Sunday, March 11, 2018

Pincher Creek's Town Council approves funding for Grant Writer Initiative

Jonathan Skrimshire (updated with more complete information * - Pincher Creek Town Council approved $20,000 in first year funding for the Grant Writer Initiative at their meeting of March 7. The initiative, which will result in the creation of a full time position for a professional grant writer in Pincher Creek, is the brainchild and first project of the newly christened Pincher Creek Community Development Initiative (PCCDI). With commitments of $15,000 from community organizations, $20,000 from the Municipal District Council and $20,500 from Shell already in hand, Town Council's $20,000 contribution means PCCDI now has 89 percent of the project's first year funding requirements in place.*  Both councils have recommended that PCCDI make application to the Joint Council funding program for years two and three of the initiative.

PCCDI's business plan for the Grant Writer Initiative envisions the position becoming self-financing over a five year period. The financial plan hinges on charging clients a fee of four percent on all grant monies received through the grant writer's services. It also sets out an ambitious plan to create a $1-million endowment fund, dividends from which would ultimately generate $40,000 per year towards program operating costs, thereby eliminating the need for local government funding.

The group has developed a draft contract and has agreements in place for oversight of the grant writer. The business plan states that "the Grant Writer position will be established and governed by way of a partnership with the Southwest Alberta Sustainable Community Initiative (SASCI)." Oversight will be provided by "a Steering Committee comprising no more than seven volunteers selected for their depth and breadth of interest and experience in supporting community development in the town and district of Pincher Creek." The grant writer's primary responsibility will be "to support local Community Service Organizations (CSOs), local governments and local businesses in locating and leveraging sources of funding and other support for operations, programs and projects."

With funding commitments from both local councils in hand, PCCDI is now moving ahead with its candidate search. Page Murphy, Coordinator of the Pincher Creek and District Early Childhood Coalition, responded to Council's decision on behalf of PCCDI. "The support from the MD, Town, Industry and community service organizations for piloting a community grant writer position in 2018 speaks to the progressive approach Pincher Creek is taking in creating a robust and resilient future. We are all working to be on the leading edge of economic and social growth and adaptation. We will now focus on implementing the next steps", she wrote, in reply to an email request for comment.

Sam Schofield, President of the Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce, echoed Murphy's sentiments. "I think we are all pleased that this has been overwhelmingly backed by our community. Our focus now moves into finding the right candidate for Pincher Creek."

Related articles:
MD Council backs community grant writer initiative

Thinking big in a small town: community grant writer proponents make their case

Local councils hear proposal for a community grant writer

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