Endow Manitoba, an initiative of the Winnipeg Foundation, was launched in 2018 with a single mandate to advance the sustainability and growth of Manitoba's amazing community foundation network.
With help from the government, they are helping this movement by proclaiming April 26 Community Foundation Day, a day of celebration that recognizes community foundations' impact on community well-being and the generosity of Manitobans.
"15 to 20 years ago, the running thought on community foundations was that they were their community's best-kept secret," said Alan Goddard, vice president of Endow Manitoba. "Now we're recognizing that we're moving away from that. We're seeing community foundations being recognized and celebrated for the amazing work they do."
Manitoba is known for its generosity. Year after year, we are ranked first in the number of people who give and the amount they give to charitable organizations.
"It's no surprise that the community foundation movement, which revolves around charitable giving and generosity, has taken root here," said Goddard.
Manitoba is home to Canada's first community foundation, the Winnipeg Foundation, founded on April 26, 1921. With 57 community foundations and counting, Manitoba is also home to the highest concentrations of community foundations per capita in North America.
"In Manitoba, we do it well. We do it right," said Goddard. "Almost every community is involved in the network."
The work the Manitoba Community Foundation Network has done and its recognition by the Manitoba Government and its proclamation is also being recognized by other jurisdictions in Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan.
"There could be no greater honour than to be recognized for our hard work and generosity."
Here are just a few of hundreds of community foundations that hope to change their areas for the better.
North Norfolk Foundation participated in a community conversation focused on youth in the region. They learned that a lack of daycare within a reasonable driving distance was causing some young people to move away when they started their families. The community has come together to open a new daycare in Austin. The North Norfolk Foundation has been engaged throughout the process and has granted close to $25,000 to date in support of the project.
Neepawa is one of the fastest-growing communities in Manitoba, and the Beautiful Plains Community Foundation was looking for a fun way to bring the community together. They organized a Dancing with the Stars event, and the results were even better than expected! Coaches and dancers included both long-time residents and newcomers from the growing Filipino community. The sold-out final exhibition brought out more than 320 people, raised funds for the community, and fostered new friendships.
Selkirk, Manitoba is located close to Netley Marsh, a crucial ecological feature in Manitoba that is vital to maintaining the water quality of surrounding waters, including Lake Winnipeg. Residents of the Selkirk region understand the importance of our province’s waterways daily, and the Selkirk & District Community Foundation is committed to supporting environmental sustainability. It has supported both the pilot and second phases of the Netley-Libau Marsh Restoration Project.
Carman Collegiate was looking to create a safe and inclusive indoor/outdoor space for students to come together to build positive connections outside the classroom. The goal is to provide a space for mindful reflection and enhanced well-being. The Carman Area Foundation understands the importance of community connection and made a grant of $7,210 to support the project.