The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group has announced that they will be starting a new philanthropy initiative called the Learning Engagement Accelerator Fund, or L.E.A.F., which will provide up to $1,000,000 in funding to community-led initiatives. COVID has been hard on small towns and communities, and the Commonwell wants to help them revitalize the places where they come together to learn, share, and play.
“One of the many ways that COVID continues to hit our Ontario communities has been in shrinking donations and budgets for community programs, it’s been all hands-on-deck to deal with COVID, so non-essential programs have been dramatically cut,” said Tim Shauf, President and CEO of The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group. “We decided our program could address this shortfall and make sure that important community programs and places in Commonwell Country continue to thrive. Now it’s up to the residents of these communities to tell us what needs to be funded, and we have $1 million dollars available to make it happen.”
For a project to be funded, it must be something that will positively impact community initiatives and activities. Creating a new community space like a public kitchen or garden, kickstarting a free skill training program, or renovating a local library, school, community centre, arena, or park are just some examples of qualifying projects.
Residents can nominate a community project at www.thecommonwell.ca/leaf, but it is community engagement that decides which projects will be funded. Residents must comment on and share The Commonwell’s Facebook and Instagram posts for that project to show that they support it and want to see it happen. Community engagement is a key factor in deciding the winning proposals.
The nomination period closes November 10th, and the winning projects will be announced early December.