The Red Deer & District Community Foundation (RDDCF) is thrilled to accept the 2022 Grantmaker of the Year Award from the Grant Professionals Association (GPA).

This international award recognizes grantmaking organizations that have improved the way grant professionals do their work and acknowledges outstanding contributions to the field of grantsmanship. The awards process includes a review of nominations, scoring of nominations, and interviews with finalists. RDDCF was a recipient due to our impactful work in the community, specifically in regards to our inclusive grantmaking practices.

“Receiving this award is an outstanding acknowledgment of the work that we have done to connect with our community in a way that ensures that everyone belongs and feels heard, and that the greatest impact is being made,” said Krista Nymark VandenBrink, RDDCF Board Chair.

Nominator Tammy Tilzey of Foundant Technologies stated RDDCF deeply impacts their community and the profession by their innovative ideas, relationship-building, and funding decisions.
By focusing on the principle of “nothing for us without us,” RDDCF is consistently seeking innovative approaches to both granting and reporting practices. This includes re-evaluating funding processes, piloting participatory grantmaking initiatives and working with local Indigenous communities to re-imagine grant measurement tools.

“What makes this award so special is that it recognizes the value of our unique participatory grantmaking process which allows agencies to come together and promotes collaboration and inclusion,” Nymark VandenBrink continues. “The Board of Directors acknowledges the hard and sometimes uncomfortable work that goes into innovative granting. But it is this innovation that can ignite the most change.” 

This innovation could be seen in action with our participatory grantmaking process that was implemented during the adjudication for the Fund for Gender Equality Grant. Applicants were included in the decision-making process, enabling grantees to come together to share insights, passionately pitch their projects, collaborate in their decision-making, and build relationships that would not have existed without RDDCF proactively playing the role of community convener. Agencies were able to view each other as allies and friends rather than competitors for a limited pool of money.

Additionally, the Community Foundation is working to ensure long-term sustainability through our Youth in Philanthropy program which introduces youth to the concept of philanthropy through hands-on experiences to explore charities, social needs, and financial responsibility. The students take on leadership roles to understand the methodology of grantmaking. Students also learn the importance of partnerships and personal responsibility in the philanthropic community.

The Grantmaker of the Year award was presented to Executive Director Erin Peden during the GPA Annual Conference on November 3, 2022 in Louisville, Kentucky.