Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women Leela Sharon Aheer announced on Friday, Aug. 9 the province’s plan to hasten distribution of grant dollars to non-profits in Alberta.
The province is going green in their switch from paper cheques to electronic transfers to speed up the distribution of grant dollars to non-profit organizations.Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women Leela Aheer made the announcement Friday at the Sunalta Community Hall in the presence of a handful of local groups, including members of Calgary’s fireworks festival, GlobalFest, and young participants.“I’m thrilled for the sector and so encouraged with what the province is doing here. In light of the economy and how things are going and the challenges that have been out there, this was more than just a ray of sunshine,” said Ken Goosen, CFO of GlobalFest.He said receiving grant money faster will increase non-profit opportunities to achieve “real success.”Aheer said these changes support the province’s commitment to reduce red tape and will be safer, more secure and cost-effective in comparison to traditional cheques.She said successful grant applicants will receive an e-transfer about a week after notification, cutting the waiting period by potentially months.“This is all about making things easier for people to live and play in Alberta,” said Aheer.“These groups and services, as we all know, enrich the lives of Albertans. From festivals and community events, sports equipment and recreational programs to major investments in community facilities. Anyone involved in non-profits know how vital it is to receive funds in a timely manner.”She said there were multiple reasons that cheques were delayed to successful applicants in the past, including staff focusing on other tasks and even the rare occasion of a cheque being misplaced.The new distribution process will create stability in the sector, said Aheer, and could make a difference of six months to non-profits.Goosen said money is a scarce commodity for non-profits and and at times, certain organizations have had to either scale back projects or completely desert them due to lengthy delays in receiving grant funds.This announcement signals a great opportunity for emerging non-profits to secure their holds in the community, said Goosen, and will relax established organizations’ plans.Currently, there are more than 26,200 non-profits in Alberta, which contribute $21.7 billion in GDP to the provincial economy, according to the UCP.Aheer said community initiative programs and community facility enhancement programs provide essential funding to approximately 200 Alberta non-profits each email@example.comTwitter: @alanna_smithh