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Gaming Grant Application continues under COVID-19

Message from the Gaming Branch

As the province moved into the difficult time of temporarily stopping services and closing operations, BCACG is committed to continue to assist you on your BC Community Gaming Grant applications. The Gaming Branch has assured us that they are continuing to do their part, reviewing applications and disbursing funds.

Please continue to follow your sector’s deadline and submit your Gaming Grant applications as per usual. If you are missing some requirements because of the current situation, such as having to reschedule AGM, thus not having hosted an AGM in time, or not being able to meet prior year level in program participation because of programs having to shut down, please still apply for the grant but explain clearly why certain items or requirements are irregular or missing. The Branch will take them into consideration when assessing your application.

If you have any questions concerning any update on the Gaming Grant or your application, please don’t hesitate to email us at or call 604-612-2392.

News Alert! Deadline Extension for Community Gaming Grants in the Public Safety & Environment Sectors

Due to the current wildfire situation the application deadline for Community Gaming Grants in the Public Safety and Environment Sectors has been extended to October 15, 2018.
The Community Gaming Grants program distributes funds from commercial gambling revenues to not-for-profit community organizations throughout British Columbia. The program is intended to provide all eligible community organizations in the province with fair and equitable access to funding for the
direct delivery of approved programs to their communities. The Community Gaming Grants program is governed by the terms outlined in the Gaming Control Act and the Gaming Control Regulation.

BCACG February News – New Staff Changes, Guideline Amendments, How to Program Descriptions


As the 2018 season opens we’re getting your calls and emails about the new year’s grant applications. I’m appreciating hearing stories of your successes and for some, of frustration and a determination to make a better application. I’m writing to tell you that I’ve accepted a new opportunity to do important work in housing and community building. I’ve given my notice effective February 28 and will be starting a new position as Manager, Non Profit Portfolio with BC Housing in Prince George. I am looking forward to this new chapter and am especially intrigued to work in northern BC.

I’ve been with the BCACG since October 2013 and it has been a pleasure to work with you and on behalf of the non-profit sector in British Columbia. I’ve been able to get to know many of you and enjoyed talking with you about your programming and how to prepare a more effective Gaming Grant Application. I’ve especially enjoyed doing the training workshops and note that one of our successes is a strong commitment from the Gaming Branch to training and outreach with a recognition that this is a complex application. I have also had numerous conversations with the Gaming Branch and developed a deeper understanding of their perspective, including the constraints inherent in administering such a Grant. Certainly greater mutual understanding (and more capacity) will make the Gaming Grant more relevant to sustainable communities in towns throughout the province. And of course, apply continued pressure with the Branch and with your MLA about how you use the Gaming Grant to make your community stronger and healthier – convey the impact of the work you do. This is a core reason why the Gaming Grant is important and why it has an obligation to community programming.

The Board has posted for the Executive Director position. Information is in the News section of and will be circulated through our and other networks. The posting is on Spread the word about a great opportunity for an adult educator, government relations and community development character who has a background in the Gaming Grant. It would be an advantage to know the history of attachment between Gaming Grants and the Community and to have extensive experience in non-profit operations. The location of work is negotiable. The position works from a virtual office. Travel in the province is substantial and proximity to Victoria and Metro Vancouver is an advantage.


The Gaming Grant Guidelines have been amended as of February 1, 2018. The current version is available here

There are a few changes worth noting:

