Adapt grants help charitable sector build stability


Phase three of The Winnipeg Foundation’s COVID response

Winnipeg’s charitable community faces an uncertain future. On top of the lingering impacts of the pandemic, urgent issues such as climate change, social justice causes, and financial insecurities that predate COVID have created an environment of constant change. Organizations have had to continually adjust programming, planning, and operations to comply with evolving health orders, continued and increased demands on community, and staffing challenges, to name just a few.

The Winnipeg Foundation is committed to supporting the sector, and the goal of its Adapt Grants stream is to help organizations build stability in an environment that requires flexibility and creativity.

When the world shut down in March 2020, The Winnipeg Foundation responded to the community need that emerged due to COVID. Emergency Response Grants went out to community organizations on the frontlines, ensuring people had access to food, hygiene items, and health services. The Foundation was able to provide over $5 million in emergency support funds, an amount augmented by generous donor advisors and the federal government.

As the pandemic surged on, The Foundation began planning for the longer term and envisioned three phases of COVID response; emergency, stabilization, and recovery.

Recognizing the drastic financial impact of COVID on the charitable sector, The Foundation provided Stabilization Grants in fiscal 2020 and 2021. These grants helped organizations who were facing a loss in revenues, while simultaneously incurring extra costs by responding to changing health mandates. In total, The Winnipeg Foundation provided $16 million in flexible funding to the sector to help overcome the shortfalls and extra costs caused by the pandemic.

While the world breathed a sigh of relief as vaccines became available and health mandates eased, we are still adapting. In the spring of 2022, The Foundation launched its third phase of response funding, with $4 million for Adapt Grants. Designed for flexibility, the intent of Adapt Grants is to support current and future upheavals by considering diversified revenue streams, building the strength of staff and governance, and supporting adjustments to operations.

Information gathered from the sector informed the focus and design of the Adapt Grants, which will be awarded in June 2022.

This story is featured in the Spring 2022 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.

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