RDN to update grants policy to make it easier for applicants

One form and one criteria for all groups regardless of the amount

The Regional District of Nanaimo receives a lot of requests for grants from non-profit organizations throughout the year.

Many of the requests are for more than $5,000 and, when they come in after the budget has been approved, it makes it harder for the RDN to process them in a timely manner.

The RDN is now updating its Grants-in-Aid Program to make the application process more efficient and simpler for the different non-profit groups seeking financial assistance.

A full review of all RDN grant programs in 2018 will be conducted to streamline and standardize the process.

Staff recommended repealing Grants-in-Aid Policy A1.28, which includes criteria for grant eligibility, application form and instructions. It will be replaced with new policy, A1.30, that will see all groups requesting grants use the same application form and have the same criteria for review regardless of dollar amount.

Other changes being proposed include all applications to be received by the end of August in order to be considered. They will be reviewed once per year in September for consideration by the Community Grants Committee, which will take over once the the Grants-in-Aid Advisory Committee has been dissolved.

Only registered non-profit organizations can apply for the grants. They will also be required to reveal information about other grant applications they’ve made.

The board will provide preliminary approval in October and final endorsement when the budget bylaw is passed in March.