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Credit union amps up new community grant program

Northern Savings’ Inspire Fund to support local initiatives grows from $50K to $75K+
Last year one of the beneficiaries of the Northern Savings Credit Union Inspire Fund was Ecotrust Canada, which received $10,000 to support its efforts to grow fresh produce for people in need and promote community gardening. (Photo: Supplied)

The Northern Savings Credit Union’s Inspire Fund enters its second year at least 50 per cent richer.

The grant program, created last year with $50,000 to support local initiatives that promote “sustainable northern communities” in Prince Rupert, Terrace and Haida Gwaii, will give out $75,000 this year, plus any additional amount generated through its Northern Perks program.

That program will add additional funds up $500 each time a member switches a mortgage over from another financial institution.

“When more people choose Northern Savings for their banking, investment, and insurance needs, the more we can give back to impactful and meaningful projects right here in the North,” said Northern Savings’ president and CEO, Stefan Delloch.

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The program favours applications from not-for-profit organizations and those that benefit the greatest number of people for the longest period of time among other selection criteria.

It tends not to support initiatives outside Northern Savings’ service communities or applications for research, surveys, or studies; Retroactive expenses; Wages; Individuals; Religious or political organizations; or advertising and promotion.

Last year the Inspire Fund supported four projects.

Old Massett Village Council received a grant of $25,000 to create a gathering space and park in Tlaga Gawtlaas.

The Prince Rupert branch of Ecotrust Canada received $10,000 to establish an urban farm to grow fresh produce for those in need and invite community members to plant, grow and harvest local food.

Shames Mountain also received $10,000 for generator heat recovery to reduce greenhouse gasses and operating costs.

The Island Wellness Society in Daajing Giids received $5,000 to fill their freezer to provide pre-cooked meals for new parents while teaching cooking skills and redirecting food waste.

The credit union is now accepting applications for the 2023 program. Proposals for $5,000 up to $75,000 will be considered between now and Sept. 1.

The successful applicants will be announced on International Credit Union Day, which this year falls on Oct. 19.

The Inspire Fund brings Northern Savings’ annual contributions back to the communities it serves to more than $125,000.

The credit union also gives out small grants of up to $5,000 year-round and has a substantial scholarships and bursaries program.

Information on how to apply for all of the credit union’s programs can be found on Northern Savings website.

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Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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