The Flin Flon Neighbourhood Revitalization Corporation (FFNRC) has opened up applications for their 2019/2020 small grant program.
Executive Director of the FFNRC Laurence Gillespie said up to $25,000 dollars could be awarded through the program. He said the group likes to quickly award the money given to them by the province when it is replenished each spring. The goal is to have the money committed by the middle of July.
“Many of the projects we do, they work much better in the summer or during construction season or when people can go outside for events,” Gillespie said.
“Normally, most of the things we fund are usually over by the fall. We’ve had different approaches over the years.”
The FFNRC’s application form says they prioritize funding projects that focus on housing, recreation, wellness and well-being, safety & crime, community capacity, and beautification/image
“[Our] approach in the past two years, has to be very proactive about getting the applications in as soon as possible, and getting the funds committed,” Gillespie said.
“The other benefit of that is if someone gets an application approved in May, or early June, and then something happens and they find out they can’t go through with the project... [We can] sign the money to another worthy project.”
Gillespie said the corporation was founded to help fight poverty in the Flin Flon area, and that affects how they award their money.
“At its heart, the FFNRC was established pursuant to a major anti-poverty initiative established by the provincial government several years ago,” he said.
“So the idea is that anything that benefits from a small grant has to be for the general public. It’s not available for people who are charging admission or are just focusing on a very small group of people. It has to be something so accessible to anyone, no matter what their economic situation.”
Gillipsie said he joined the FFNRC because it gave him a chance to connect to the community. “You certainly see the best side of [the community],” he said.
“You see a lot of very committed volunteers who provide us really neat projects and often achieving really great things on a shoestring budget. So it’s a very heartwarming aspect of the job, that you’re able to help people with something that really can be very beneficial to the community.”
Applications for the small grant program are available in the FFNRC office, and Gillipsie says he is available to help.
“It’s important to realize the small grants process is non-adversarial,” the group’s FAQ reads. “The FFNRC wants community groups to get the money in its small grants fund, and it is not trying to hoard it.”