Rapid Response: Meeting Pressing Community Needs

At a time when the needs of our community are both changing rapidly and in unprecedented ways, it’s crucial that the Jewish Community Foundation is able to react just as quickly in response.

The Foundation is the centre of philanthropy and legacy giving for the Jewish community. Foundation staff work closely with fund holders to establish a fund and develop a plan that matches their interests and philanthropic goals with community priorities and organizations they are passionate about.

Disbursing critical funds into the community is the means through which fund holders’ philanthropic intentions are fulfilled, and community programs and services are strengthened. Unrestricted Funds held at the Foundation are just that: rather than being designated to a specific cause or organization, they are intended to be channeled where they are needed most. These funds provide the Foundation with flexibility to respond nimbly and direct funding to pressing and ongoing needs, as well as to unforeseen, sometimes monumental challenges, such as those we are currently facing during this time of COVID.

The Foundation has the necessary in-depth knowledge of our community to allocate these funds where they will have the greatest impact. Fund holders who establish Unrestricted Funds can be confident that their funds are well managed, and that their distributions are making a difference.

Unrestricted Funds are also dispersed through the Foundation’s annual unrestricted grant program, which enables charitable organizations to acquire financial support to undertake new and innovative initiatives, launch new programs and capital projects, and address new and emerging community needs. Each year, the Foundation accepts proposals from across the community, which are reviewed by the Grant Distribution Committee. Grants are awarded based on selected criteria, including community priority, need and creativity. Read about the diverse initiatives that have been supported over the years here.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have all had to change how we go about our daily lives. The organizations that are integral to our community have adapted to new ways of working and serving community members, and they have done so brilliantly, many with support from Unrestricted Funds. And while the full range of tomorrow’s needs remains uncertain, there is certainty that these funds will continue to provide a source of stable support, enabling the Foundation to address important and urgent community priorities well into the future.

If you would like more information about establishing an Unrestricted Fund, please contact the Foundation’s executive director Marcie Flom at mflom@jewishvancouver.com or call 604.257.5100.