On Thursday May 20, 2010, The Real Estate Foundation hosted the first event in its"Breakfast Serial"; it was called Helping Non-Profits Navigate Their Funding Options. The two-hour gathering brought together over 250 grant seekers with seven funding agencies in a panel discussion and networking session. The non-profit organizations in attendance represented a range of sectors— such as social services, the arts, sport, environment, and non-profit housing—while the grant makers represented varying mandates and a total grants budget of $34 million for the 2010 fiscal year.
The dialogue began with funders sharing how they make their funding decisions, what are their funding priorities, and how non-profits can access their monies. Then the panel took questions from grant seekers who wanted to know how they could increase the likelihood of their grants being approved. It proved to be a valuable opportunity for grant seekers and foundations to communicate some of the challenges non-profit organizations face in accessing funds.
The overwhelmingly positive feedback is a testament to the need for this type of discussion and has set a precedent for similar events in the future. Other regions in BC have already approached the Real Estate Foundation about hosting dialogues in their communities and creating opportunities for grant seekers to approach grant makers directly about how they can tap into their funding pots. The Real Estate Foundation looks forward to continuing to work with partner agencies to facilitate greater collaboration between grant seekers and funding agencies so that both can better fulfill their mandates.