The annual intake for the 2024 South Cariboo Joint Grants for Assistance program is now open for applications.
The program is funded jointly by the District of 100 Mile House and the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) for electoral areas G, H and L. It is designed to provide assistance for non-profit organizations to help with projects, activities and events to enhance the well-being of the community and promote volunteerism.
In order to qualify for a grant of assistance, applicants must clearly indicate the amount and type of assistance requested and provide evidence of how the applicant benefits the community generally and how the assistance being requested would benefit the community specifically. They also need to provide financial information sufficient to identify all other funding sources and justify the need for financial assistance.
The program came about around 20 years ago, said Mayor Maureen Pinkney who was a director with the CRD at the time of the program’s inception. Back then, buildings and facilities were maintained by volunteers and were in need of a lot of tender loving care but there were no finances to go with them.”
“A lot of non-profit groups found it very hard to make ends meet with increasing costs and stuff,” she said, pointing out that 20 years ago community halls did not get taxation funding. Before that, any money that they needed for heat, light, maintenance, insurance – everything had to come from the volunteers through fundraising, or out of their own pockets.
Pinkney added that these were just regular people volunteering so it could be daunting trying to find large government grants in the system.
As long as an applicant can provide a real need and a balanced budget and show that the money is needed for a legitimate reason, then they will probably be successful.
“We don’t always give the exact amount that people ask. They may say that they need $50,000, well, maybe in our budget we only have $10,000,” said Pinkney. If it is a funding request that benefits everyone, the CRD could fund the additional $40,000.
“So depending on who is applying for what and where their organization is, it may be that the District of 100 Mile and the three rural areas G, H and L combine together to give a grant. Alternatively, the grant could be in the Interlakes area. In that case, the organization might be applying just to that area director.”
There is no grant fund sitting aside to be pulled from. Applications are received early and then once each group knows what they are going to give to the various applicants, the two districts must budget the amounts in to be covered the following taxation year.
“If we think that we’re going to give out a bunch of money to an organization, we’re spending taxpayers’ money so we better really be wanting to do that,” she said.
The deadline for the current intake is Oct. 2, 2023. Applications are available at the Cariboo Regional District offices located at Suite D, 180 North Third Avenue, Williams Lake, or the 100 Mile House office, Unit #3-170 Cedar Avenue, 100 Mile House BC, or on the website www.cariboord.ca and the District of 100 Mile House office located at 385 Birch Avenue 100 Mile House, BC or on the District website www.100milehouse.com.