A group of Kamloops volunteers are making an effort to ensure local not-for-profits in the arts, heritage and recreation sectors survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beginning in February, Keep Kamloops will launch a series of promotional campaigns to help raise the profiles of these organizations and encourage the public to make donations.
JP Baker, one of the volunteers behind Keep Kamloops, told KTW the group wanted to find a way to help.
The group was concerned about the impact of pandemic-related restrictions, given the cancellation of myriad revenue-generating events that have left many non-profit groups at risk of shutting down.
He added that these sectors have also seen a large reduction in volunteer support.
“We thought that the best way [to help] would be to somehow give them a promotional boost and encourage people to participate in what they’ve got going on and donate money if they can,” Baker said.
Baker said the six Keep Kamloops members — which include city councillor Kathy Sinclair and North Shore Business Improvement Association president Bryce Herman — hope to bring their connections to the effort.
Every two weeks, a different group will be promoted through a variety of media channels and on social media.
Baker said so far there’s been five to 10 organizations that have applied to be featured.
Keep Kamloops has a vetting committee that will decide which organizations to profile.
“We’re looking for non-profits and charities,” he said. “One of the criteria is financial need and the other criteria is we want organizations to demonstrate how they’ve adapted or tried to change to the circumstances, and then just the need for promotional boost.”
Baker said many non-profits don’t have the financial capacity for their own promotion.
Any area not-for-profit society or registered charity in arts, recreation and sport, or heritage is eligible to apply to be featured.
Not-for-profits are encouraged to visit keepkamloops.ca to fill out an application and applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
“It’s easy to assume all these organizations are going to be waiting for us when we come back, post pandemic, but some of them are not quite sure they’re going to survive, so we got to make sure they do have the means to get through this,” Baker said.
Michael Potestio, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kamloops This Week