The Steinbach Chamber of Commerce held a Business Mixer Wednesday evening in the MHV Auditorium, where the work of Steinbach Community Foundation was highlighted.

Foundation Vice Chair, Chris Esau says they were very excited about the exposure the event brought to their organization.

"We've kind of struggled with over the years. We've tried to brand ourselves, which has really given us the opportunity to develop a healthy reputation, and really, just to really get our name out there in the community.”

Esau says SCF realizes there are many charities in Steinbach, with residents across the region having their favorite non-profits to donate to. He tells us what is unique about Steinbach Community Foundation (SCF).

“We're a little different than every other organization, in that we don't give out all our money every year. So, we take gifts, and we make sure that lasts for generations to come. So, we will give money to charities every year, but that money is coming from the benefits that we've received from the turnaround of that initial gift, and it keeps giving every year.”

“And events like this gives us the opportunity to give SCF exposure to the general public who maybe never heard of us or who have always given gifts to someone else, and now they can see that their organization might need money for generations to come when they build new organizations.”

Esau continues, “Steinbach has been known, in the past, to always be the most generous city there is, and the challenges with large amalgamations of organizations you're seeing less and less of small business owners, and I think that was one of the reasons why we were so generous in the past, is that small businesses are always giving money.”

“Now these large corporations, some of them aren't always based in Steinbach, and so as a result, as we keep adding more priorities, and so these non-profit organizations would not be funded for generations to come.”

“So, we would like to be able to be that bridge so that when they need that money to support whatever building they're building right now, we will help fund that.”

Esau says Steinbach Community Foundation accepts gifts any time of year, but every November they have a giving challenge.

“So that giving challenge is put on by the government and the Winnipeg Foundation and they'll match funds every dollar. They will match $0.20 each, so it adds a $0.40 for every dollar that's raised up to the 1st $10,000 raised, and so it really helps to grow our fund so that we're able to continue to grow and distribute more money within our community.”

For non-profit organizations that want to apply for a grant or funding through Steinbach Community Foundation visit their website. Esau says they distribute to organizations all over southeastern Manitoba.

“It's from the Red River to the Trans Canada and the US border, because there's not really any other community foundations within the area, so we're there to support everybody. We have given money to organizations in St Malo, to the little boy who received the bike, he was actually from Ste Anne. So, we do give to surrounding communities.”

“As a board we take every grant application, and we assess it on multiple factors of what is the best one to give our money to? We wish we could give money to all of them, but we do have to make a choice because we don't always have enough funds to give to all the requests. But we continue to give to everybody as much as we can, and we assess each one on different criteria.”

Esau notes, “We are always looking for organizations to provide funding to, and like I said, we will always look at how are we able to make our money go the furthest within the community.”

Steinbach Chamber Mixer at the MHV auditoriumMembers of the Steinbach Chamber network during the mixer Wednesday evening at the MHV.

Steinbach Chamber Executive Director, Tessa Massi was very pleased with the number of members of the business community that came out for the evening. Massi says the Chambers hosts 2 or 3 Mixers a year, besides all the other events they organize for the Steinbach and area business community.