  1. Section 3.1 The language about directors being members of the Society has changed. It used to say that Directors must be drawn from within the membership and now it says that Directors of the Society need to be members of the Society, but it doesn’t distinguish the order in which that needs to happen. The intent here is that the membership be open as well as the Society being representative of its membership.
  2. Section 3.2 – Chambers of Commerce were included as an ineligible organization. Primarily a Chamber is orienting its work around its membership and its programing is for business benefit and not directly for broad benefit.
  3. Section 4.3 – Services Clubs – the information about Services Clubs hasn’t particularly changed but it has been re-organized in an effort to consolidate the information and make it easier for the Club Treasurer and Programs Chair can find and know the information.
  4. Section 5.1 of the Guidelines, about organizational financial eligibility and proving financial need, has changed in two parts. First, when an organization has revenue allocated to the future year or funds received for a designated purpose, these liabilities are acknowledged and no longer be counted against you. Second, a “going concern” clause has been added. If the organizational financial situation casts doubt on its financial stability, Gaming may decide that the organization is a poor investment or that the risk is too great to justify a Gaming Grant.
  5. Section 6.3 The intake dates for Arts and Culture, and Sport have shifted by one month. Arts and Culture groups apply from February 1 to April 30 and Sports groups apply from March 1 to May 31. Gaming has made this shift hoping to balance the intake of the grants, which will help to meet their target of providing notice within 12 weeks of receipt.
  6. Section 6.5 – The option for a Reconsideration – essentially a Reconsideration is with regard to financial issues, ie the amount of grant awarded, and to challenge if there was an error on the part of the Branch. If there are concerns, questions or disputes about the understanding of the Analyst about the program or your organization – these are best addressed by contacting the main line for the Branch and speaking to the Analyst or the Community Outreach Manager.


Section 4.1 of the Guidelines says that program eligibility is measured on four points: has operated for 12 months, demonstrates community benefit, is accessible and inclusive, and has a sustainability plan. Focus the Program Description on these four points. At the end, add a fifth point about how the funds will be used – the Describe in Detail section of the Application where you’ll talk about key things that you see coming up in the next year – and summarize your financial ask. The Analysts read several hundred applications per year and many each day. Keep your program description tight and focussed to the four items stated in the Guidelines. Click here for full details.


Topic: Community Gaming Grant Workshop

Date: Friday, February 23, 2018

Time: 9:00 am – 12 pm

Location, Richmond Caring Place – Room 340.

Cost: Free

Limited seating. Book your seat early to avoid disappointment!  

Click here to register.

The Fraser Valley Community Charitable Gaming Association (FVCCGA) is a non-profit society that supports community groups applying for a Community Gaming Grant.

Our workshops review the eligibility requirements, program description and details, budget, in-kind support, volunteers and key considerations when accounting for activities.

Hear about new updates to the Guidelines and join us for an interactive session with community groups with opportunity to ask questions and get feedback on your programming.

About the facilitator:

David Sheach is the Facilitator for the FVCCGA and is Executive Director of the BC Association for Charitable Gaming. He is presenting a three hour Gaming Grant workshop to help you prepare an accurate application and manage the funding according to the conditions of the grant.

For more information email:


How to Write the Program Description

Section 4.1 of the Guidelines says that program eligibility is measured on four points: has operated for 12 months, demonstrates community benefit, is accessible and inclusive, and has a sustainability plan. Focus the Program Description on these four points. At the end, add a fifth point about how the funds will be used – the Describe in Detail section of the Application where you’ll talk about key things that you see coming up in the next year – and summarize your financial ask. The Analysts read several hundred applications per year and many each day. Keep your program description tight and focussed to the four items stated in the Guidelines.

1. Pre-Amble – The program must have been operating for a minimum of 12 months.

Use this section to write a paragraph or two. Talk some about the background to the program. In the Application it will ask how long the program has operated, in years and months. Give some information about what happened in the last twelve months and talk a bit about what stood out in the year, maybe things that need to be addressed going forward or trends that are showing which may have an impact on future direction. Make sure you focus on the Program and not on the Organization. Keep it short but its here too that you might tell the history, purpose or vision of the Program.

Avoid talking about what you are going to do and about the broader vision and activities of your Organization. Focus on what you have been doing and in a foreshadowing kind of way, on what is noteworthy in the last year.

2. Community Benefit – Convey the Impact of the Work that You Do.

Even if this is a first application, the program has history of at least 12 months. Reflect on the work you’ve done in your program description. If you’ve already been receiving Gaming funding, tell them what happened in comparison to what you proposed. At this stage you’ve been operating for 12-24 months or more and you have some data that you can share and which demonstrates what you’re doing and who you are serving. Use this section to reflect on the services provided and programming delivered. Talk about what happened in the last twelve months. Convey Impact. Gaming wants to see your numbers; the outputs of the program. How many of what did you do and how often; with whom; where? Use a table or a pie chart or a bar graph to give a visual; include a photo or a link Compare year over year or provide a three or five year overview if you can. If you haven’t collected information in this way, talk about what you know. Sit down with your people and get some basic information to include. After that, start to collect information this year – easy stuff; stuff that makes sense to you, your organization and the program. The data you collect doesn’t need to be complex and it ought to be relevant for the organization.

