Nanaimo Foundation funds community service organizations through the Community Services Recovery Fund

Nanaimo Foundation is proud to have worked with community foundations across Canada as part of the Community Services Recovery Fund. This fund is a collaboration between the Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada, and the Government of Canada to provide funding to Community Service Organizations, including non-profit organizations, Indigenous Governing Bodies or Registered Charities. The Community Services Recovery Fund responds to what Community Service Organizations need right now and supports organizations as they adapt to the long-term impacts of the pandemic.

The Community Services Recovery Fund is a one-time investment of $400 million to help community service organizations (charities, non-profits, Indigenous governing bodies) adapt, modernize and be better equipped to improve the efficacy, accessibility and sustainability of the community services that they provide through the pandemic recovery and beyond.

Community Foundations of Canada supported projects that were intended to upgrade Systems and Processes. Nanaimo Foundation received over $450,000 to support organizations in our region.

Nanaimo Foundation is proud to help support the long-term COVID-19 recovery in our community with the Community Services Recovery Fund. This investment will be transformational in strengthening the internal systems and processes of nine local community service organizations, which include charities based in the arts, youth services, food security, and healthcare, and an Indigenous governing body. The grants will help these organizations continue providing vital services and programs in our community.

Daniel Martinez, Nanaimo Foundation Board Chair

The following projects are being supported by Nanaimo Foundation:

$85,338 was invested to fund People for a Healthy Community on Gabriola Island Society for a new contact data management system.

$38,301 was invested to fund Nanaimo Youth Services Association to build a new cloud system that will connect staff and clients.

$18,720 was invested to fund Loaves and Fishes Food Bank to build a new website.

$82,600 was invested to fund Port Theatre Society to automate their IT process.

$15,550 was invested to fund Nanaimo Blues Society to update internal systems and processes.

$10,500 was invested to fund Nanaimo International Jazz Festival to build a new website homepage and revamp social media.

$30,500 was invested to fund Vancouver Island Symphony to develop a 2023-2027 Strategic Plan.

$100,000 was invested to fund Snuneymuxw First Nation to implement HRIS System and Records Management.

For more information, visit Community Services Recovery Fund.

Neighbourhood Small Grants applications are open!

Summer 2023 Neighbourhood Small Grants Cycle Begins

Our 2023 Neighbourhood Small Grants cycle is well underway, and we are receiving many creative and exciting applications on a daily basis. Our Neighbourhood Small Grants committee looks forward to reviewing each one!

Applications are open until June 5, 2023.

What is Neighbourhood Small Grants?

Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) are grants of up to $500 for projects that will connect people with their neighbours. Each year, we see so many creative project ideas from little libraries to block parties! Since these are grants, you do not need to pay them back.

These grants are for individuals, not charities. You must live in Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Lantzville, Cedar, or Gabriola Island to apply to our stream of NSG. Many other communities offer NSG, but their application dates will vary.

If you have an idea for an NSG application, visit the link below for more information and to apply!

Enjoy an evening of storytelling with Roy Henry Vickers

The Nanaimo Regional General Hospital invites you to join us April 12th for a special evening of storytelling with artist and author Roy Henry Vickers to support our Newborn Literacy Program, Roots to Read.

Established in March 2022, the Roots to Read program was implemented by perinatal staff as part of caregiving teaching to promote and support an understanding of the importance of early childhood literacy. The Roots to Read book bag includes 2 carefully curated new books, educational cards, tips for parents with babies and information about local library access. This program is fully dependent on donations, and 100% of all donations will go directly to funding the program.

As an added bonus, Nanaimo Foundation is matching donations made to the Roots to Read program up until April 12th (up to $10,000). If you are unable to attend the event in person, this is a great way to contribute to the program and double your donation.

Event details:

WHEN: April 12, 2023 at 6:30pm

WHERE: Nanaimo Golf Club

International Women’s Day 2023 Social & Fashion Show

Join us at the 6th Annual International Women’s Day Social!

It’s going to be a great evening full of empowering energy in a beautifully supportive and loving environment. this year we are bringing you a FASHION SHOW! The show will feature clothing and apparel from an array of amazing local women-owned shops.

Where: Nanaimo Golf Club

When: March 8th, 2023 at 7:00pm PST

Ticket Options:
• General Ticket: $50 each; includes welcome prosecco, cocktail hour & after-party.
• VIP Ticket: $75 each; includes welcome prosecco, cocktail hour & after-party PLUS front row fashion show seat + glass of prosecco during fashion show.
*** A charitable tax receipt will be issued for each ticket purchased***

Proceeds go towards helping women & girls in our community.

Funds will flow through our Nanaimo Sisterhood Fund, held at the Nanaimo Foundation.

Applications now open: Canada Services Recovery Fund

Nanaimo Foundation takes part in the Community Services Recovery Fund – a $400 million investment in charities and non-profits 

Now more than ever, charities and non-profits are playing a key role in addressing persistent and complex social problems faced by all Canadians. The Community Services Recovery Fund is a $400 million investment from the Government of Canada to support charities and non-profits as they focus on how to adapt their organizations for pandemic recovery.

Nanaimo Foundation is proud to be working with community foundations across Canada as part of the Community Services Recovery Fund. This fund is a collaboration between Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada, and United Way Centraide Canada to provide funding to Community Service Organizations including non-profit organizations, Indigenous Governing Bodies and Registered Charities located in Canada. The Community Services Recovery Fund responds to what charities and non-profits need right now and supports organizations as they adapt to the long-term impacts of the pandemic.

Community Service Organizations can apply from January 6, 2023, until February 21, 2023.  Visit to find out more about how to apply, explore resources for applicants, and sign up for upcoming webinars.

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

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).