United Way NWT contributing to not-for-profit sector

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The United Way NWT has released a list of non-profit organizations who will receive a grant from their Community Investment Fund.

The Community Investment Fund is given annually to non-profits all over the territory. This year, $165,000 worth of grants are being awarded to 18 not-for-profit organizations that provide important community services.

The organizations will receive between $5,000 – $7,500, which they can use to enhance their services, stated the United Way in a news release on Friday.

Paul Gillard, United Way NWT’s Community Investment Fund chair, said choosing who would receive the grant funding wasn’t easy.

Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife executive director Chelsea Thacker poses for a photo in the coalition’s queer and trans-sexual youth group space on Monday. The rainbow coalition is one of 18 not-for-profit organizations receiving funding from the United Way NWT. Michael Hugall/NNSL photo

“All the applications had strong points and we would have liked to have funded them all,” stated Gillard in the release. “I think the result will be a really positive impact to the communities of the NWT.”

The $165,00 in grant funding was raised last year by the United Way NWT as part of an annual initiative to give back to deserving charities, said the board’s chairperson Tracy St. Denis in the release.

“We are glad that the money raised in 2017 is now in the hands of the NWT organizations most in need,” stated St. Denis.

One lucky recipient is the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife, which will receive $7,500. Executive Director Chelsea Thacker said the grant will be put toward the organization’s queer and transgender youth group as well as their Little Rainbows childcare program.

“It’s a huge help for us to receive this funding,” said Thacker. “Now we can afford to buy toys and go on trips with our clients.”

Thacker added the group will distribute grant funding evenly between both programs with each receiving $3,750.

The Rainbow Coalition operates on an annual budget of $150,000, which comes from grants and fundraising. However, even with the added contribution from the United Way, Thacker said the group will need to raise an additional $45,000 for the Rainbow Coalition to pay for its other expenditures, like employee salaries.

Thacker added additional funding could also ensure the organization would not be competing with other groups like, SideDoor Youth Centre, for grant money.

The other nonprofits who will receive funding are the Association Franco-culturelle de Yellowknife, Children’s First Society, Community Garden Society of Inuvik, Dene Nahjo, Ecology North, Food First Foundation, Foster Family Coalition of NWT, The Hay River Soup Kitchen, Inuvik Food Bank, Inuvik Youth Centre, NWT Literacy Council, Yellowknife Association of Community Living, Yellowknife District Girl Guides, Yellowknife Senior’s Society, Yellowknife Women’s Society, YK Cares and YWCA Healthy Food Box Program.