Highlight trends or the things you are noticing – growth, shifts in clientele or services, shifts in demand or emerging items. Talk about some of the successes, provide anecdotal highlights of key outcomes. Include, where you can, quotes from people affected – sprinkle these throughout your Description. Often times you’ll have a card or an email where a participant talks about how the Program affected them or their family. Clip from these and insert them in the text to prove your statements or add them as a pull out text box to draw the reader to the key points.

3. Accessible and Inclusive – Grant recipients and their programming needs to reflect Provincial values.

At minimum, this section is your diversity statement. The core issue is that the Province won’t fund an organization that doesn’t reflect the values of the Province of BC.

Gaming expects that programming that is funded with a Gaming Grant is as open and inclusive as possible but they also don’t expect the organization to change its programming. They do expect that the programming is accessible and without discrimination against any group, so for instance if you are Big Sisters you don’t have to serve boys too but you do need to ensure that you serve girls without barriers, likewise if you are a senior’s centre, it’s not that you need to serve young or middle age people, but you need to be open to all seniors. Talk about the accommodations that you make to be inclusive – physical accessibility, cultural outreach, etc.

In many cases organizations and programs are particularly oriented around these values and that makes this section an important place to talk about what you do. If you are the White Cane society then you will talk at some length about creating accessibility for people with a lending library, adaptive equipment, public awareness campaigns or social gatherings, emotional supports for people, referral services or community partnerships.

4. Sustainability

Each program needs to have a minimum of 25% funding from sources other than the federal or provincial government. Appendix IV has a partial list of what is included as provincial and federal funding. These are government administered programs, grants or donations from crown corporations and money from school districts or health authorities. Cities, towns, regional districts and indigenous governments, for the sake of this grant, count as local or community money.

If you have your own money, ie fundraising money, include it here too. Talk about the raffle, golf tournament or major gifts program that you have and the donors that are contributing to the program. This shows up as revenue in the income statement and budget. The time that you invest to raise that money doesn’t count toward the volunteer time – that time got converted into the cash from the activity. The organization can invest some or all of that cash into the program, alongside the money requested from Gaming and other sources.

Include your volunteers here. Talk about how many volunteers you have, how much time they invest and the kinds of work that they do in the program. Volunteers can be valued at up to $20/hour. If you pay your staff less, for the same job, you may choose to value your volunteers at the same rate, for the same job. If you decide to do that, make sure you calculate the full cost of your staff, ie add the mandatory employment related costs plus any other benefits and vacation pay that is included, so you have an accurate value – not just the rack rate of $X per hour. If your volunteer does a different job, ie has a separate job description, then you could consider valuing them at a different/higher rate.

New applications need to have letters of support but its a helpful idea to collect letters and notes of support on an ongoing basis. The strongest letters come from other supporters, for example:

Another funder, a local business supporter or a donor or another organization that funds the program. Their letter might say something like, “Of all the people that ask for my time or money, I choose this organization because I think it best reflects my values, best reflects the values of my customers and in my observation has an impact that I appreciate.”
A participant, a parent or a front line beneficiary of the program. Their letter might talk about how they feel, how the program has changed their life, feelings or opportunities; about their first-hand experience with the program.
A volunteer who talks about the returns they see from volunteering in this program, how it affects them and why they choose this program to invest their volunteer time; about their observations about the program’s impact on the community and its participants.
All of these are other investors and beneficiaries that are talking directly to Gaming about why they invest and how they are affected – and inviting Gaming to invest along with them.

This section isn’t about proving that you won’t need money one day, it is about who else in your neighbourhood is involved in your program and organization, your networks and other funders that help ensure that your program will have lasting impact.

