Supporting our community during unprecedented times


How the foundation is working with donors to support charities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic on March 11, life as we know it has changed. The Winnipeg Foundation is committed to supporting our community through the pandemic. We recognize many of Winnipeg’s charities are experiencing a decline in donations, lost fundraising revenue, and an uncertain future. At the same time, throughout this ordeal, Winnipeggers have displayed their creativity, resourcefulness and resilience.

On the following pages, we have pulled together COVID-19 coverage that provides an overview of how The Foundation has supported the community during this crisis, that demonstrate the innovative programs

and services provided by charities, that show the generosity of our citizens, and more.

Getting grants to front-line charities

When the pandemic was declared, The Foundation moved quickly to get funding to charities working on the front-line.

The first stage of The Foundation’s response was to distribute COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants for organizations providing basic needs for our community’s most vulnerable. The first Emergency Grants, announced on March 12, distributed $230,000 to 11 charities providing overnight shelters and meal programs.

Between March 12 and May 30, The Foundation distributed more than 120 grants totaling more than $2.5 million. Grants have ranged in size from $2,000 to $100,000 and have supported a variety of charities and needs.

To support the community’s greatest needs, The Foundation collaborated with other funders including United Way of Winnipeg.

A sampling of grants is included on the facing page.

These grants are only possible because of the generous people who support the community through The Winnipeg Foundation.

Federal funding for charities serving vulnerable populations

The Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) is federal funding for charities serving vulnerable populations disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Winnipeg Foundation is working with national umbrella group, Community Foundations of Canada, along with local partners Canadian Red Cross and United Way of Winnipeg. The Winnipeg Foundation has been allocated $1.4 million for this purpose. Applications are online through Community Foundations of Canada’s portal; requests will be reviewed in Winnipeg and decisions will be made at the local level.

Providing stability: A record number of applications

Stabilization Grants are the second stage of The Foundation’s COVID-19 response. Announced May 4, this $6 million grant program will support the short- and medium-term financial needs of local charitable organizations affected by revenue loss and unexpected expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program was open to all Winnipeg-based registered charities, regardless of any current or past grants from The Winnipeg Foundation. It was designed to be as flexible as possible, with a simple application process. Organizations could request a maximum of $50,000 and applications were due June 1, 2020.

The Foundation received a record 303 applications, demonstrating just how many charities are struggling right now. The Foundation will announce results by mid-July.

See the complete list of grants.

This story is featured in the Spring 2020 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.

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