Public dock at Mansons Landing

SRD approves 2021 Cortes Island Grant-in-Aid allocations

CKTZ News, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

For the second year in a row, the SRD Board approved the grant-in-aid allocations recommended by Cortes Island’s non-profit sector. 

Screenshot of Regional Director Noba Anderson

Democratizing the process

“In the last ten years, I have received grant-in-aid applications on my own, adjudicated them as I saw fit and then made those recommendations to the Board. As I am phasing out of politics and really wanting to empower social profits here on the island, last year we experimented with democratizing the selection process. All of the social profits organizations were invited to participate,” explained Regional Director Noba Anderson.

It was a lot of work and “a little too transparent.” (Everyone could see how everybody else was voting, or not voting.) 

SRD Board meeting
Clockwise from top right: Chair Brad Unger, Regional Director Jim Abram, Mayor Andy Adams, Regional Director Noba Anderson, Director Ron Kerr, Mayor Martin Davis, Director Claire Moglove, Regional Director Brenda Leigh (Centre) CAO Dave Leitch – screenshot from video of June 30th meeting

This year’s criteria

This year’s process was more streamlined. 

“I invited organizations to specifically apply for organizational development funds, not core funding or special projects,” explained Anderson. 

More than $56,000 worth of applications came in, but Cortes Island’s Grant-in-Aid allocation is only $25,000.  

This meant that, “If you are going to fund some projects really well, everybody is not going to receive funding.” 

As they evaluated the applications, the selection committee asked questions like:

  • “What’s the history of the organizations success in these kinds of projects?” 
  • “Are they generally prone to collaboration”
  • “Is this an exciting initiative?”
  • “What kind of leverage opportunities does it bring?”
  • “Could it seed self sufficiency into the future?”
  • “Have they received a lot of grant-in-aid funding in the past? If so maybe give it to somebody else.”  

Three of the top four recipients in last year’s selection process – The Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI), Cortes Island Women’s Centre and Linnaea Farm –  were not recommended this year. 

A 2013 event organizer looks out from the Klahoose Administration building – Roy L Hales photo

The 2021 grants-in-aid

The fourth, Cortes Community Economic Development Association (CCEDA), will receive $1,500. 

The Klahoose First Nation will receive what is possibly the largest grant-in-aid ever awarded to a Cortes Island organization. 

“They have only received a grant-in-aid once, I believe – perhaps twice, and their application just really caught the attention of the selection committee.  It was essentially to hire a grant writer, to take advantage of so many funding opportunities available to the nation – but they haven’t had the capacity within their individual departments to go after them. That was a real leverage application,” explained Anderson. 

She added, “From there, we just about fully funded the requests from Folk University and Cortes RadioCortes Housing wants to do a housing survey … to help decide how it can expand its work beyond the Rainbow Ridge project.  CCHA and the (Cortes) museum … are the organizations that know how to write grants and made a great proposal. CCEDA received just a fraction of what it asked for. They had three or four different projects and we funded one of those.”

The Grants in Aid 

i) $1,500 to the Cortes Community Economic Development Association to assist with costs associated with a subscription to the Basecamp;

ii) $2,000 to the Climate Hope, Cortes Chapter to assist with the creation of an on-line community resilience repository information site;

iii) $1,500 to the Cortes Island Museum and Archives Society to assist with costs associated with a facilitated visioning workshop;

iv) $2,500 to the Cortes Island Community Health Association to support staff professional development for the Family Support program and fundraising strategy development for the Family and Youth program;

v) $3,000 to the Cortes Community Housing Society to assist with costs associated with the development of a housing survey to support a new organizational strategic direction;

vi) $2,500 to the Cortes Community Radio Society to assist with costs associated with community wide strategic planning on their role in local emergency/disaster communications;

vii) $10,000 to the Klahoose First Nations to assist with costs associated with a nation-wide strategic grant writer; and

viii) $2,000 to the Cortes Literacy (Folk University Program) to assist with costs associated with Cortes Literacy’s Folk U strategic planning.

Links of Interest:

The public dock at Mansons Landing by Gerry Thomasen via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)