British Columbia is making changes to its Community Gaming Grants (CGG) program with the intent to help nonprofit organizations facing hardships in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic adapt and continue providing vital services.
“The pandemic has highlighted the critical role that not-for-profit organizations play in supporting people in communities across B.C. and now more than ever, we all need to work together to ensure they can meet the increased need for services people are relying on,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a statement from the province. “The changes we’ve made to the Community Gaming Grants program will help organizations during these unprecedented times, so that British Columbians can continue to receive the services that improve their quality of life, support local needs and keep our communities strong.”
Applications for the human and social services sector are opening mid-June 2020, nearly two months ahead of schedule. Organizations in this sector include food banks, shelters, domestic violence supports, hospice, and counselling services, among others.
Other changes to the CGG program include:
- flexibility in requirements;
- the ability to include new programs in an application to respond to COVID-19 specific needs; and
- guidance on how to apply for grants given current uncertainty about whether programs such as annual fairs may be postponed or cancelled.
The capital projects portion of the CGG program, a total of $5 million in funding, is also being adjusted to address some of the current financial challenges of organizations. Funding for 2020-21 will prioritize capital project applications that are facing increased demand for services due to the pandemic, as well as organizations that need to make modifications to their facilities to support physical distancing.
The province will also give priority to new applicants and increase the amount it covers from 50 to 80 per cent of the total cost of eligible capital projects directly related to COVID-19, up to a maximum of $250,000.