Demand for funding from the United Way/FCSS partnership fund has returned to more typical levels.

The FCSS advisory board was faced with some tough decisions this year when requests were 50 per cent higher than the funds available to disperse. Twelve community organizations were seeking a total of $144,714.65 and $94,500 was available.

Each application undergoes an intensive review process by the FCSS advisory board before determining where the funds are allotted.

Essential needs (food, clothing and shelter) and mental health were identified as top priority. Rather than partially fund all applications, the board instead fully funding the groups that were meeting the essential need of the community and focused on improving the priority needs that they received.

"We recognize that the needs of our community are growing and the FCSS is committed and focused on increasing our funding impact. Every dollar that we fundraise stays in Cochrane, which allows us increased grant funding to distribute to the social agencies that are working so hard to meet the needs of our community."

The United Way of Calgary and Area contributed $65,621, FCSS provided $20,000.

An additional $8,879 was raised from the fun summer event Give a Little Love that featured a wildly popular dunk tan, family games, BBQ, and resource people from agencies supported by the fund. Circle June 21st on your calendar for its return.

Funding was awarded to:

  • Big Hill Haven (Aftercare): $10,000
  • Cochrane & Area Victim Services (Volunteer Recognition and Training): $9,500
  • Cochrane Immigrant Services Committee (Immigrant Resources & Support), $10,000
  • Cochrane Society for Housing Options (Housing Resource Workers) $15,000
  • Helping Hands Society of Cochrane and Area (Food Security Programs), $22,000
  • Right Hand Support (Phase 2 Expansion), $7,000
  • Cochrane Public Library (Teen After Hours), $3,000
  • Seniors for Kids Society (Senior Mentoring Project), $18,000

Four funding applications were turned down from the Seniors on the Bow, Variety, Wayfinders Wellness Society and Wazin Ichinabi Ti.

It was an abnormally last year to have enough funds to cover the entire $81,532 requested by nine local organizations.

In 2022, 13 organizations sought a total of $148,138 when $113,500 was available. It was similar in 2021 when 13 organizations sought $156,675 in funding from a pool of $120,000.

FCSS chair Theresa Bolton calls the long-term partnership incredibly successful. It simplifies the process for organizations to one application to receive the streams of funding.

"It increases efficiencies by having the FCSS advisory board delegated the authority to make funding recommendations on behalf of both parties, and the different mandates of FCSS and United Way allow us to support a wide range of social organizations."

FCSS supports projects that are preventative in nature that support and encourage volunteerism in collaboration to address community needs. The United Way supports projects that keep residents safe from abuse and assist our vulnerable populations.