5. Describe in Detail
On the Application form there is a section that immediately follows the Program Description and its not mentioned in the Guidelines or training. It asks that you provide summary details about how the funds will be used. The section isn’t meant to have a complex answer and this is the place where the Analyst goes for a quick reminder of your request. In short, they want a list – we want $X and we’re going to spend $Y on this and $Z on that and two more items – short and simple, for example, requesting $15,000 and spending $8,000 on rent, $2,000 on program liability insurance with $4000 for staffing and $1000 for program materials.

This section is the place to begin to talk about the year going forward. As your story unfolded – the last 12 months of operation, the benefits to community, accessible and inclusive and sustainable – it revealed what is needed for a successful next year. If you were reporting growth and your stats show “measured un-met demand”, then in the next year, you’re going to talk about how to respond. It may be that you have a case for additional funding and you’re going to talk about that here. Or you may need to emphasize certain things in this year’s work – in communications, or systems, or shifting some activities in order to respond to participant requests or changing interests.

The Pre-amble in part one will set up the story by talking about the trends, highlights and observations from the last year. Community Benefit will prove your case, not only by talking about the numbers but these will also show where there is notable shift – in growth or evolution of your program and clientele. Accessible and Inclusive may add to the story but they demonstrate your organization’s values and efforts to reach and be relevant to people in your community. Sustainability is the core of your case for support because it talks about your other partners and investors – those others who believe in your programming who have been convinced by your story. Describe in Detail piece is, like Dragnet would say, “Just the facts”…but also opens the door to next year’s work.

Reminder of September 30 deadline for the Capital Project Grant

Important Reminder:

The Community Gaming Grants program distributes $5 million per year to eligible not-for-profit organizations to assist with capital projects with a total cost of more than $20,000. Eligible not-for-profit organizations may be approved for up to 50% of the total cost of the project, to a maximum of $250,000.

Organizations wishing to apply for a Capital Project Grant are reminded that they have until September 30 to submit their application.

1) How will the applications evaluated?

An organization must demonstrate on its application that it meets the mandatory eligibility criteria. Each application that meets eligibility criteria will then be scored based on how well the proposed project meets the following assessment criteria: Financial Considerations, Project Feasibility,Alignment with Sector Objectives and Special Project Features

Additional consideration will be given to the allocation of grant funding across the six Community Gaming Grant sectors, the geographic distribution of grants throughout the province, project size and the inclusion of Aboriginal not-for-profit organizations.

2) Is there a time limit for how long an organization has to complete the project?

Yes. The project must be completed, and the grant funds spent, within 36 months of receipt of the grant.

3) Do applicants need to contribute their own money to the project?

Yes. Organizations are expected to provide matching funds. In addition to cash, this can include tangible in-kind contributions, such as donated equipment and materials. Land and intangible in-kind support, such as volunteer time, donated labour or services will not be accepted as matching funds.

4) Does an organization need to own the land on which it plans to complete the project?

No. An organization does not need to own the land provided it has a long-term lease agreement with the landowner or some other equivalent arrangement, has their written permission to undertake the project, and is responsible for maintaining the facility after it is completed.

5) What is the purpose of the risk management plan, and what needs to be in it?

In the risk management plan, applicants must identify and rank potential risks as either high, medium or low based on likelihood and consequence, and then identify proposed management/mitigation strategies.  The risk management plan can be prepared by anyone knowledgeable of the project.  It can be a simple list of possible risks and how they can be minimized.  The risk management plan is not required to be an additional eligible expense though it can be.

Interested in applying for the Capital Projects Grant? See the Capital Projects Grants web page for more information on this program and be sure to get your application in by the September 30 deadline.

Successful applicants will be notified via email.

You are Invited! September 19th!

You are invited to the B.C. Government’s Community Gaming Grant Presentation for the Northeast Region on Tuesday September 19th 7pm-9pm at the North Peace Cultural Centre in Fort St. John.

Join Mike Sherman, Outreach Manager, Community Gaming Grants Branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, for a detailed information session on the Community Gaming Grants program. This is an exciting education and networking opportunity for any not-for-profit organization interested in applying for a Community Gaming Grant. Please see the attached invitation for more information and links to register online .

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you there!