Local groups which have depended upon matching funds from the Team Scotia Community Program may have to re-think their fundraising initiatives. The funding opportunities have been severely reduced. Changes allow Scotiabank branches to support only three projects per year, to a maximum of $3,000 per project.

To give you an idea of the impact, the local Vankleek Hill Scotiabank branch has been supporting local community organizations to the tune of more than $60,000 per year for the past several years.

While eligible not-for-profit community organizations have benefited from up to $5,000 from the Team Scotia Community Program, by involving their local Scotiabank branch staff members in their initiatives, several local community groups have received word that despite receiving initial approval for this year, they will not receive any funds. The changes to the funding program were released earlier this year, but were retroactive. What’s more, bank employees are being encouraged to support initiatives which benefit young people.

Although the program’s description still exists on the Scotiabank website, it indicates that the funds must be raised by teams of two or more staff members. It is all part of a move to have Scotiabank staff members more involved in community fundraising initiatives. The website also states that Scotiabank may donate up to $1,000 to qualifying community-based organizations in which its employees or Scotiabank retirees have actively volunteered for at least 50 hours per year.

In the past, local community organizations would apply to their local Scotiabank branch and groups were not able to apply more than once during any calendar year. Under the old program, a not-for-profit group could receive up to $5,000 per event in one calendar year.

When one searches for funding opportunities available from Scotiabank, there is another web page which includes several categories of funding but all are aimed at young people as part of the framework. The categories include: (Live Healthy) nutrition and safety, sports and active living; (Stay Healthy) access to medical care, health support; (Education) access to education; (Knowledge and skills development) financial empowerment and technology and skills development and foundational giving.

You can find out more about Scotiabank’s guidelines and programs here: