By Emily Stonehouse
If you’re a not-for-profit in the community, this may be your time to receive a little extra support as you dive into your year ahead.
The Haliburton County Development Corporation (HCDC) has once again launched their annual Local Initiatives Program, or LIP for short. “This grant is all about what people need in the community, and some great ideas,” said Heather Reid, the program and operations coordinator at HCDC. “We try to keep it broad so that it’s open to as many organizations as possible.”
The purpose of the LIP program is to support community economic development by funding unique projects that showcase the breadth of initiatives and ideas across the region. Last year, HCDC provided funding to organizations such as the Minden Food Centre, Abbey Retreat Centre, Canoe FM, Minden Pride, and the Kushog Lake Property Owners Association to name a few. “We usually receive between 25 to 30 applications,” said Reid, “and we try to fund as many of them as we can.”
Pulling from a pot of $60, 000 this year, the funding for the projects stems from the interest earned on loans HCDC provides to the community. “So we do charge interest on our loans,” said Reid, “but then that money is all cycled right back into the community.”
Aside from being a registered not-for-profit organization, there is really no rhyme or reason when it comes to who can apply for the funding. “The only time we had specific focus for the grant was when it was covid related, but now, anything goes,” said Reid.
This includes performances, studies, community activities, gardens, and more. Reid also noted that there is no bias when it comes to organizations applying year over year. “As long as you have a creative project, that’s all that matters,” she said.
Reid understands that in the not-for-profit world, applying for grants can be a full time job. That’s why she wanted to get the word out that HCDC is there to provide support throughout the entirety of the application process.
“You can reach out to us anytime,” she said. “Most of the time, we do see the majority of applications before they come in. Then we can help tweak them where needed, and find the ways they are most likely to receive that funding.”
The deadline to get full feedback on the application is March 5, 2024, with the final application deadline of March 11. If you are interested in applying, contact Heather Reid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The unique thing about the LIP program is that it can act as a catalyst for so many great community projects,” she said. “It’s all just about that really great idea.”