will support our Give Where You Live Fund.

Purchase tickets and find more information about the event here.


Announcement – After 7 years as Development Officer and then Executive Director, Laurie Bienert has decided to move on from her role with the Nanaimo Foundation. Thus, as of June 1st, 2022, Laurie has completed her tenure with us. Laurie has provided many excellent services to the foundation over these years helping us grow our capacity to serve the many needs in our community with increased endowments, attracting COVID relief funding, facilitating Neighbourhood Small Grants, and building relations with donors in the five communities we serve – Lantzville, Gabriola, Cedar, Ladysmith and Nanaimo. We thank Laurie and wish her well in her future endeavors.

Our board of directors is now in the process of reviewing the Foundation’s development and administrative needs as we begin the search for talent to help us continue to increase our ability to provide financial assistance for the many community initiatives in need of support. Over the last decade, the Nanaimo Foundation has increased its capacity to support the community by 300%. Still, as our population continues to grow, grant applications continue to exceed our capacity to give. Those who wish to contribute to the Foundation are invited to contact Foundation Chair, Daniel Martinez directly until a new Development Manager is in place. Opportunities exist for interested donors to create their own self-directed funds or contribute to the Foundation’s unrestricted fund which provides us with flexibility to respond to emerging needs in our community (described easiest geographically as School District 68).

Culture Neighbourhood Small Grants

You can receive $500 to lead a project that celebrates diversity and builds inclusion in your community.

The 2022 Neighbourhood Small Grants program in Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Cedar, Gabriola Island and Lantzville is culture-themed, with a special focus on celebrating Ukrainian culture and supporting displaced Ukrainians.

Neighbourhood Small Grants are for individuals, not organizations.

Learn more at www.nanaimofoundation.com/neighbourhood-small-grants

We’re hiring!

Communications & Community Engagement Coordinator

Be a part of making a meaningful difference in your community.

Nanaimo Foundation inspires gifts of energy, ideas, time and money to address local needs and make lasting impacts in our community. We are the community foundation of Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Cedar, Gabriola Island and Lantzville. We are connected to our communities and strategically support local charities. At Nanaimo Foundation, we simplify and enhance charitable giving and work with generous donors to build permanent legacies to do good now and forever.

Nanaimo Foundation is seeking a skilled storyteller, communications specialist and relationship builder to support our next phase of growth.

Our ideal candidate enjoys connecting with people and is adept at inspiring others with excellent communication skills. You are up for a challenge, driven by doing work that matters and thrive at setting and delivering on goals. You succeed in a position that offers freedom to work on your own terms and embrace the responsibility that comes with that.

As Communications & Community Engagement Coordinator, you will be an integral member of our small team and will report to and work closely with the Executive Director. You will primarily focus on developing and implementing innovative communications strategies, and secondly engage donors and support the Foundation’s fundraising and grantmaking.

Your responsibilities will include:


  • With guidance from the Executive Director, develop and implement strategic marketing and communications plans
  • Collect story content, including grant recipient narratives, and write grantee and impact stories
  • Write, edit and design marketing and stewardship materials, including requests for support, sponsorship packages, information packages, annual reports and donor impact reports
  • Write and distribute press releases and media advisories
  • Maintain website appearance and content
  • Manage social media
  • Write and distribute newsletters
  • Oversee the production of video content
  • Assist with the creation of the Nanaimo Foundation Vital Signs® report

Fund Development

  • Cultivate and nurture relationships with corporate donors and sponsors
  • Assist with the coordination of the annual Give Where You Live Social fundraising event
  • Organize small donor stewardship events
  • Perform administrative fundraising duties, such as logging donations, issuing tax receipts and maintaining the donor database
  • Handwrite cards to donors and sponsors
  • Occasionally write requests for grants and grant reports for funds received


  • Lead the Nanaimo Foundation Neighbourhood Small Grants program once or twice per year

Skills, knowledge and experience required to succeed as our Communications & Community Engagement Coordinator are:

  • Proven persuasive writing skills
  • Solid interpersonal communication skills
  • Strong relationship building abilities with a demonstrated success in cultivating and maintaining relationships
  • Experience in developing marketing and communications copy
  • Experience in creating and implementing strategic marketing and communications plans
  • Proficient with social media platforms
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Ability to efficiently organize and manage diverse projects while meeting multiple deadlines
  • Thorough attention to all details
  • Ability to collaborate and complete projects independently
  • A willingness to learn

Additional skills, knowledge and experience that would be an asset in this role include:

  • Digital design skills
  • Familiarity with Canva, Mailchimp, WordPress and Adobe Creative Suite
  • Fundraising and/or sales experience
  • An understanding of SEO and Google Analytics
  • Photography and videography experience
  • Community knowledge

Nanaimo Foundation supports employees creating work schedules and work models that work best for them and the organization. We value in-person collaboration and opportunities for employees to successfully manage tasks and responsibilities via remote work.

This position is permanent and 30 hours per week, with a starting salary of $37,500 – $42,600 per year.

Benefits include:

  • Three weeks vacation per calendar year + 15 paid holiday days per calendar year
  • Up to 12 paid sick days per calendar year
  • Health benefits after three months
  • Flexible schedule
  • Optional hybrid in-office and remote work model

Interested candidates are invited to apply by email to [email protected]

Please include a cover letter with your resume clearly explaining why you are the best person for this position to the attention of Laurie Bienert, Executive Director.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early as resumes will be reviewed as they are received.

Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required as a condition of employment. An accommodation will be made as legislated by the BC Human Rights Code.

We thank all who have expressed interest in this position but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Nanaimo Foundation is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion, justice, anti-oppression and Reconciliation.

We are grateful to live and work on the beautiful traditional and unceded lands of the Snaw-naw-as, Snuneymuxw and Stz’uminus First Nations.

Culture Neighbourhood Small Grants

Anyone living in Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Cedar, Gabriola Island and Lantzville can receive a $500 Culture Neighbourhood Small Grant to lead a project that celebrates diversity and builds inclusion.

Magic happens when neighbours connect. It forms friendships, and makes our communities safer and more vibrant. The Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) program helps residents of any age, experience, or background take part in building community.

Learn more here: www.nanaimofoundation.com/neighbourhood-small-grants