Big Brothers Big Sisters of North and West Niagara is grateful to have received a $110,300 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2020. This grant is helping the agency rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 by developing and executing a new strategic plan to increase and diversify fundraising resources that support essential mentoring programs.
“The Big Brothers Big Sisters organization is a community hub that offers all kinds of incredible services to many children and youth in Niagara,” said Jennie Stevens, MPP for St. Catharines. “Provincial investment into the work being done here means investing in youth services in the community. I am happy to see these funds support making St. Catharines and Niagara more supportive to the youngest and most vulnerable.”
During the pandemic, demand for the agency’s services increased while organizational capacity decreased. The cancellation of in-person events limited the agency’s fundraising revenue and highlighted the need for a new fundraising strategy. This grant has allowed the agency to hire their very first Digital Fundraising Officer, responsible for generating funds through the development of targeted online programs and fundraising initiatives involving new technology to sustain the agency.
“We are extremely grateful to have been able to hire for this position and purchase the platforms and tools we need to survive in this digital world. Now more than ever we need to adapt and take on these new fundraising initiatives in order to support our essential mentoring programs,” said Michelle Miller, Board President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of North and West Niagara. “The impact of this grant cannot be underestimated. The children of North and West Niagara are in need of our services due to their heightened stress from the pandemic. This grant allows us to give these children essential back and forth relationships through a mentor, which will increase their emotional and social strengths to better overcome life’s challenges and adversities.”
Mentoring is an important way to give youth experience with these essential back-and-forth relationships, developing them into healthy young people better
able to deal with and overcome life’s adversities. Children with mentors are more likely to graduate from high school, go to university, get full time employment and have on average higher incomes than those who do not have a mentor. For further information, visit www.bbbsmentors.ca.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit
sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.