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A grant worth thinking about

A grant worth thinking about

Posted on: November 24, 2016
Author: Michelle Stead

Finding the time (and money) to be strategic can be a challenge for non-profit organizations. ATB Financial’s Time to Think grants have given a pair of Alberta non-profits a big boost in that department.

Meals on Wheels Edmonton and the Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE) were the 2016 recipients of the $20,000 grants. Each had a well thought out plan for how they would use the money to make an impact.

The dollar figure is significant for sure, but what makes these grants even more valuable is the expertise that comes with them. Recipients are connected with ATB team members who have knowledge or experience that can help the organizations execute their plans.

Meals on Wheels delivers ready-to-eat meals to Edmonton Seniors. They put their money toward making a mobile-friendly website—a must for an organization that has an online application for volunteers.

A meeting with ATB’s web team helped Meals on Wheels navigate the world of websites and fine-tune the plan to hire someone to do the work.

Meals on Wheels meets ATB web team

Meals on Wheels meets with ATB's web team


“They had the expertise to help me,” said Caitlin Fleming, Meals on Wheels’ Community Engagement & Fund Development Manager. “Putting together a multi-page request for proposals on something that you’re not super confident on is pretty intimidating. To have their help was great.“

As for SAGE, they ended up getting some marketing advice from ATB to help with their social enterprise SAGE Savories. The guidance, and the grant money—which funded a number of marketing initiatives—made a big difference.

“It’s not just lip service,” said Karen McDonald, SAGE’s assistant executive director. “The investment of time from the ATB team and the support they’ve been giving us really augments our organization. It’s not just about the funding."