Eight non-profits to benefit from funds raised at Swift Current United Way gala
Eight non-profit organizations will benefit from funds raised at the Swift Current United Way’s 4th annual Foundation of Hope gala.
The goal is to raise $75,000 at this year's gala to support community programs that will make a difference in the lives of families and individuals.
Swift Current United Way announced the eight benefactors, Sept. 21. The event was attended by representatives from the organizations as well as the presenting sponsors (Pattison Agriculture, Standard Motors) and gold sponsor (Vision Care Clinic).
“Once we go through the grant process and our external grant committee go through it and finalizes the successful applicants, we always like to publicly release that so that those coming to the gala as well as community members who have been supporting United Way throughout the year are aware of the non-profits and community programs that are going to be benefitting directly from the Foundation of Hope gala,” Swift Current United Way Executive Director Stacey Schwartz said.
Nine non-profit organizations submitted grant applications to the Swift Current United Way. Their submissions were reviewed by an external grant committee.
“We have wide representation from various organizations and businesses that come and sit on our committee and help us select the eligible applicants,” she said.
Applicants have to be registered with Canada Revenue Agency as a nonprofit. The grant committee considers the sustainability of the organization and the proposed program for which funds are requested, as well as the social issues that will be impacted. There are specific criteria on what the grant funding can be used for.
“It has to be towards the program funding and expenses related to that to have that program operate,” she said. “So they have to be able to show in their request how they're going to utilize those funds for 2019. As well, we do follow-up and this year we actually released a report in March for our yearend community impact report. So we do follow up with them as well, just how they did to utilize the funds.”
Various changes were made to the funding grant conditions during the past four years, including a $10,000 limit on the maximum amount that can be requested by an organization.
“Before we never used to have a maximum amount,” Schwartz noted. “We would have everything from a $60,000 request to a $2,000 request, and we just couldn't justify allotting that amount of funding in one area versus the greater impact if we can give $10,000 to say each organization and just really being able to support each of them to the best of our ability.”
These changes and the reporting requirements for the community impact report are aimed at ensuring transparency with regard to the use of funds.
“It's important for our donors to have that transparency and for those who come to the gala and support it to see that it's worth their time and their funds that they're investing,” she said. “I think transparency nowadays is even more a priority than it has ever been. People are demanding that more and more to know and see the impact of where their funds are being utilized. So we just want to make sure that there's that confidence and that integrity to our donors, to the people that are supporting the United Way and the fundraiser that we do, the Foundation of Hope.”
Ticket sales for the gala have been really good and only a very limited number are still available. There are some changes for this year's event to increase fundraising.
“We're doing all of our silent auction online,” she said. “So even those who can't be in attendance can still bid and support it that way.”
The gala will also include an after party with a live performance by country musician Blake Berglund. The all-inclusive tickets for the gala includes a three-course dinner and the after party, but now there is another option of buying tickets for just the after party, which will start at 10 p.m.
“So it's another way that people can get involved, because we do recognize we have limited seating for the event and we typically sell out a month or so before,” she explained. “It's for people who maybe missed their chance to attend the full evening, but they can still take part, at least even come celebrate with us the success of that evening.”
Below are the eight organizations that will benefit from this year’s gala and the projects that will be funded:
Canadian Mental Health Association (Meal program; Education, life skills and social/recreational program), Canadian National Institute for the Blind (Enhancing quality of life programming - peer support; Summer day camps, Employment boot camp), Family Resource Centre, SaskAbilities (Community inclusion program), Swift Current Community Youth Initiative – The Center (Hot meal program for youth), Southwest Crisis Services (Community outreach program), Southwest Homes (Vocational transportation program; Additional supports program), United Way Active Play (After school program).
The eight non-profit agencies that will benefit from the Swift Current United Way's 4th annual Foundation of Hope gala were announced at a media event, Sept. 21. From left to right, Stacey Schwartz (United Way executive director), Mark Plewis (Standard Motors), Anne Ford and Kimberly Bilanski (Family Resource Centre), Jayda Watson (SaskAbilities), Lana Stangland (Southwest Homes), Jacqui Williams (Canadian Mental Health Association Swift Current), Kayla Gornick (United Way Active Play), Brenna Ekstrand (Southwest Crisis Services), Nathan Wiebe (The Center), Dr. Tricia Holliday (Vision Care), Arthur Ward (Pattison Agriculture).