YWCA Program Participants at the Rooftop Garden

The Next 125 Campaign: A Perfect Ending  

Five years ago, YWCA Metro Vancouver launched a campaign called The Next 125, with the lofty goal of raising $10M. The intentions driving the campaign were to mark 125 years of serving our community, to create awareness of the YWCA's impact and to ensure that the organization is prepared to face whatever challenges may come next. 

Little did we know that our community would respond with such enthusiasm. Together, we raised an incredible $14.1M! Through donations of $25,000 or more, the YWCA community of donors gave generously, engaged in our work and shared the message throughout their own networks.  

One highlight of the campaign was a transformational $4.25M gift and matching funding from an anonymous donor. We were also joined by an exceptional group of women who served as Ambassadors for the campaign: 

  • Diane Forsythe-Abbott   
  • Diana Chan 
  • Lauren Gehlen   
  • Ann Mortifee   
  • Sandy So 
  • Dr. Kim van der Woerd   
  • Lis Welch 

The Next 125 Pillars 

To guide this campaign, three pillars were identified:  

  • Helping Women and Families Flourish  
  • Creating Safe, Inclusive Communities 
  • Building Brighter Futures, For Everyone 

By keeping these pillars as our guides, we were able to support some of the YWCA’s most essential programs.  

  • Crabtree Corner Violence Outreach, Books, Bags & Babies early literacy program  
  • Crabtree Corner Housing  
  • The YWCA Rooftop Garden and YWCA food programs 
  • Elder in Residence for one-to-one and family support 
  • Legal Education 
  • Circle of Sisters Indigenous Mentorship program 
  • Three new housing communities: Moiz and Nadia Place in Richmond, May Brown Place in North Vancouver, and Grange Street in Burnaby 
  • A new tower at the YWCA Hotel with an additional 65 rooms 
  • Guide to High School after-school program 
  • Strive program serving youth aging out of care 
  • Endowment funds to ensure the sustainability of front-line services   

Coming Together 

Another campaign highlight was the collective enthusiasm to build new relationships and learn from each other. Early on, we held several Salons at supporters’ homes, where we invited authors, activists and community leaders to share their knowledge. Then, when COVID-19 protocols prevented us from gathering in person, we held online workshops with YWCA leaders in advocacy. 

To celebrate the conclusion of this campaign, we invited guests to a celebratory reception on our beautiful Rooftop Garden in September. With a late harvest this year, colourful dahlias and sunflowers were in full bloom, making the perfect setting to celebrate the conclusion of The Next 125. 

To everyone who touched this campaign, we are so grateful to you. Thank you. 

Looking Ahead 

With the momentum and energy gained from this campaign, we are looking toward the future. The YWCA continues to build housing for women and families, and we are raising funds for a new housing community on Grange Street in Burnaby. For more information on this project, contact Bobbi Sarai Tanguay at bsarai@ywcavan.org | 604 895 5780. 



This article is part of the 2022 Fall/Winter edition of our Contact Newsletter. 
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