This opportunity for engagement is now closed; however, staff are working on implementing the recommendations that resulted from the feedback received.
Thank you to the representatives from all of the local organizations who took the time to share their input with us. Click here to read the online survey report.
In mid-March 2020, the Business and Local Economy Task Force was convened as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the purpose to address emergent issues and needs of the local business, cultural, and non-profit sectors. In early April, a small sub-group was formed to investigate and analyze issues unique to New Westminster non-profits (which includes those related to arts and culture, social service, recreation, education, and others).
This investigation and analysis included a needs-assessment survey, focused interviews/case study research, and a facilitated session with sub-group members to develop strategies and tactics to support the non-profit community.
The City’s survey provided insights into the status of New Westminster non-profits and their experience through the pandemic. Overall, respondents indicated they felt they were able to survive for a limited amount of time with the restrictions placed on them and the resulting reduction in funding, but were concerned with how to navigate 2021 and beyond. Key findings included:
- Diversity: The non-profit sector in New Westminster is vast and diverse and their needs reflect this as well.
- Fear and Uncertainty: A significant amount of respondents indicated a great deal of worry and fear about the unknown in the future, notably concern about different approaches required to meet the needs of donors in a COVID-19 world.
- Desire for Validation: Many non-profits indicated they would like to be better acknowledged by the City for the work they contribute. A few noted that although their organization’s focus may have been deemed “non-essential” in the context of COVID-19, their work is still critical to the health and well-being of the community.
On July 13, 2020, Council approved a report that detailed a number of tactics underway or for the future to support the non-profit sector.
Non-profit Virtual Meeting: September 15, 2020
One of the tactics approved by Council is a virtual meeting for the non-profit sector in New Westminster. Staff are currently planning an event for September 15th, 2020 from 5pm to 7pm, called Crowdsource: Promoting Collaboration in the New Westminster Non-Profit Community.
The pandemic has shown us that New Westminster is a strong and resilient community and is served by numerous valuable non-profits that support the wellbeing of our residents. Those non-profits can benefit from connecting with others serving the community.
To encourage sharing when space apart is still necessary, this virtual session will feature:
- An information session on the City’s grant program
- A moderated panel featuring local non-profit representatives on the topics most asked for in our recent survey: fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and community engagement/marketing
- Breakout sessions with panel members on specific topics
- An opportunity for networking with other non-profits