Voting open for $1,000 community choice grants from Rotary Club of Orangeville Highlands

·2 min read

Around 30 local charities have applied for grant funding, and it is up to residents to decide which ones are successful.

Voting opened on St. Patrick’s Day to determine which non-profits will receive one of five $1,000 community choice grants by the Rotary Club of Orangeville Highlands.

The club will announce the recipients of the grants by March 31. Residents are invited to vote for up to three choices. They cannot cast further votes afterwards. To vote, visit rcoh.ca. The contest closes on March 24.

“You can vote for up to three organizations, but you can only vote one time,” said Michele Fisher, chair of the Rotary grants committee.

Grants can be used for operating and programming costs. The club celebrated the announcement by placing a St. Patrick’s Day display on Lord Dufferin Centre's lawn. They were also there earlier for a February display when they opened the grants.

They have received 1,300 votes so far, spreading the word through social media and word of mouth.

“All the organizations that were nominated by the community, they’re going out and mobilizing their supporters and friends to go to our website and to vote for them as well,” said Fisher.

This is their first annual community choice grant. They did not know how many nominations they would receive and what kind of services the non-profits offered.

“We got a real mix of larger non-profits and small ones,” said Fisher. “There were some on the list that we haven’t heard of before, so it was great to see how much support there is out in the community, and all the initiatives are happening at a grassroots level.”

The three organizations that get the most votes will receive a $1,000 grant. The rotary grants committee will choose the final two recipients, emphasizing helping smaller non-profits that are less well-known.

“We wanted to be able to choose a couple of organizations we thought were particularly worthy and urgently needed, but maybe small and (did) not have a huge public following,” said Fisher.

The community had nominated all organizations through social media and the Rotary’s website.

Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner