Give Where You Live Grants: Applications are now open!

As of October 1, 2023, the next Give Where You Live Grants cycle has officially opened for applications.

What are Give Where You Live Grants?

Every year, we provide grants from our Give Where You Live Fund to registered charities serving the communities of Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Cedar, Gabriola Island, and Lantzville. These grants are intended to support projects and programs that are addressing current community needs, particularly those outlined in our 2023 Vital Signs Report.

What types of projects will fit the Give Where You Live Grants guidelines?

Nanaimo Foundation recognizes that the most persistent funding gaps for many local charities are in relation to capital projects and pilot programs. Thus, these represent the entire scope of grants available from the Give Where You Live Fund.

A capital project helps to maintain or improve an asset. Some examples of previous capital projects we have funded through the Give Where You Live program include a washroom renovation, the purchase of a new vehicle, an outdoor classroom, accessibility upgrades, and an electric vehicle charging station. Grants of up to $15,000 are available for capital projects.

Pilot programs are designed to test the effectiveness of a potential full program. A pilot project helps the proponent gain experience and reduce risk on ideas to reveal flaws or to surface new ideas or surprise trends before investing in long-term initiatives. Some examples of previous pilot projects include an art-based program for people living with dementia, conservation lessons for elementary children, and food recovery programs. Grants of up to $10,000 are available for pilot projects.

Click here for more information on eligibility, or contact [email protected].

What is the application process for Give Where You Live Grants?

The first phase of the application process is a letter of intent, which must be submitted to [email protected] no later than November 30, 2023. You’ll hear from us in early 2024 after our Grants Committee has had a chance to meet and review the letters of intent. Organizations selected to proceed to the next phase will be invited to submit a full application and budget. Of those full applications, the Grants Committee will select which charities will receive the grants, with funding going out in the summer. Click here for more information about the application process and timeline.

We look forward to hearing more about the exciting projects in the works this year!

Thank you Doug Johnston

On November 3rd, Doug announced the establishment of the Johnston Family Fund at the Nanaimo Foundation.

Doug has become one of the Foundation’s strongest advocates, in addition to joining the Nanaimo Foundation Community Engagement Committee.

How I Got Involved

My involvement with the Nanaimo Foundation began last spring when I was invited to a presentation by my long time friend and Nanaimo Foundation Board of Director, Tom Harris.

Although I was somewhat aware of the activities of the Nanaimo Foundation, I honestly did not fully appreciate how efficient this organization was. They operate out of donated office space and their administrative costs are extremely low.

I was also very impressed with their flexibility for the donors where they are provided many different alternatives on how their donations are spent.

There are numerous different endowment funds for a diverse number of purposes including the Nanaimo Museum, The Port Theatre and Legacy Funds from the BC Summer Games.

I noticed that all of these various groups are Nanaimo-based and the funds stay in the community.

What I really found exciting was the possibility of establishing my own personal family endowment with a donation of $10,000.

After listening to a presentation by Development Officer, Laurie Bienert, I was convinced and I am pleased to donate $10,000 to the Nanaimo Foundation to establish the Johnston Family Fund.

Laurie requested that I prepare a memo that hopefully, will help explain the tax benefits of donating stocks held outside of your RRSP’s and RRIF’s directly to a registered charity:

Tax Benefits of Donating Stocks


Lee Odgers

Lee is a certified financial planner with Freedom 55 Financial. He’s a born and bred Nanaimoite, raising two children in our beautiful city.

Lee has a strong understanding of the value of charitable giving.

Thank you, Lee for sharing the benefits of Donor Advised Funds with your clients and creating valuable support for arts and culture in our community.

We are grateful for your support of the Nanaimo Foundation!