May 22/20 Written by Chris Halliday – Orangeville Banner-

A community group that invests donations made by the community and sends earnings back to local charities is making $100,000 available to organizations impacted by COVID-19.

Through a new partnership with Community Foundations of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross, the Dufferin Community Foundation is accepting applications from local charities in need of relief due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Funded by the Government of Canada’s $350-million Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF), up to $100,000 will be made available to charities in the Orangeville, Shelburne and Dufferin County area.

The federal ECSF program aims to support vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The Dufferin Community Foundation is one of 150 local community foundations across Canada to take part.

“This is a vital step in the fight against COVID-19,” said foundation president Gord Gallaugher. “Local charities and non-profit organizations have been working tirelessly to support those who need it most right now.

“This additional funding is a much-needed boost to their efforts. We’re looking forward to flowing funds quickly to ensure no one in our community is left behind.”

Starting on May 19, the Dufferin Community Foundation began accepting applications for funding from eligible organizations.

Grants can be used for a variety of purposes, including staffing or resource needs, purchase assistance and more.

Funding will be issued on an ongoing basis through July 2020. Charities and community organizations are invited to visit the Dufferin Community Foundation website for eligibility and application details.

“We’re grateful for the leadership of local community foundations like the Dufferin Community Foundation, who have been at the forefront of local response efforts since the pandemic was declared,” said Andrea Dicks, president of Community Foundations of Canada.

“Thanks to the Government of Canada’s contribution, our network will be able to unlock even more local impact for organizations serving Dufferin County.”

WHAT IS THE DUFFERIN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION?

The Dufferin Community Fund is a registered charity created by and for the people of Orangeville, Shelburne, Mono, Grand Valley, Mulmur, Melancthon, Amaranth and East Garafraxa. Its goal is to help local charities by creating new sources of funding for them.

“We encourage philanthropy of all kinds in Dufferin,” the foundation’s website states. “We act as champions for issues that matter and direct grants to everything from shelter, education, care for those in need, the environment, recreation and the arts, and more.”

There are more than 80 organizations fundraising to support their social and community services work in Dufferin County. That doesn’t even include any churches or sports associations.

The result of these scattered efforts — just think fundraising in silos — is that many worthy causes go unfunded in Dufferin. Many vital programs also remain underfunded or extremely difficult to run.

“Traditional forms of fundraising are experiencing diminished returns for all but the very high-profile organizations in need, the environment, recreation and the arts, and more,” Gallaugher previously told The Banner.

“Community foundations level the playing field, offering equal access to a new pool of funds for all charitable work — for large and small charities, established or startup — for so long as there is a need.”

For more information, visit dufferincommunityfoundation.ca or email info@dufferincommunityfoundation.ca.