In this issue of Working Together 2022, your community foundation is clearly focused on looking ahead. As we begin our second century of service with the community, we recognize and acknowledge the impact COVID-19 has had across Winnipeg, our province, and the world. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to those who have lost loved ones, and are concerned about the numerous effects the pandemic has had on our most vulnerable and those committed charities that serve them.
We have been connecting with Winnipeg’s charitable sector deeply since the pandemic began. Thanks to 100 years of generous donors, The Foundation has been able to provide essential support – $22 million since March of 2020. We are listening to the sector through regular surveying and learning more about the challenges they face as well as potential opportunities. The pandemic has taken a serious toll on the sector’s ability to continue delivering services – whether the result of health protocols, staff burnout, or reduced fundraising streams, Winnipeg’s charitable sector needs our support now more than ever.
Many charities are struggling to hire/rehire staff as demand for their services continues to grow. There is a limited pool of qualified individuals available, and many have resigned due to stress and burnout at the time when they are needed most. Winnipeg’s vulnerable populations are further behind because of the pandemic, and, in addition to financial assistance, mental health supports and integrated community responses are needed.
The sense of uncertainty acknowledged in the charitable sector only adds to the unease; how will we rebuild? how can we meet demands? how can we plan ahead when we can barely react to today’s needs? These are just some of the challenges our community’s charities have shared with us. Along with feelings of being overwhelmed, exhausted, stressed, and stretched, Winnipeg charities are trying hard to navigate these turbulent times.
In our community leadership role, we recognize the immense challenges ahead for Winnipeg’s charitable sector. During the months ahead, as The Foundation develops its next strategic plan, our focus is clearly on how we can support the sector as it rebuilds from the impacts of COVID-19. How can we plan for the future and support our community today, while adapting to the changes all around us – as a city and as a province?
From issues in our own back yard such as diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, to mental health, climate change, and our collective journey on the path to truth and reconciliation, your community foundation is committed and determined to help Winnipeg on this rebuilding journey. For Good. Forever.
Tom Bryk, Board Chair
This story is featured in the Spring 2022 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.