City and new partners respond to huge demand for Neighbourhood Matching Grant

 
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Demand for the City of Kitchener’s Neighbourhood Matching Grant – which funds resident-led, city supported projects that renew public places and bring neighbours together – has been so overwhelming that the $60,000 previously earmarked for 2018 has been entirely awarded.

New partnerships with Your Neighbourhood Credit Union (YNCU) and the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) are helping to expand this grant program to $85,000 per year for the next 2 years.

YNCU is a cooperative financial institution with roots in the community stretching back to the 1940s. “It was our pleasure and honour to be a sponsor of the initial program that introduced Love My Hood to the residents of Kitchener,” said CEO Kerry Hadad. “We love working with the City of Kitchener, and believe strongly in this program. It only makes sense that we continue that support and connection by contributing to the grants that will make citizen-led projects come to fruition. It’s a continuation of the promise we made to residents many decades ago, and it’s what a good neighbour does.”

“We are thrilled to see so many neighbourhood groups pitch ideas and roll up their sleeves to make positive change in their neighbourhood with the support of our matching grant,” shares Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “We’re equally thrilled to bring on YNCU and KWCF, partners with impressive track records in investing in Kitchener’s neighbourhoods.”

“In March we launched our re-freshed brand, including a vision to make it easy for people to do more good, and a logo that was designed to symbolize the ability for everyone to “make their mark” in the community and leave a lasting impression,” said Elizabeth Heald, President & CEO, Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation. “Supporting the City of Kitchener’s Neighbourhood Matching Grant program aligns perfectly with this strategy because it enables neighbourhood residents to lead and receive funding for initiatives that matter to them.”

In total, we have awarded grants to over 20 different resident groups from across the city. In total, NMG grants have been awarded in nine of the city’s 10 wards including mural projects, traffic calming, street parties and festivals that bring people together as well as seating projects and other structures that enhance neighbourhoods across the city.

About the Neighbourhood Matching Grant

Kitchener’s Neighbourhood Matching Grant was established in 2014 to support resident-led, city support projects in neighbourhoods across the city. In its first three years, ten projects received funding. In February of 2017, the total funding was tripled from $20,000 to $60,000 and the maximum grant amount was tripled from $5,000 to $15,000, resulting in an explosion of interest. In 2017 alone, twelve projects from eight of the city’s ten wards received $58,695 in funding.  

The Neighbourhood Matching Grant accepts applications any time of year, for up to $15,000 per project or a maximum of $2,000 for events. Any group of residents can apply. Ideas must be one-time projects intended for a neighbourhood audience and on accessible public land in Kitchener. Past ideas that have been funded include information boards, cob ovens, murals, painted crosswalks, street parties and plantings.

The city offers its thanks to United Way Waterloo Region Communities for its partnership over the last three years, and looks forward to continuing to partner and invest in Kitchener neighbourhoods in other ways in the coming years.

The Neighbourhood Matching Grant is a key component of Kitchener’s Love My Hood strategy. Love My Hood encourages residents to take the lead in making their neighbourhood great, and the city is committed to supporting them along the way.

To apply for a Neighbourhood Matching Grant, visit lovemyhood.ca. Visit the Ideas and Inspiration section of the City of Kitchener website to read stories of resident-led projects in Kitchener and get ideas of the types of projects that are eligible for this grant.

About Your Neighbourhood Credit Union (Title Sponsor)

At Your Neighbourhood Credit Union, you'll find all the things you'd expect from a bank, plus a few you didn't! We cater to your personal, business or agricultural banking needs, and offer professional wealth management, too. We've got 17 branches in Southwestern Ontario and 3 branches in Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins, plus we’re part of a network of surcharge-free ATMs across Canada. We're 52,000 members strong and growing. Ready for a change? Make the move to Your Neighbourhood! Learn more at www.yncu.com

About the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation (Granting Partner)

The Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) enables people, companies and organizations to do more good by making it easy for fundholders to give and for charities to receive money. When you make a donation to the KWCF, they invest that gift into a permanent endowment fund which generates income that is then distributed through grants to support a wide range of charitable causes within our community. As a leading community-building organization in Waterloo Region, the KWCF is focused on collaborating with partners to identify and meet current and future needs of our community, by enabling social capital and developing creative forward-thinking innovative solutions for place-based philanthropy. 

Media Contacts

Kate Neff
VP, Corporate Communications, Community and Government Relations
519-804-9195
kneff@yncu.com  

Lynne Short
Vice President, Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation
(519) 725-1806 ext. 204
lynne@kwcf.ca