Foundation’s grants support our ‘complex and diverse’ city.
Tracy Graham is VP Finance and CFO of BRR Logistics Limited. She previously worked as CFO of Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries and in advisory and assurance positions at Ernst & Young. She has been fortunate to volunteer for education, arts and environment initiatives. Ms. Graham has been a Winnipeg Foundation Board member and Grants Committee member since 2012, serving as Grants Committee Chair since 2017.
Q: What trends have you seen in Community Grants applications during your time serving on the Community Grants Committee?
The entire program feels different than it did just six years ago. The overall granting environment in Manitoba has changed. We are seeing a higher volume of applications with increased requests. Winnipeg’s awareness of certain challenges has evolved. New community priorities have advanced. The organizations submitting applications are even more sophisticated in their program approaches. It is certainly a very interesting time to be part of the Grants Committees as we look to make impactful grants that when combined provide balanced support for the community.
Q: The Foundation’s Multi-Year Community Grants allows charities to apply for up to three years of funding. Why is this important, and what does this kind of support allow a charity to accomplish that might not otherwise be possible?
When The Foundation decided to pilot the Multi-Year Community Grants program, we expected we would have an opportunity to inject confidence by providing funding stability to programs that are inherently multi-year in nature. We did of course see those applications, and we are proud and excited to play a role in those projects. What we didn’t expect to see was the number of applications focused on capacity building. This is incredibly exciting. A three-year capacity building grant will certainly make a difference in an organization’s strength and sustainability from which the community will benefit for many years after the grant period has ended.
Q: What has been the most satisfying part of serving on the Community Grants Committee?
Prior to joining The Winnipeg Foundation Board, I thought as an engaged member of the community with a role in supporting non-profit organizations through a robust corporate sponsorship program, I was in touch with the issues facing Winnipeggers. I realized quickly how unaware I really was. It was a realization both surprising and humbling for me. I am constantly amazed how connected our Grants staff are to community issues and how they proactively adapt to support a complex and diverse Winnipeg. I feel so fortunate to work with this team of dedicated and knowledgeable grant-makers.
This story is featured in the Summer 2018 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.