The changes are designed to help the many vulnerable people who are particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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. “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, which includes food banks, shelters, domestic violence supports, hospice, counselling services and others, are opening mid-June 2020, nearly two months ahead of schedule. This change recognizes that many not-for-profit organizations supporting vulnerable populations are facing decreases in donations, a diminishing volunteer base, cancelled programming and increased demand for services during the pandemic.
Other changes to the CGG program provide:
- 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 $5 million capital projects portion of the CGG program is also being adjusted to address some of the financial challenges that organizations are facing due to COVID-19. 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 facilities to support physical distancing, such as installing protective shields and barriers, kitchen reconfigurations, and renovations to expand handwashing and hygiene stations. The province will also give priority to new applicants and increase the amount it covers from 50 per cent to 80 per cent of the total cost of eligible capital projects directly related to COVID-19, up to a maximum of $250,000.
More information about program changes is available online at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/sports-culture/gambling-fundraising/gaming-grants/community-gaming-grants