District of Squamish plans to delegate the process of awarding grants to non-profits who can then disseminate grant funds in the community.
“The shift to an external service provides a more efficient grant system for the community. Having an external granting system will also allow council and staff to focus their time on other priorities, resulting in more value for the taxpayer,” says a staff report.
The new policy will provide the council with the ability to provide grants in three ways.
It could enter into agreements with chosen not-for-profit groups who can then disseminate the money in the community.
The funding could also be granted directly to community groups during the budget process, in case where Provincial or Federal grants require joint funding from a not-for-profit and the municipality.
In this new policy, the council would also consider grants to community groups who can demonstrate they need the funding even though the deadline to apply may have passed.
The policy calls for grant funding for the following purposes: Arts and culture, community and neighbourhood events, decolonization and reconciliation initiatives, intergenerational programming, neighbourhood connectivity, public space activation, trails maintenance and youth-led initiatives.
According to staff report, not-for-profit community groups have been distributing grant funds to the community for several years and have the ability to disseminate funding effectively and efficiently, as community groups have a more direct connection to their specific sectors.
“Enabling groups to disseminate funding for purposes that relate to their mandate, creates a more proficient granting system,” says the staff report.
Meanwhile, the staff is also proposing an agreement between the DSBIA and the district for events such as Canada Day Parade, Pumpkin Patch in the Park and the Santa Clause Parade.
The district is also planning to reduce fees for community and neighbourhood events and programming. A revised bylaw will be brought forward this September to reduce the cost of space rental.
The council will discuss the proposed changes to the Community Grant Policy at a Committee of the Whole meeting on July 14.