In today’s socially and morally-conscious society, organizations need to be more than just entities that generate profit. They also need to be proactive advocates for a better world and supporters of the communities in which they operate.
Consumers expect it from the brands they do business with, and employees demand it from the companies they work for.
If you’re in search of a way for your company to make a difference, Vancouver has plenty of incredible causes and organizations to support and ways to give back.
Here are seven you can consider.
Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week
Fashion expresses identity, place, and personal creativity. Humans adorn themselves with clothing, jewelry, and talismans to explore symbolism, beauty, and belonging as our forms of living and presenting evolve.
But behind the scenes, fashion expresses political, environmental, and economic statements of land, exchange, and ally-ship to its original people. Contemporary Indigenous fashion mixes the legacy of Indigenous artistry with modern day high regalia and street styles: it goes beyond surface beauty and highlights how worn identity can build connection with Indigenous values, wisdom, empowerment, and history.
Founded by Joleen Mitton, Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week was created to showcase the power and beauty of authentic Indigenous art and design by supporting talent development and organizing showcases throughout the year, culminating with Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week.
After a two-year pandemic hiatus, Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week (VIFW) returns for its third edition at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from November 28 until December 2, 2022, with the goal of rekindling joy in the face of grief.
If you’d like to support VIFW, you can purchase tickets to its shows. You can also send cash donations by transfer directly to [email protected].
BC-based platform Geenees puts the power of giving back into the hands of your employees. Instead of a bulk donation on behalf of your organization, Geenees allows your team members to proactively select the causes—or families—they want to support and to make direct individual company-backed donations.
The process is simple:
- You purchase Geenees credits—e-gift cards that can carry a predetermined value—on behalf of your organization and distribute them to your team
- Each of your individual employees will have the ability to see and choose causes and families they want to support
- Your team can use their credits to grant wishes directly
Geenees makes the process of donating completely transparent so that organizations and employees know exactly where their support is going.
Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education
The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education is a non-religious, non-political charitable organization inspired by the Dalai Lama’s vision for 21st-century education. His belief that a balance between educating the mind and educating the heart will help create a more compassionate and peaceful world is the cornerstone of the Center’s mission.
The Center works to inform, inspire, and engage the adults who care for and teach children in homes, schools, and community learning environments.
By sharing current research, scientific knowledge, resources, and best practices related to social and emotional learning, the Center is a leading advocate for change in how we educate our children.
The Dalai Lama Center accepts direct donations through its website.
VNHS opened Skwachàys Lodge, the Urban Aboriginal Fair-Trade Gallery, and the Artists in Residence Program in June 2012.
The former Pender Hotel was transformed from a three-and-a-half-story derelict SRO hotel to a unique Indigenous social enterprise that combines a boutique hotel with a street-level art gallery that supports on-site housing and studio space for 24 Indigenous artists.
While you can’t make cash donations to Skwachàys Lodge, you can make a social impact by staying at the hotel or supporting local artisans by shopping at its art gallery rather than at big malls.
When a guest spends their overnight travel dollars at the Skwachàys Lodge, people are housed. And when a guest, a member of the community, or a company buys authentic Indigenous art at the Fair Trade Gallery, this simple purchase fights cultural misappropriation and ensures that Indigenous artists are paid fairly for their work.
Vancouver Art Gallery Art Rental and Sales Program
Vancouver Art Rental & Sales is a not-for-profit program operated by the Vancouver Art Gallery with a mandate of supporting emerging and mid-career artists throughout British Columbia.
With over 1,000 contemporary artworks available for rent or purchase, you can browse, select, and take home original art for as long as you like.
The majority of the fees collected go directly to the artists, while the remaining proceeds support exhibitions and public programs at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
If you’d like to support this cause, consider renting or purchasing a piece for your workspace for your team and clients to enjoy.
Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
Founded in 1978, DEWC is one of the few safe spaces within the Downtown Eastside exclusively for self-identified women and their children, providing a reprieve from the community’s high levels of violence, homelessness, addictions, and poverty that characterize the Downtown Eastside community.
The Downtown East Side Women’s Centre offers a drop-in centre and 24-hour emergency shelter, as well as a kitchen that provides 500 meals per day. It also supports Indigenous women’s projects that include Indigenous plant walks, outings for Indigenous women, counseling, cultural and community art projects, and workshops.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacted DEWC’s ability to host in-person fundraising events, donations are more important than ever—and 90% of your donation goes directly to support vulnerable women and children.
BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
BC Children’s is the only hospital in the province devoted exclusively to the care of children, serving more than one million kids—including some of the sickest and most seriously injured—with the specialized care they often can’t find elsewhere.
And since 1982, the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation has been working to raise the bar of children’s health care by enabling new programs that deliver compassionate care tailored to the needs of children, purchasing the latest innovations in equipment, and fueling research aimed at conquering and ultimately preventing childhood diseases.
There are a number of ways for local businesses to support BCHF, including:
- Making a one-time donation or providing donations on a monthly basis
- Hosting a fundraising event, virtually or in person
- Participating in one of the ten existing fundraising events hosted on behalf of the Foundation
If you’re in search of a modern, full-service, and flexible workspace for your business and a professional community dedicated to creating a stronger local community, book a tour of And-Co today.