How to Fund Your Restorative Justice Program
There are basically two main sources of funding for RJ programs in BC:
1. Civil Forfeiture, deadline is each November: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/crime-prevention/community-crime-prevention/grants
2. Community Accountability Program, which generally only funds current RJ programs, though it is worth getting in touch with them to see if they may at some point expand the program: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/crime-prevention/community-crime-prevention/restorative-justice
There was a recent announcement of one-time funding from the province, this is all that is known at this point: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023PSSG0044-000889
There are of course other ways to acquire funding for Restorative Justice programs - primarily through foundations, donations from businesses or private donors. These funds are generally for projects, rather than ongoing program expenses, but several RJ organizations manage to fund their ongoing program activities through one-time grants.
Steps for acquiring other funds:
1. Research Funding Opportunities: Start by researching funding opportunities available in British Columbia for restorative justice programs. Look for government grants, private foundations, community funds, and corporate social responsibility initiatives that align with the goals of your program.
2. Establish a Budget: Develop a detailed budget that outlines the program's expenses, including staff salaries, training costs, materials, administrative expenses, and any other necessary resources. A well-defined budget will help you determine the funding amount needed.
3. Identify Potential Partners: Explore potential partnerships with local governments, non-profit organizations, schools, and other community stakeholders. Collaborating with established entities can enhance your credibility and increase the likelihood of receiving funding.
4. Create a Compelling Proposal: Develop a clear and persuasive funding proposal that highlights the objectives of your RJ project or program, the impact it will have on the community, and how it aligns with the funding source's priorities. Clearly articulate the need for restorative justice services in the region.
5. Emphasize Outcomes and Data: Provide evidence of the effectiveness of restorative justice by including relevant data, research, and success stories from similar programs. Demonstrating the positive outcomes of RJ can strengthen your case for funding.
6. Host Information Sessions: Organize information sessions and workshops to raise awareness about restorative justice among potential donors, community members, and stakeholders. Use these events as an opportunity to demonstrate the value and impact of your program.
7. Explore Crowdfunding and Community Fundraising: Consider using crowdfunding platforms or organizing community fundraising events to garner support from local residents and businesses. Engage with the community to make them feel invested in the success of the RJ program.
8. Leverage Existing Resources: Utilize existing resources within the community, such as facilities, volunteers, or partnerships, to optimize your program's impact and reduce costs. Consider sharing office space with other groups.
9. Measure and Report Impact: Once your RJ program is up and running, consistently measure and evaluate its impact. Use data and success stories to demonstrate the program's effectiveness to funders and stakeholders.
10. Be Persistent and Adaptive: Securing funding for a new program can take time and effort. Be persistent and willing to adapt your approach based on feedback and changing circumstances.
Remember that funding opportunities and requirements may change over time, so it's essential to stay updated on available funding sources and be prepared to adjust your funding strategy accordingly. Building strong partnerships and engaging with the community can play a crucial role in sustaining and expanding your restorative justice program.