7 resources to support your community project

Do you want to help build a better world, but are short on resources? Whatever it is you need--money, supplies or people--here are some tools to help you make a difference in your community.

Need money?

Caisse Community Development Fund: encourage the local economy

Does your organization need some financial assistance for a community project? Who better than your local Desjardins caisse to understand the value of your initiative? It could give you help through the caisse Community Development Fund. The first thing you’ll need to do is visit your caisse’s website - This link will open in a new window., because every caisse has its own eligibility criteria. You’ll find all the information you need under “Involvement in the community.”

This fund is made up of a portion of the caisse’s surplus earnings, set aside for projects that have a local impact. At the annual general meeting, members decide what portion of the surplus earnings will be paid into the fund.

#DesjardinsFoundation Prizes: make a difference for young people!

Are you a teacher or other professional who has lots of ideas for how to improve your school, like building a new playground, offering a robotics course or starting a hockey league? With #DesjardinsFoundation Prizes - This link will open in a new window., you could receive up to $3,000 in financial assistance for a project that benefits kindergarten, elementary or high school students. There’s been no lack of great, inspiring ideas: in 2018, $660,000 went to funding almost 300 school projects. Why not yours? Applications are being accepted this fall, so get ready!

La Ruche: a new twist on crowdfunding!

La Ruche is a crowdfunding platform that allows project sponsors to get financial help from ordinary people. What makes La Ruche different is that it funds local projects that have a positive impact in the community.

Crowdfunding - definition:

Crowdfunding allows projects to get off the ground with the support of many individuals who provide small amounts of capital. On top of the personal satisfaction contributors get from this experience, they can receive perks offered by promoters (like exclusive products, special offers and discounts) depending on the nature of the project and size of the contribution*.

It’s also a great way to test the market! Let’s say you post your community garden project on La Ruche and raise the amount you want—that’s because your idea has created a lot of excitement in your community. From Montreal to Mauricie, Bas-Saint-Laurent to the Eastern Townships, La Ruche - External link. This link will open in a new window., a not-for-profit organization supported by Desjardins, gives entrepreneurs the boost they need.

Cooperathon: for projects that have a social—and global!—impact!

What do you get when you create an international competition that brings together students, entrepreneurs, researchers, mentors, developers and others who want to build a better world? Where each team has to develop projects that will produce concrete solutions to social issues, like health, education, finance and energy? You get Cooperathon - External link. This link will open in a new window., a true marathon of social cooperation supported by Desjardins. Your project could win a share of the $100,000 prize. How’s that for motivation!

David Suzuki Foundation’s Demain le Québec prize: take action for the environment!

If you have an environmental project, we encourage you to enter the Prix Demain le Québec - External link. This link will open in a new window. contest, presented by the David Suzuki Foundation in collaboration with Desjardins. This contest spotlights concrete initiatives to protect the planet. You could win $5,000, plus a visit from David Suzuki. Zero-waste initiatives, citizen engagement to safeguard our waters, green alleyways, organic farming projects…why not submit your own project? Applications are being accepted this fall.

Need supplies?

Récüp program: a second life for office supplies!

The program is only in its own early days, but it’s already making a difference! Our real estate teams set up the Recüp program to give office supplies a new life. For example, supplies like binders, pencils, staplers and stationery left over from a recent departmental move can now be collected by daycare centres or schools that need them.

You can send your material requests to: programme.recup@desjardins.com - This link will open in a new window.. Be prepared to accept a heavy load, because we redistribute large quantities to schools and other organizations!

Need people?

Simplyk: making it easier to give back!

Need an extra set of hands in your community garden? Simplyk might be the solution! This platform uses geolocation to connect organizations that need volunteers with businesses that want to get involved in the community. In Quebec, some organizations, like Desjardins, let their employees take time off work for a few hours every year to volunteer. Desjardins has partnered with Simplyk - External link. This link will open in a new window. for its corporate volunteering.

Beyond financial commitment

Starting in spring 2020, La Ruche will officially become La Ruche supported by Desjardins, and will offer two new components:

  • Access to supplies through the platform. Need soil for your community garden? In exchange for a donation, the sponsor can advertise on La Ruche. What a great way to find partners!
  • Access to specialists through skills-based volunteering that allows professionals, like accountants, lawyers and IT specialists, to donate their expertise to organizations that make a difference in the community.

We hope these resources help you get the support you need for your community projects. Be sure to share your successes in the comments! We love hearing from you.

*Source: la Ruche

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