Fall Newsletter

What Your Community Foundation Does

Formed in 1979, the West Vancouver Foundation understands the North Shore – from local issues and needs, to people and non-profit organizations doing the work to improve quality of life at the community level. We believe in a future that is bright, just and sustainable with the resources to ensure a vibrant quality of life for generations to come. As a leader in community-based philanthropy, we work with individuals, families and charities for maximum community impact, right here in North & West Vancouver.

Understanding, assessing and spot lighting the areas of greatest need in our community are at the core of who we are. Our primary granting programs support non-profits that serve the North Shore. Our volunteer Community Grants committee uses an impact model to assess applications from North Shore non-profits, resulting in support ranging from $500 for Micro Grants, up to $15,000 for Transformation Grants. We also have a Neighbourhood Small Grant program for residents of West Vancouver.

Granting Impact

To date this year, over 50 grants totaling more than $360,000 have been issued to non-profits supporting the North Shore, as well as 25 Neighbourhood Small Grant projects and 25 Scholarships. The key grant impact areas are:

• Health, Wellness and Safety
• Youth and Education
• Arts, Culture and Heritage
• Sport and Recreation
• Environment

$360,000 granted to the community this year

Donor Story

Ron and Barbara were long-time West Vancouver residents who loved the community and enjoyed many organizations and facilities supported by the West Vancouver Foundation. In 2013 the Ron and Barbara Howard Memorial Fund was established for the purpose of encouraging and enabling cycling and the arts in West Vancouver. Since then, multiple grants have been made from their fund including the purchase of a trishaw and cargo trailer for the ‘Cycling Without Age’ program which provides free rides for mobility challenged people, mostly seniors, along multi-use trails and low traffic roads on the North Shore. 


Philanthropy is defined as ‘the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the donation of money to good causes.

These past two years have seen significant increases in need on the North Shore and our local charities have stepped up to offer more
and expanded programs. At the Foundation, we have been able to offer new granting programs such as COVID Relief Grants and our Give
Where You Live program, thanks to donations from community members.


Our Vital Signs report uses local knowledge to measure the vitality of our community and support action towards improving collective
quality of life. The West Vancouver 2022 Vital Signs report reflects the input of over five hundred North Shore residents who shared
their unique perspectives and impressions through survey answers and open-format comments. Their responses provide a snapshot of life now, including pressing issues and hopes and dreams for the future.


Our leadership programs support capacity building and impact leadership for organizations doing charitable work. When COVID first hit, all charities were greatly impacted. WVF offered a free, online ‘Leadership Lab’ series that covered a variety of topics that were important to non-profits.

In 2021 we introduced the Thriving Non-Profits program that supports non-profit organizations to investigate and develop multiple revenue streams so they can plan for the future, navigate financial
ups and downs, and increase their mission impact.

The 2022 cohort included:
Capilano Community Services Society
Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention
Centre of BC
Disability Alliance BC
Dundarave Festival of Lights Society
North Shore Community Resources
Rise Women’s Legal Centre
Sea Smart
Water Rangers

Congratulations to this year’s participants! We can’t wait to see your projects come to life.

youth who care

The Youth Philanthropy Council (YPC), is a passionate group of West Vancouver students dedicated to developing leadership and next-gen philanthropy through youth-led grant making and volunteerism.

$26,000 granted to youth non-profits 2020-2022

Grant Story

On June 8th the Youth Philanthropy Council hosted one of their ‘Youth Who Care’ evenings. In recognition of Indigenous Peoples Month, presentations were made from three Indigenous charities – Red Fox Healthy Living Society, ACCESS and Urban Native Youth Association. Thank you to the groups that presented and for providing such vital services, and thank you to the 50+ youth that attended!

What You Can Do

Community foundations exist to improve the quality of life in communities and to inspire and steward local philanthropy for local benefit. Every donor’s experience is unique. Some may want to take a deep dive into philanthropy and are seeking a highly participatory experience. Some are looking to the future and are interested in understanding how to leave a legacy. Sometimes there is a significant financial event with tax implications requiring a more complex gift. We have flexible options that can help you make maximum impact, while supporting the needs right here in our community.

We have over 100 funds with many different areas of interest or purposes. You can donate to any of these funds one-time or on a monthly basis. To help support grants made from our annual Community Grants program, donate to our Caring Community Fund.

If you are looking to make a more significant gift, consider opening your own fund. The fund can be opened with a specific purpose or area to support, or you can be active in deciding where to grant to by opening a Donor Advised fund.


Create a fund today and fund it through your estate when that time comes. It’s a way of ensuring the causes you care about are supported beyond your lifetime. In addition, you can change the charities you want the fund to support at anytime without having to update your Will. A Memorial Fund can be opened to celebrate and honour someone close.

In January 2022, West Vancouver residents Caroline Helbig and Michael Sharp were tragically killed in an accident during a windstorm. Their close family and friends opened a Memorial Fund and close to $40,000 has been raised. Funds will be used to fund scholarships and local projects, as a legacy to this couple’s enduring spirit and community contributions.


In 2019, long time West Vancouver residents and philanthropists, Ian and Rosemary Mottershead opened their Fund at WVF. In 2021, 22 grants were made from this fund to organizations supporting those on the North Shore such as West Van Marine Rescue, North Shore Stroke Recovery, Feed the Need Meal program and North Shore Rescue.

“For some years, we had been observing the West Vancouver Foundation, with growing confidence in their leadership and management. Our objective in establishing the Ian & Rosemary Mottershead Funds is to have them support charitable giving in the areas of interest that previously we would have done ourselves.”

Written with gratitude on unceded traditional territories of the of the xwməθkwə ̓yəm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.