PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The Bulkley Valley Community Foundation (BVCF) was founded in 1990 as a philanthropic organization that serves citizens and community organizations located in the Bulkley Valley.
The purpose of this Strategic Plan is to outline where the BVCF will focus its efforts over the next five years, and the factors that will influence the management and granting of the funds it stewards.
The BVCF has played a quiet but integral role in the development of philanthropy in the Bulkley Valley over the past thirty years. On an annual basis it grants thousands of dollars to local organizations to help them provide programs and services that benefit a wide variety of citizens and interests. Additionally, it provides learning awards that enable youth and adult learners to pursue educational endeavours at every level.
The BVCF has grown its investments slowly and steadily for many years. In 2018, Fritz Pfeiffer donated over one million dollars to the learning awards fund, which began a period of significant investment activity and growth for the Foundation. The BVCF has seen a $2.17 million increase in its fund since 2018, which represents a 290% increase in just two years.
At the same time this exponential growth was taking place, the world entered a period of instability spurred by geo-political unrest, climate and resource conflict, equity and diversity divisiveness, and the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.
The pandemic had immediate impacts on our communities. Most notably, the food banks saw a rapid increase in demand for food. Additionally, some of our grantees of learning awards delayed their enrolment as a result of quarantine restrictions and uncertainty. Community service groups were unable to complete projects or apply for new funding, as quarantines kept people from gathering in groups.
In 2020 the Foundation received flow-through funds from the Federal government to help address Covid-related need, which broadened the scope of our traditional role and also raised awareness of the Foundation in the communities we serve. The pandemic also provided a stark reminder of the important role we play in our communities and how we must be prepared to adapt and change in a timely manner.
AREAS OF COMMUNITY FOCUS
Under its bylaws, the BVCF has defined fields of interest for grant making, including community, cultural, fine arts, education, social and family, sports and recreation, youth and health. Within these fields, the areas of focus in this strategic plan are intended to be responsive to specific needs and opportunities in the community identified by the Board. While these areas of focus will guide decision-making, the BVCF maintains discretion to respond to other community needs on a case-by-case basis.
COVID-19 PANDEMIC RECOVERY:
The COVID-19 pandemic has had wide-ranging impacts across all Bulkley Valley communities. These impacts have disproportionately affected marginalized communities. The BVCF will contribute to building back better and to strengthening the capacity of local communities to face future emergencies.
EQUITY FOR ALL:
Bulkley Valley communities are bound together by a sense of place, but some residents still live on the margins and face greater challenges than others. The BVCF will contribute to making our communities more open and inclusive for individuals and groups that have been marginalized, have been made to feel unwelcome, or face disproportionate challenges in accessing services or support.
Bulkley Valley communities are made up of diverse groups with distinct histories that must now face the future, together. The BVCF will contribute strengthening the social fabric of our community through bridge-building among historically divergent groups and perspectives in a spirit of mutual respect, co-existence and understanding.
The effects of climate change are already being felt in the Bulkley Valley and will pose growing challenges to local communities in the years ahead. The BVCF will contribute to practical and tangible local solutions that help Bulkley Valley communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.
LEARNING AND LITERACY:
Education and literacy open doors for local residents, expanding their abilities to contribute to thriving communities. The BVCF will support learning opportunities and literacy among Bulkley Valley residents of all ages, from infants to seniors.
RECREATION AND WELLNESS:
The Bulkley Valley’s abundant natural amenities and existing recreational facilities offer countless opportunities for residents to stay healthy. The BVCF will contribute to enhancing these opportunities and making them accessible for all residents.
These areas are not discrete or mutually exclusive categories; they are thematic and connect and overlap in many ways. The BVCF will place a particular focus on supporting organizations and projects that aim to make meaningful, tangible, and durable change for the better at the intersection of these areas in Bulkley Valley communities. These areas will guide and inform the BVCF’s decision-making.
AREAS OF INTERNAL FOCUS
SECURING UNRESTRICTED FUNDS:
The needs of Bulkley Valley communities continue to change, and the BVCF’s ability to continue to support communities requires a flexible framework for fund management and grant-making. Building off the strength of its learning awards program, the BVCF will focus fundraising efforts on unrestricted funds.
BUILDING A GIVING NETWORK:
There are numerous local organizations committed to supporting good work across Bulkley Valley communities. The BVCF will lead efforts to explore opportunities for these organizations to improve awareness of one another’s priorities and, where common goals exist, to collaborate and develop partnerships that maximize beneficial community outcomes.
SOLIDIFYING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES:
The BVCF will review and update its policies and procedures to ensure its governance and administrative process continue to enable it to be focused, efficient and responsive to community needs.
COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING:
As the BVCF’s endowment has grown, so has its profile. The BVCF will develop and implement a comprehensive communications strategy that modernizes the BVCF’s communications materials and methods to improve awareness of its work in the community, make it easier for community organizations to engage with the Foundation, and attract new donors.
The BVCF will assess its capacity to deliver positive outcomes from its growing funds, and will proactively address capacity gaps through learning opportunities for Board members and staff, and targeted Board recruitment.
Each March, the Board will review the Annual Report and will develop an Annual Operating Plan that identifies specific activities and projects to implement this Strategic Plan.