What We Do
With a focus on philanthropy, grants, and leadership, our vision is a healthy and vibrant West Vancouver, where everyone is valued, contributes and feels they belong. The West Vancouver Foundation has been bringing people and projects together to create impact and change since 1979. Together, we are building a vibrant and caring community and exploring new ways to collaborate for community impact.
For donors, the West Vancouver Foundation offers expert assistance in learning more about the causes you care about, and the ability to make positive and lasting change by contributing with others who share similar interests. To the community at large, the foundation offers a permanent, growing source of funds for community projects and scholarships.
Energized by the collective generosity of nearly 450 donors, the West Vancouver Foundation has accumulated net assets in excess of $13 million since our inception in 1979. In 2017, together with our donors, we awarded $500,000 in grants to support more than 50 charitable programs in our community. In the past ten years, we have increased grant dollars to charities by 600% and grown the number of grants by 130%.
Our Commitment to Strengthening Relationships with Indigenous Communities
The West Vancouver Foundation understands the importance of acknowledging that the land on which we live and work is the unceded traditional territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations and we are grateful for the opportunity to do so. Acknowledging territory shows recognition of and respect for Indigenous people – both past and present. Recognition and respect are essential elements of establishing healthy and reciprocal relations, which are the key to working towards reconciliation.
The West Vancouver Foundation is committed to working together with our community towards a shared goal of reconciliation and we are committed to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We have signed onto the The Philanthropic Community’s Declaration of Action, and we are members of The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Our work includes a focus on funding and supporting projects related to reconciliation, and convening dialogue among our staff, Board and community about how to strengthen relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in a good way through our work.
About Community Foundations
Community foundations continue to be one of the largest contributors to Canadian charities and non-profits. Community foundations are public charitable organizations dedicated to improving communities. Foundations fulfill this mandate through gifts of all sizes that are pooled and permanently invested. The interest earned from these endowments generates a sustainable source of income to support local charitable projects through grants.
The West Vancouver Foundation is a proud member of Community Foundations of Canada. Community Foundations of Canada is the Canadian movement for community vitality together with 191 community foundations across the country. We are connected by a national network to help Canadians invest in building strong and resilient places to live, work and play.
Grantmaking Story: Be the Bear - Celebrating the Greatness of Us
In the true spirit of ‘celebrating the greatness of us,’ the West Vancouver Foundation helped to facilitate the community of funders of Caulfeild Elementary’s Welcome Figure. The students and teachers at Caulfeild Elementary School have been intentionally creating deeper connections to Indigenous learning with the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nation for a number of years. Read more about their story here.